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Oregon Contractor Becomes 1st U.S. Woman to Scale Mt. Everest

From Times Wire Services

Stacy Marie Allison, a building contractor from Portland, Ore., became the first American woman to scale Mt. Everest, Nepal’s Ministry of Tourism said Friday.

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

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

She is part of the 11-member Northwest American Everest Expedition led by James Frush, 38, an attorney from Seattle. The team, calling itself “Cowboys on Everest,” was attempting the climb to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the peak’s conquest by Americans.

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“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 is “certain there will be other summit attempts by members of the expedition.”

The Nepal ministry said Allison is the seventh woman to have conquered Everest, the world’s highest peak.

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

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“Where the two men dropped off and why I don’t know,” McConnell said. The ministry said Allison and the guide launched their final assault from the American team’s fourth camp, which was set up two days earlier 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 more difficult northern side in 1987, reaching almost 26,250 feet.

Junko Tabei, a Japanese homemaker, first broke the male monopoly on Everest by climbing the peak on May 16, 1975.

Other members of the 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 Mission Viejo, Calif., and Charles Schertz, 32, of Pittsburgh.


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