By Modnath Dhakal Kathmandu, Dec. 5: Asma Al Thani has become the first Qatari woman to successfully conquer Mt. Ama Dablam, a 6,812 metres high peak in the Himalayas. The 31-year-old from Gulf Royal Family completed her exciting journey to the mountain amidst adversity that even threatened her life at times.
"Our way back to the base camp was devastated by an avalanche. I was scared to death and was about to abandon the climb but my Sherpa guide kept inspiring me and motivated me to push for some extra metres every time," she said. She conquered the mountain on 8 November 2021.
According to her, Sherpa guides would stick their head out from the cliff above and ask her to reach there as if it was the summit, but it wasn't. There were many cliffs which needed to be overcome, said Asma. "I have climbed mountains like Kilimanjaro, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu but Ama Dablam is the hardest one. It presented the kind of challenge that mountaineers would keep in their minds and hearts all their life. I have many stories to tell about my journey to Ama Dablam peak," she said.
Asma says she has adventure at her heart and wants to prove herself multiple times. She was among the first group of Qatari women to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in African continent - 5895m, in Tanzania in 2014. "It was a journey which I undertook to prove myself. It was difficult to convince my father when I decided to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa," she said amusingly, "I informed my father about my plan after making all preparations for the trip, he was silent then."
She also successfully climbed the highest mountain in South America – Aconcagua in Argentina in 2019. Then, she moved to scale Mt. Elbrus (5,642m) in Russia in August this year and came to Nepal to climb Mt. Manaslu inSeptember. Asma successfully climbed Manaslu on 27 September. Immediately after the success, she reached on the top of Dhaulagiri. Why did she challenge the mountains back-to-back? "I think adventure is in my blood. I find myself fulfilled going through every challenge," she said. All of her feats at the mountains are the first for any Qatari woman.
Not only the mountains, she also became the first female Qatari to ski to the last degree of the North Pole as part of an international team that aimed to foster greater dialogue and understanding between women from Western and Arabiancultures. On December 1, she left Kathmandu for the South Pole to create another record for any Arabic woman by skiing on the snow there. A woman from Qatar which has the highest point from the sea level at just 90 metres, Asma aims to climb Mt. Everest next year. She had come to Nepal last year amidst COVID-19 pandemic to scale the tallest mountain in the world but failed due to adverse weather conditions.
"However, I have not backed down from the aim to reach the summit. I want to be the first Arab woman to climb Mt. Everest," she said with a smile before leaving Kathmandu for the South Pole. With an Executive Masters in Sports Management and EMBA in Innovation and Social Business, she has successfully managed marketing and communications for Qatar's high-profile sports events, including 2015 Men's Handball World Championships, 2015 AIBA Boxing World Championships and 2015 IPC Athletics World Championships as well as for Qatar's award-winning Olympic Hospitality House at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. She is currently handling the responsibility of Director of Marketing and Communications at the Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC).