Melissa Arnot Makes History on Everest
On May 23, mountaineering guide Melissa Arnot became the first American woman to successfully summit 29,035-foot Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. She'd been working toward her goal — one of the few "firsts" left on the world's tallest peak — for nearly a decade, and had five Everest summits with oxygen under her belt when she nabbed the record. Fewer than 3 percent of Everest climbers attempt the summit without supplemental oxygen. Arnot, 32, had gotten close in 2013, but ended up aborting the attempt to help an unresponsive Sherpa. She was back on Everest in both 2014 and 2015, when all expeditions were shut down by an avalanche and an earthquake, respectively. Arnot's record feels particularly satisfying this year, as Everest managed to shake off some of the pall of the two prior seasons. In addition to Arnot's historic summit, Lhakpa Sherpa scored her seventh, setting a new women's world record for most Everest ascents.
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