Saray Khumalo hailed as strong woman after conquering Mount Everest

Khumalo descended successfully to base camp at the weekend, despite losing two team members along the way.

Saray Khumalo climbs Mount Everest. Picture: Summits with a purpose Facebook page

JOHANNESBURG - Saray Khumalo is being hailed as a strong woman as the country celebrates her successful climb to the top of Mount Everest.

Khumalo descended successfully to base camp at the weekend, despite losing two team members along the way.

Irish professor Seamus Lawless fell during his descent on Thursday, while Indian national Ravi Thakar was found dead on Friday morning.

Khumalo made history as she became the first African black woman to summit Mount Everest.

After spending two days facing physical and emotional battles, Sunday was the first day the team could use their own tent, get warm food and had internet access. They were also able to process the deaths of two of their team members.

Khumalo’s friend Erika Gibson said: “Saray is a strong woman. It’s not the first time she’s been exposed to trauma on Everest. She was there when the avalanche hit in 2015 and the earthquake happened a year thereafter.”

Gibson said there were many factors to consider as the team made their way to lower ground. She said it would be at least one week before Khumalo returns to South Africa.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)