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Three Female Mahitala Students Headed for the Elbrus and Kilimanjaro Summits

Three female student members of Mahasiswa Parahyangan Pecinta Alam (MAHITALA)/The Parahyangan Student Society of nature lovers of Parahyangan Catholic University will continue the Mahitala expedition in conquering seven of the world’s highest Summits. They are going to climb the Elbrus Summit in Russia and the Kilimanjaro summit in Tanzania. The three highly sprited students are: Francisca Dimitri Inkiriwang (21), Mathilda Dwi Lestari (21), and Dian Indah Carolina (19). They were officially sent abroad by the Rector of the Parahyangan Catholic University Prof. Robertus Wahyudi Triweko, Ph.D. in a ceremony held on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 at 16.00 WIB (Indonesia Western Time). The ceremony called “The Women of Indonesia’s Seven Summits Expeditions” was also joined by a female rights activist and the wife of the West Java Province, Netty Heryawan.

All three will depart for Russia on May 8, then fly on to Tanzania to raise the Indonesian flag on top of the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. “In 21 days (May 8-29) we will try to conquer two mountains on two separate continents, Elbrus in Europe and Kilimanjaro in Africa,” said Dimitri. Dimitri (affectionately called Dee Dee), further stated that the two weeks estimate by the team has undergone a rigorous and a no-nonsense preparation.

“The expedition time has been calculated since early on, we had consulted with our team mates from the 2011 Seven Summit expedition. The two weeks has included rest and acclimatization (Body conditioning at a higher altitude). All has been well prepared and we hope that our journey will run smoothly.”, She hoped.

Mahitala has succesfully conquered the pyramid Cartensz summit in Papua, along with the expedition to restore the climbing route ropes. The Rector of Parahyangan Catholic University stated that it is the commitment of Mahitala to keep those ropes safe for climbers. He then added that a similar expedition has succesfully been made by Mahitala UNPAR in 2010-2011.

Netty Heryawan quoted Baden Powell in her speech,”A country will never lose future leaders as long as there are youths who possess the courage to explore nature and climb mountains.” She appreciated this activity and said that a female not only has to rely on her nature but also possess other skills like males. Female intuition can be her strength, especially to preserve nature. After all,Vandana Shiva in India once put a stop to a deforestation effort by simply hugging a tree.

Based on statistics retrieved from www.7summits.com, there are only 51 females out of 347 climbers that have managed to conquer the world’s seven tallest summits so far. If the three students are able to conquer those seven summits, they will be the first Indonesian females to be called “seven summitters”. After Kilimanjaro summit, they will conquer the four other summits namely: Everest in Nepal, Aconcagua in Argentina, Vinson Massif in Antartica, and Denali Summit in North America.