Doodle for Wanda Rutkiewicz, the woman who climbed Everest:
For many, it is still the last great mountain warrior. Wanda Rutkiewicz was a pioneer: of the Himalayan, of high-altitude businesses without oxygen, of impossible challenges, of feminism in mountaineering in a world where then the equal confrontation between man and woman seemed to not exist in the awards. 41 years after his great Everest enterprise, Rutkiewicz is celebrated with a Google doodle, a hat on his head and a backpack while climbing the snowy mountain. Thus the search engine remembers that on October 16th 1978 the Polish climber was the first European woman and the third woman in the world to climb Mount Everest. The mountaineer is also famous for having been, in 1986, the first woman in the world to reach the summit of K2 without auxiliary oxygen: during the enterprise also Liliane Barrard climbed the summit which arrived 30 minutes later and unfortunately died during the descent.
Wanda Rutkiewicz was born in Plungé, Lithuania (then Polish territory), on February 4, 1943 and died in May 1992 on Mount Kangchenjunga while trying to climb her ninth peak above eight thousand. His dream was to accomplish the feat of reaching the summit of all fourteen thousand of the world, but it was broken just during the attempt of Kangchenjunga.
Graduated in electronic engineering, she discovered she had a great passion and a talent for climbing almost by accident: in 1961 her motorcycle ran out of fuel and one of the people who stopped to help her invited her to join a climb. Since then he has not stopped walking towards the highest peaks in the world, becoming an internationally recognized mountaineer. He succeeded in the company of Everest after two other women, the Japanese Junko Tabei and the Tibetan climber Phanthog, both in 1975. „I loved the fresh air, the climb, the excitement“ he said after the climb, exhausted and in ecstasy . On June 23, 1986, he succeeded in another epic undertaking: K2. She was the first woman, without supplemental oxygen, to arrive there. The Frenchman Michel Parmentier and the spouses Maurice and Liliane Barrard even waited at the top. The latter will both die during the descent phase and a few days later the same cruel fate also affected Renato Casarotto and Julie Tullis.
Today, years later from those challenges, the world remembers the charm of Wanda Rutkiewicz, his determination, charisma, strength of mind. After Everest he said he was certain that a woman would never get a role equal to a man in a mixed expedition and so began to organize expeditions exclusively formed by women. He was a person who accepted few compromises, today still described as stubborn, unpredictable, determined, fierce.
When he reached the summit of Everest, on the same day that Pope John Paul II was elected, his fame became global and became a source of inspiration for all the climbers of the world even though – recalls the New York Times – many male mountaineers tried to discredit it by publicly doubting some of its businesses.
In 1990 the climber declared that she wanted to „hunt“ all of the planet’s eight thousand: she managed to reach eight peaks, but died along the ninth feat. He was 49 when he tried to climb Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak.
The last to see it was the Mexican mountaineer Carlos Carsolio. Wanda arrived 300 meters from the summit, then fell behind and every trace of her disappeared. On 29 April 1995 his body was found on the 7,700 meters by the Italian Silvio Mondinelli together with Simone Moro, Fausto De Stefani, Marco Galezzi, Mauro Mabellini, Omar Oprandi and Josef Rakonkaj on the opposite side to the one along which he had climbed. It was they who gave the last dignified burial to the great mountain warrior.