She is Argentine, she summited Everest and marked a milestone for South American mountaineering: “I didn’t know anything about mountaineering, but I wanted to try it”

She is Argentine, she summited Everest and marked a milestone for South American mountaineering: “I didn’t know anything about mountaineering, but I wanted to try it”
She is Argentine, she summited Everest and marked a milestone for South American mountaineering: “I didn’t know anything about mountaineering, but I wanted to try it”

María Belén Silvestris, the Argentine who reached the summit of Everest and marked a milestone for South American mountaineering

After almost two months of acclimatization and seven days of ascent, on May 21 María Belén Silvestris He fulfilled one of his great dreams by reaching the summit of the Mount Everest, known as “the roof of the world”. However, his milestone took on even greater relevance for having become the youngest person in South America to complete the Seven Summits challenge (Seven Summits, in English), which consists of climbing the highest mountains on each continent. “I was trying and as I climbed other mountains, I was doing well and my body was adapting, I was gaining confidence to fulfill this dream,” the 34-year-old Argentine acknowledged this Monday from Sao Paulo, Brazil, where she returned this Sunday after a long period of time outside their country of residence.

Director of the area of marketing and a business unit of the multinational Procter & Gamble (P&G), María Belén became interested in mountaineering during a trip she was taking through Tibet, an autonomous region of China located on the northern side of the Himalayas. Without any prior experience in the discipline, the Buenos Aires native was kept awake just by observing the base camp of the climbers who are encouraged to 8,849 meters above sea level of Mount Everest.

“I was traveling through Tibet, China, I arrived at Everest, I saw the base camp of all the climbers and I said: ‘I want to upload it. Why can’t I upload it?‘I don’t know how or with what money, but I wanted to do it. He didn’t know anything about mountaineering but he wanted to try it. I tried it and as I climbed other mountains, it went well and my body adapted well, I gained confidence to fulfill this dream,” Silvestris said this Monday, during a radio interview. Miter.

María Belén Silvestris is Argentine but lives in Brazil with Tomás, her husband.

But completing the challenge of the Seven Summits was not easy, since before reaching the summit of Everest María Belén had to test herself on other iconic peaks in the world. “The first mountain was the Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Then I went to Russia, Mount Elbrusand then to our Aconcagua, which is the highest outside the Himalayas. And because of how the atmospheric pressure is located, it is the most similar to 8,000 outside the Himalayas,” he highlighted during his story.

Regarding the preparation she had to do to reach the summit of Everest, the highest peak in the Himalayas, María Belén said that the acclimatization period takes about two months because “you have to adapt your body little by little.” And regarding the time she needed to reach the summit, she specified: “Once I passed all the acclimatization phases, it took me 7 days to climb Everest”.

Although there are many mountain climbers who go out of their way to touch “the roof of the world”, one of the greatest risks they face on this journey is the possibility of suffering from freezing of the extremities, given the hostile temperatures that can occur along the route. “Temperatures can easily reach -40°. Obviously the wind is a fundamental factor, not just the weather, because it can be -40° but if there is wind, that is where the risk of freezing increases greatly. The beginning of frostbite, especially in the extremities, is a fairly normal reason why people are evacuated from the mountain,” warned the 34-year-old climber.

María Belén documented her climb to Everest through her Instagram account. She uploaded photos and videos of all the acclimatization phases prior to the ascent, and gave an account of the hostile terrain and conditions she faced. And in that improvised role of documentary filmmaker, the Argentine mountaineer also stressed the importance of sherpawhom he described as “fundamental” to reaching the summit of Everest.

María Belén Silvestris and Sonam, the Sherpa who was instrumental in helping me reach the summit of Mount Everest.

Without Sherpas, 90% of the people who climb Everest would not be able to climb it. There are different groups. First there is one who paves the way so that we mortals can climb more safely. They place the ropes to always be tied and the famous ladders that close the cracks. And in addition to that, they are responsible for carrying the extra oxygen that you need. I carried a tank but one just to reach the summit and return is not enough. They help you change the oxygen and give you support”, he detailed about the commendable task that he accomplished. sonamthe Sherpa who accompanied María Belén on her journey up Everest.

After almost two months of tiring hikes, demanding acclimatization exercises and rests in inhospitable places, María Belén reached the summit of Everest at 10:30 in the morning last Tuesday, May 21. In radio statements, she herself stated that the first thing she felt when completing the challenge of the Seven Summits was “relief,” but at the same time she knew that there was still half of the journey left to return safely to her house.

“The first thing I thought when I reached the summit was relief. It’s hard, at times you feel cold and tired… Obviously there is also a feeling of happiness, but unlike other sports, when you won, you won, and the game is over. Here when you reach the summit, you are really halfway there. We must return safely. Then you arrive, you have a little happiness and relief, but then you have to be focused to come back because, in fact, Most accidents usually happen on the way back.when people are already relaxing and very tired,” he lamented.

María Belén Silvestris summited Everest and took photos wearing an Argentine national team shirt.

The focus has to be extreme. I don’t know if the most difficult thing is to return, but it is when the negligence happens because people tend to relax more,” María Belén pointed out.

Despite being employed in a dependency relationship, which could imply certain time limitations to practice the sport that she is so passionate about, María Belén appreciated that she always had the support of the company for which she works, because it always They provided “facilities” to be able to travel and cover for her when she was not available.

Having accomplished the great challenge that had been set on the horizon, the Argentine athlete now plans to take “a break” from the mountains to put her focus, the same one that she devoted so much time to climbing Everest, on the next step of her life. : form a family with Thomas, her husband. “Now I need a break and I think the next step in my life will be to start a family, which I always put off because I knew that with the mountains my focus was 100 percent there. Once you have children, priorities change in life“, acknowledged María Belén, satisfied with having remained in the history of South American mountaineering.

Before undertaking the extensive path to the top of Everest, with the aim of completing the ascent to the Seven Summits, María Belén climbed the Puncak Jaya (4,884 meters above sea level, in Oceania); he Vinson massif (4,892 meters above sea level, Antarctica); he Mount Elbrus (5,642 meters above sea level, Europe); he Kilimanjaro (5,895 meters above sea level, Africa); he Denali (6,194 meters above sea level, North America) and the Aconcagua (6,961 meters above sea level, South America).

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