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Doris hopes to be first Sabahan woman to conquer Mt Everest
Published on: Saturday, March 08, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Forty-five-year-old mother of three, Doris Jetirin Sitaun, is hoping to become the first Sabahan woman to conquer Mount Everest in April or May this year.

Having conquered Mount Kinabalu (4,095 metres) more than 20 times since her first climb in December 1982, Doris is determined that she can conquer the tallest mountain in the world, more than double the height of Mount Kinabalu, at 8,848 metres.

"I am both physically and mentally well prepared for this challenge and become the first Sabahan woman to fly our State flag at the peak of Everest.

"Unfortunately, the only thing that is stopping me from achieving my dream to conquer Everest is the cost which is estimated to be over US$120,000 (about RM390,000)," she told a press conference here Friday.

According to Sitaun, she only has until March 15 to confirm her participation in the climb, which will be between April and May this year (Spring season climb).

"Many people don't realise that one of the challenges that a person faces when he or she wants to climb Mount Everest is the expenses.

"I have been to Nepal twice to do physical conditioning and acclimatisation by climbing Island Peak and Mount Ama Dablam, and those two climbs alone cost me over RM20,000," she said.

Sitaun explained that in October 2012, she was in Nepal for a few months to climb Imja Tse, or better known as Island Peak which stands at 6,189m, as part of her training and conditioning requirements.

In December 2013, she visited Nepal again to climb Mount Ama Dablam (6,812m) - a climb which even experienced mountaineers vouch as an even harder climb compared to Mount Everest because of its steeper gradient (80-85 degrees), looming hanging glacier and extreme high winds.

"Despite all that, I successfully conquered Ama Dablam and proved that a Sabahan mother of three can do it," she said.

Sitaun has previously conquered all the Mount Kinabalu routes, including Low's Peak Circuit Mountain Torq's Via Ferrata - the tallest Via Ferrata in the world, Multipeak on the Western Plateau, South Peak, Oyayubi Iwu and Alexandra Peak via technical climbing route and Western Gurkha Hut for acclimatisation training.

According to Sitaun, she has met the climbing criterions and had been given permission by the Nepal Authority to climb Mount Everest this Spring.

Her climb will be a solo effort with the guidance of 'Sherpa' or mountain guide, Jamling Bhote, a seven-time Everest conqueror and one-time Mount K2 (the most dangerous mountain to climb in the world) of Ever Quest Expeditions (Nepal).

"Through this expedition, I hope to become an ambassador of nature and sports tourism for Sabah and, at the same time, help to promote our State as an ideal destination, especially for extreme sports.

"I also hope to create greater awareness and self belief among Sabahans from all walks of life, young or old, men or women, that nothing is impossible as long as we put our hearts and minds into it," said Sitaun.

Currently, Sitaun has managed to get one company to sponsor her expedition, but the company has yet to confirm the amount they will be sponsoring.

"I hope that local and international companies, as well as the Government, will come forward and support this expedition by sponsoring because this is not just for me but for Sabah and Malaysia," she said.

For more information about Doris' coming adventure, contact Doris at 016 8036868 or email at djsitaun@yahoo.com.my, or her appointed Expedition Management Team led by Petrus M Jikiun (019-8529299), Evaristus Mobilik (016-8130399), Kalistah S Sitaun (013-5548823) and Oswald Quadra at 010-9588902.

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