First woman to conquer Everest dies aged 77

  • 23/10/2016
Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei (Getty)
Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei (Getty)

The first woman to conquer Everest has died at the age of 77.

Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei ascended Mount Everest in May of 1975, aged 35, before going on to climb all of the world's seven highest peaks over the next 17 years.

Ms Tabei was diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen in 2012, leading to her death this week.

She last tackled a mountain only three months ago, climbing Japan's Mt Fuji in July with high school students who were affected by the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

Ms Tabei was originally from the Fukushima prefecture, which suffered badly after the 2011 disaster.

Ms Tabei believed her achievements were beneficial to the perception of women in Japan's traditionally patriarchal society.

"Back in 1970s Japan, it was still widely considered that men were the ones to work outside and women should stay at home," she told the Japan Times in 2012.

"Even women who had jobs, they were just asked to serve tea."