The first woman to conquer Mount Everest, Junko Tabei of Japan, has died aged 77, media reported Saturday.
Tabei died of peritoneal cancer on Thursday at a hospital in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Japan's public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News said, quoting her family.
She completed the first conquest of Mount Everest by a woman in 1975, accomplishing the feat via the southeast ridge route.
She went on to conquer soaring peaks in several continents -- Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount McKinley in the United States and the Vinson Massif in Antarctica -- heralding the era of women climbers.
Even after reaching the world's highest peak, the Fukushima native continued climbing mountains at home and abroad.
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In an interview with AFP in 2003, she said: "I don't have the desire to climb Everest again any more. If I had enough time and money to do so, I would rather climb other mountains that I have not attempted before."
Her last challenge was made in July when she climbed Mount Fuji, central Japan, with high school students, according to NHK.
Image: Junko Tabei climbs up the snow-covered slopes of Ismoil Somoni Peak, the highest mountain in Tajikistan, during an expedition in 1985. Credit: Public Domain/Creative Commons
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