Friday, January 6, 2017

Junko Tabei Scaled the Heights



Mount Everest and the World

 

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel


Climb every mountain, Ford every stream
Follow every rainbow 'Till you find your dream

Junko Tabei took those song lyrics to heart. The first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest – the world's highest peak – the Japanese mountaineer traversed the globe, climbing the tallest mountains she could find in more than 70 countries.

With the start of the New Year, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel can’t think of a better role model to inspire everyone to achieve their dreams.  
Not only did Tabei successfully scale Mount Everest on May 16, 1975, but in 1992 she became the first woman to reach the top of every one of the Seven Summits – the highest mountain on each continent.

An environmentalist, Tabei saw firsthand the damage being done to the world's majestic mountains by the debris left behind by climbing teams and worked with environmental groups to eliminate this. As the chairperson of the Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan, one of her main activities was educating people about the need to preserve Earth's natural spaces.
 Himalayan Adventure Trust of Japan
SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti are in awe of Tabei's determination. During the Everest ascent an avalanche hit her camp at night when she was sleeping and she was knocked unconscious and covered in snow.
Pulled to safety by her Sherpa guide, Tabei insisted on continuing the climb even though others wanted to turn back. Despite injuries, Tabei pushed ahead, finally reaching the mountain's 29,029 feet-high summit where she planted the Japanese flag.

A woman climber in a man's world, Tabei didn't ask for any concessions, nor did she expect any. Describing the harsh mountain environments she often encountered, she said, “The winds never calm down just because women are climbing, Nature’s conditions are the same for everybody.”




Told numerous times that mountain climbing wasn't for women and that she should "just take care of your kids,” Tabei, a wife and mother, couldn't resist the lure of the mountains and continued to climb throughout her life even after being diagnosed with cancer.

Mountain climber Michael Fordham, who’s also a surfer and the author of The Book of Surfing, understands this lure. He says climbing and surfing both have that “moment when you seem to step outside yourself and your body appears to act instinctively, your movements seeming to flow without any premeditation." He writes that there’s a “deep instinct to dance with the elements, to play in the beauty and menace of the planet."  


Though she was less than five-feet-tall, Junko Tabei, who died October 20, 2016, at the age of 77, was a giant in the world's climbing and environmental communities...and her dance with the elements was unsurpassed!  

  
Pictured from left to right are Masanobu, Junko and Shinya Tabei in 2013 on Junko's annual ascent of Mt. Fuji (3776m) with a group of students from Fukushima, Japan. [Photo] Tabei family collection
 

 
SurfWriter Girls


Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.


Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Catch a Wave of Christmas Spirit!



Celebrate Surfer Style 

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Ho, Ho, Ho… SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel wish you all the joys of the holiday season.


Spending time with friends and family



Enjoying the Christmas tree all trimmed with ornaments




Sharing special treats and picking out just the right gift




To celebrate Christmas surfer style, check out this story we wrote just for you – The Day Before Christmas.  Just click on: Christmas



 Cowabunga! It turns out that Santa's a surfer dude!





Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.


Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.