Google celebrates Junko Tabei's birth anniversary

Google Doodle, depicting Junko Tabei, signifies her feat of becoming the first woman to have reached the Seven Summits - the highest peaks on each continent.

Japanese climber Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mt. Everest in 1975, is greeted by friends during a procession celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ascent of the world's highest mountain on May 27, 2003 in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Japanese climber Junko Tabei, the first woman to summit Mt. Everest in 1975, is greeted by friends during a procession celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ascent of the world's highest mountain on May 27, 2003 in Kathmandu, Nepal.   -  Getty Images

Google Doodle, a temporary alteration of the Google logo on its homepages intended to commemorate notable events, put up a small animation of mountaineer Junko Tabei by artist Cynthia Cheng, on Sunday, to mark her 80th birth anniversary.

The doodle, which depicts the Japanese climber scaling mountains, signifies her feat of additionally becoming the first woman to have reached the Seven Summits - the highest peaks on each continent, besides conquering the of the 8,848m-high Mount Everest.

Beginning at an early age of 10, Tabei first went on a class trip to Mount Nasu. The trip got her interested in pursuing climbing as a hobby. However, mountaineering being an expensive sport, her family wasn't able to support her much financially.

READ: Bachendri Pal, first Indian woman to scale Mount Everest, reveals story of bruised egos 35 years on

After graduating from the Showa Women's University in 1969, she made history by forming the first Ladies Climbing Club (LCC) in Japan.

Tabei, a mother by the time of the climb, had difficulty finding sponsors for the famous Everest hike. To save money, LCC used recycled car seats to sew up waterproof pouches and over-gloves. The club members also purchased goose feather from China and made their own sleeping bags.

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Depiction of Junko Tabei by artist Cynthia Cheng on Google Doodle.

 

The team, which began the hike in 1975 from Kathmandu, used the same route to ascend the mountain that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay had taken in 1953.

The path to the peak was not easy and in May, an avalanche struck the camp when the group was camping at 6,300 metres. While, most of the group got buried in the snow, Tabei lost consciousness for approximately six minutes, until her sherpa guide dug her out.

Twelve days after the avalanche, on May 16, she unfurled Japan's flag on the highest peak of the world. Tabei was later congratulated by the King of Nepal and the Japanese government. Her expedition was even turned into a television mini series later.