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Photo: Emma Svensson

Lifestyle

She has a passion to climb mountains

Emma Svensson began mountain climbing after seeing the disaster movie Everest. Despite the number of people who die in the film, she was inspired to see how far a “normal” person could go in the sport. She now combines her passion with raising money to protect rainforests.

When 36-year-old Emma Svensson started climbing, even she probably didn’t realize quite how far she would manage to go. Six months after seeing the movie Everest and with no previous experience to speak of, she scaled her first peak, the 4,421m Mount Whitney in California – the highest in mainland US. Her next challenge was to climb the highest peak in every European country – officially 49 mountains – in one year. She started with the highest, Mount Elbrus in Russia, and ended back home in Sweden with Kebnekaise, incredibly, little more than two years after learning how to climb. 

While each global ascent had its highlights, some stick more in her memory than others.

Svensson uses her trips to raise funds for the American NGO, The Rainforest Trust, which protects endangered areas around the world. 

Yanapaccha, Peru

I was in Peru last year and climbed four 5,000m mountains in eight days. Yanapaccha has the most amazing summit ridge. We climbed in a total whiteout before reaching the ridge, where the sun then came out for us. The exposure is incredible and so are the views.

Ama Dablam, Nepal

It was a dream to stand at the summit of one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. When you trek to Everest Base Camp, you can’t miss the view over this impressive mountain. More technical and steeper than Everest, with exposure out of this world at Camp 2, this has been my favorite mountain to climb so far.

Mount Khalatsa, South Ossetia, Georgia

We were the first tourists in a year in this region. Just to get the permit to climb the mountain took months. But going to a very remote place in the world was a unique experience. There was almost no information about this mountain since it doesn’t get climbed very often, so we flew our drone to scout the best way to the top. When we got down again, the KGB was waiting for us and wanted to ask a lot of questions!

Triglav, Slovenia

I really loved climbing the highest mountain in Slovenia as part of my 49 peaks project. The scenery is certainly among the most beautiful I’ve encountered, and the climb is over 2,000 vertical meters, with a via ferrata on the last part. A great challenge for anyone who wants to climb a mountain on their own that’s more than just hiking.

Matterhorn, Italy/Switzerland

This iconic mountain on the border of Italy and Switzerland can be climbed from both sides. I did it from the more difficult Italian side and on my first attempt I had to make an emergency bivouac on the narrow and steep ridge and spend the night there, because my partner was ill. It was very cold and I didn’t get much sleep – an adventure for sure.

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