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Mountaineers: Shailee Basnet and Katja Staartjes

Gemma Cairney brings together two women who have climbed 8,848 metres to the summit of the world's highest peak, Mt Everest. They discuss the magic and danger of the mountain.

Shailee Basnet grew up in the shadow of the Himalayas in Kathmandu, but never thought of mountaineering herself. In her twenties she answered an advert for Nepali women to tackle Everest, and has never looked back. Shailee is now the leader of the first all-women team to successfully complete the Seven Summits Challenge - climbing the tallest mountain on every continent.

Katja Staartjes became the first Dutch woman to summit Everest in 1999, and has also done more dangerous climbs of over 8000 metres in Pakistan and Tibet. Katja says she loves putting everything she needs on her back, and setting off into the mountains. Her latest project is opening up the Western part of Nepal to trekking and tourism, by extending the Great Himalaya Trail.

Main image: Shailee Basnet (lhs) (credit Shailee Basnet); Katja Staartjes (rhs) (credit Katja Staartjes).

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27 minutes

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