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An ascent for female emancipation in Nepal

Expedition of women bucks tradition and sexual stereotypes to climb 7,000-meter Mt. Saipal

The four Nepalese women climbers and the internationally famed mountaineers they are climbing with stop to admire the mountain during their acclimatization journey to the base camp of Mt. Saipal in March. (Photo by Ashok Thapa)

Saraswati Thapa, 19, grew up poor in Bajhang, in Nepal's far west region. Her parents work their barely productive fields year-round, but they do not yield enough to feed the family for even six months. This is not an unusual story -- many young women and their families live in extreme poverty in the  region. But Thapa was determined to be different. She decided to join a team of daring young women out to do something that would take their nation's breath away.

Thapa is part of Mission Saipal, a team aspiring to reach the summit of 7,031-meter Mt. Saipal later this year. 

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