Former Teacher Completes Fastest Everest Ascent by a Woman

A former teacher from Hong Kong has carried out the fastest ascent of Mount Everest by a woman, beating the previous record by more than half a day.

Ada Tsang Yin-hung, 44, reached the summit of the world's highest peak in a record-breaking 25 hours and 50 minutes last Sunday, according to Everest base camp's government liaison officer.

This was well clear of the previous record of Nepali Phunjo Jhangmu Lama who had completed the ascent in 39 hours 6 minutes in 2017.

"She left the base camp at 1:20 pm on Saturday and reached (the top at) 3:10 pm the next day," Gyanendra Shrestha told Agence France Presse. Most climbers would typically spend a few days in each of the different camps before heading to the summit.

The top of the mountain in Nepal, revered by climbers and those who live beneath its shadow, stands at 29,031 feet above sea level.

Mount Everest in Nepal
Mount Everest and the range surrounding it is shown in this illustrative image. Ada Tsang Yin-hung has broke the world record for an ascent of the world's highest peak by a woman. Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

The government in Kathmandu provides certificates to those who get to the top, but Tsang's achievement still needs to be ratified by Guinness World Records, which Newsweek has contacted for comment.

This year, the Nepali government issued a record of 408 permits to climbers for this season after last year's season was canceled due to the COVID pandemic.

So far, around 350 climbers have summited this spring, although positive tests for the virus by some climbers at base camp scuppered the expedition plans of at least two teams, the AFP reported.

Messaging the South China Morning Post from Nepal, Tsang said that she was concerned about challenges such as the weather, her own health, and communication with her team of 10, as well as the prospect of getting stuck among the line of other climbers on the way up.

Female mountaineer Ada Tsang Yin-hung of China's Hong Kong scaled #MountEverest in 25 hrs 50 mins on May 23, refreshing female's speed climbing record on the world's highest peak. The avid mountaineer is also the first female from Hong Kong to conquer Mt Qomolangma.

— Sports China (@PDChinaSports) May 28, 2021

"Any variable could make you fail," she told the paper, "of course, I am happy that I can break the record."

"I always tell my team...' aim high, expect high, so you can achieve high'. When I reached the mountain top, I felt like I proved this was not just empty talk."

Tsang used to be a life education teacher at a secondary school in Ma On Shan but quit her job in 2017 to pursue her quest to become the first woman from Hong Kong to get to the top of Everest.

Her first attempt on the mountain was in 2014, which she had to abandon following an avalanche near the base camp that killed 16 Nepali Sherpa guides, the Post reported.

In 2015, another attempt was abandoned following an avalanche caused by an earthquake. She was successful on her third attempt in 2017, an ascent that took four days.

Meanwhile, at 75, Arthur Muir became the oldest American to climb the peak last Sunday, Garrett Madison, expedition leader at the Madison Mountaineering company told Reuters from the base camp.

The previous record was held by Bill Burke who was 67 when he got to the summit in 2009, the agency reported.