Viridiana Álvarez Chávez just became the first Latina to climb the world’s deadliest mountain, adding to her already impressive list of accomplishments.
Chávez climbed three of the world’s tallest mountains between 2017 and 2019 — Mount Everest in Nepal, K2 at the border of China and Pakistan, and Kanchenjunga in Nepal. K2 is considered to be the deadliest of the world’s five tallest mountains. Under 400 people have reached the top of K2, and 90 have perished in the attempt.
During her ascent, she watched another climber fall to their death, which caused her to freeze in place for several minutes. Despite the frightening sight, she decided to press on to finish summiting the 28,251-foot-tall mountain.
You might think that Chávez has always been a climber in peak physical shape, but that’s not actually the case. She only started exercising in her late 20s, and climbing about seven years ago. Now, she’s conquered the world’s deadliest mountains and holds the Guinness World Record for the fastest female ascent of the top three highest mountains with supplementary oxygen in just one year and 364 days.
According to Guinness World Records, Chávez’s next project is to summit the 14 highest mountains in the world and become the first person from North America to achieve this goal.