For those of you unfamiliar with Mount Godwin-Austen, also called K2, it is the second highest mountain in the world following Mount Everest. With a peak elevation of 8,611 meters above sea level (28,251 ft) and subject to frequent, severe storms, it is also one of the deadliest and most difficult mountains to climb in the world. In fact, it is estimated that one in every four people die from trying.
Luo Jing, 39, however, recently became the first Chinese woman to successfully climb K2, which also makes her the fourth Chinese person ever to reach the summit. But this was no new challenge by any means for the single mom. Prior to the 41-day expedition, Luo already had seven other 8,000 meter level summits conquered under her belt. She even quit her job in the IT industry in 2008 to continue her lifelong dream of conquering 14 summits, the goal she set for herself.
As you can imagine, climbing mountains is no easy task regardless of gender and it is also the reason that Luo has developed a passion for this hobby.
“Different from other sports, mountain-climbing has no female or male distinctions,” she tells China Daily. “Everyone has to face the same conditions and depend on themselves as soon as they start climbing, and no one can give you particular care because you are female.” She also admitted, however, that it has been increasingly difficult to persuade fellow females to embark on this dangerous journey with her.
Feature photo courtesy of Women of China