(Caters News Agency/Magazinefeatures.co.za, pics by Charlotte Orie)
A high-flying businesswoman who started climbing in her spare time has scaled seven of the world’s highest mountains in one year…
Mariam Ktiri, from Casablanca, Morocco, climbed while working as a management consultant and travelled thousands of miles across the world in pursuit of her dream. The adrenaline junkie climbed seven of the world’s highest peaks in 2019 including Mount Everest and Mount McKinley.
She said: “I worked for many years as a management consultant in leading international companies. Five Star hotels were my home, but it wasn’t fulfilling. I felt empty inside.
“I loved the feeling of freedom that climbing brings and the sense that you can the feeling you can touch the sky.
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Elbrus – Russia ? .? .? .? 🌄 Being close to nature is what I love the most! 😍? .? .? .? 📷 Taken on our way to? Elbrus High Camp on the North side.? . . . .?🔝 If you don’t have a rain 🌧 cover for your 🎒 take a trash bag! .? .? #sevensummits #mountain #choosemountains #choosemountainswomen #idhikethat #sheisthewild #idhikethatcrew #mountainplanet #hikingbangers #mountaingirl #everest #hiking #wanderlust #expeditions #sheexplores #likeamountaingirl #himalaya #climbinggirl #scarpa#earthpix #adventure #mountainlove #everestofficials #climb #summit #mountainview #mypassion #girlwhohike #outdoor #alps?
“When I told my family that I was going to become a climber they were very surprised but very supportive, especially my mum. For me it was very important to have my family behind me. This gave me a certain peace and allowed me to focus on my project.
“Being outside gave me such joy and I knew that I wanted to do more and climb big mountains. This fulfilled my life and gave me new goals and new ambitions.”
Mariam took up climbing alongside her day job and embarked on a strenuous training programme to make sure she was in top physical shape for the challenge.
Over the course of 2019 Mariam scaled seven mountains including:
- Mount Everest and Lhotse in Tibet,
- Mount McKinley in Alaska, USA,
- Mount Elbrus in Russia,
- The Carstensz pyramid in Papua Province, Indonesia,
- Aconcagua in the Andes, Argentina
- Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania
Mariam’s first challenge of the seven summits was highest mountain peak in North America, Mount McKinley, climbing up the 6190 metre high summit. Her second climb was the highest mountain in Europe, the 5,642 metre high, Mount Elubrus in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia. She tackled the popular Kilimanjaro Mountain in Tanzania which is the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres.
Mariam then scaled the 4,892 metre high Mount Vinson, the 6,960 Aconcagua in the Andes before climbing the 4,884 metre high Carstensz pyramid in Indonesia. Her final climb was to the roof the world; the 8,848 metre high Mount Everest.
After the challenge was a success, Mariam was finally able to switch off and give her body a real rest
She said: “I spent whole days just sleeping and recovering, the first few days I felt weak and had low energy but then I started to get my energy back and go back to my previous shape.
“I was doing everything on my own. I didn’t have any support. My family lives in Morocco, in the same year I moved to Switzerland. So it was very tough, but through this I learned more about me and about the power of the human being.”
Mariam added that her top piece of advice for any wannabe adventurer is to have plenty of self-belief. She said: “Believe in yourself and work hard towards your goal. Train hard because the harder you train, the easier the climb is going to be.
“Surround yourself of positive people and in the difficult moments, think of the nice moments you had and the people who love you and trust you.”