While I was enjoying the view of the local scenic beauty at a high altitude location in the Himalayas, I was told that any woman from the village nearby could ‘climb Mount Everest in a jiffy, without special training or equipment’. I was told to look carefully at two women in front of us on the cliff face, collecting herbs for traditional medicines!!! They were at a height above 12,000 feet, and working alone. Their footwear and clothes were not meant for this adventurous daily activity of theirs. If you look carefully at the pictures below, you will see two women, in black, with sacks on their backs, working on a mountain that is considered difficult to climb ( impossible in slippery shoes and flowing robes!!).
One of them is on the rocky, steep part of the mountain, while the other is on the grassy top…..They are hard working women, I’ve often seen them carrying burdens of firewood and leaves on their backs, which weigh so much that they bend forwards at an acute angle to balance themselves. Hats off to these unknown, unnamed and unsung mountain climbers.
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