Stacy Allison becomes first American woman to climb Mount Everest

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Stacy Marie Allison, a construction worker from Portland, Ore., became the first American woman and the world's seventh to scale Mount Everest, the Ministry of Tourism said today.

The ministry, which authorizes Himalayan expeditions, said Allison, 30, reached the 29,028-foot summit at 10:38 a.m. Thursday, having followed the normal southeast ridge approach.


Allison, who began her climb Aug. 22, was accompanied by Sherpa guide Pasang Gyalzen, 26, the announcement said.

She was part of the 11-member Northwest American Everest Expedition led by James Frush, 38, an attorney from Seattle. The team was attempting the Everest climb to commemorate the 25th year of the peak's conquest by Americans.

'The weather was excellent on the mountain all during the month of September, allowing them to be up there earlier than expected,' said Dan McConnell, the team's spokesman in Seattle. 'They're at least a week ahead of where they thought they'd be.'


McConnell said he was 'certain there will be other summit attempts by members of the expedition.'

'While Stacy's on the way down, I'm fairly certain a second summit team is working its way up as she's coming down,' said McConnell, who added he received confirmation of the feat from a trucking firm in Nepal that has been in communication with the expedition.

'They space the summit teams out, and keep sending them up the mountain. The objective is to get as many people up the mountain as possible.'

The tourism ministry said Allison was the first American woman and the seventh in the world to have conquered Everest, the world's highest peak. In 1982, American Marty Hoey, a woman from Gig Harbor, Wash., died on the mountain during an expedition led by Lou Whittaker.

Allison left the team's base camp at the 17,000 foot level on Saturday with the Sherpa guide, Frush and Dr. Steve Ruoss, 33, of San Francisco.

'Where the two men dropped off and why I don't know,' McConnell said. The tourism ministry said Allison and the guide launched their final assualt from the American team's fourth camp, which was set up two days earlier on the South Col at 26,070 feet.


'All they carry is oxygen and packs with food in it,' McConnell said. 'They stay as light as possible.'

Allison has climbed for 12 years. She made her first attempt on Everest from the North Face in 1987, reaching almost 26,250 feet. In 1982, she scaled the 22,349-foot Ama Dablam, known as Nepal's Matterhorn for its beauty.

Junko Tabei, a Japanese housewife, first broke the male monopoly on Everest by climbing the peak with oxygen May 16, 1975. The year was designated by the United Nations as International Women's Year.

Several days later, the Tibentan woman Phantog reached the peak from the north side in Tibet. Two Polish women and one each from India and Canada have also conquered the peak.

Other members of the Northwest team are Seattle residents Dan Goodman, 30; Diana Dailey, 44; Peggy Luce, 29; Bob Berg, 42; David Hambly, 47, and John Petroske, 27. Also on the team, but not part of the official expedition, are medical members Ruoss; Dr. James Ellis, 42, of Orange County, Calif., and Charles Schertz, 32, of Pittsburgh.

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