Alpinist Raha Moharrak Talks Empowerment, Travel Plans & Emotional Mountains
"Not the last Saudi woman to climb Everest & the seven summits," her Instagram bio reads.
On International Women's Day, we had the chance to chat with leading female figures hailing from Saudi Arabia.
Raha Moharrak is a remarkable alpinist, best known for being the first Saudi woman and youngest Arab to climb Mount Everest, one of the most challenging mountains in the world. But her achievements don't stop there - Raha is also the first Saudi woman to complete all seven summits. An avid explorer, Raha has also a new travel show on Al Mashhad channel.
Raha's journey to the top of the seven summits is by no means an easy one. Raha's story is a testament to the power of persistence and hard work in the face of adversity, and she continues to be a role model for women and girls around the world.
Click through our unfiltered interview with Raha where we discuss her achievements, her travel bucket list and her Women's Day plans.
Can you put in the words what it feels when you reach the top of a mountain?
I cannot put it into words. I felt both polar opposite feelings. Grandiose and miniscule. I felt on top of the world but also tiny, like a gust of wind. I feel like a piece of dust that could be blown in a second.
Any plans for Women’s Day?
My plan is to attend as many events as possible, to mingle, inspire, to be active. It's our month to celebrate. I have a hectic schedule, I love to be part of this narrative and continue to empower women.
Any tips for Saudi girls or women interested in climbing but do not know where to start?
My tip is to start and do not let failure stop. We decide whether to make a failure, a complete failure or a lesson. I am an alpinist though I mostly do ice climbing. We do not have a lot of snow in KSA, yet. But, my best advice to book experiences in Neom and AlUla. But also give diving a shot in the Red Sea in Jeddah, my beloved hometown. Saudi is beautiful gem of adventure that is waiting to be explored.
What is next on your travel bucket list?
My travel bucket list right now consists of Japan, Mount Fuji and I also want to go back to Latin American. I want to go to space too. I have my own travel show which is amazing. All in all, my travel bucket list depends on the season and I love it that way.
What is the hardest mountain to climb? We mean it in the literal sense but also metaphorically.
Hands down the Denali mountain, super technical and super hard. Aside from the extreme cold, you are your own support, you have to be able to carry heavy loads. It defintely kicked my butt. I had to go back to plan it again and finish my seven summits. I left pieces of myself on that all up and down that mountain.
The most difficult metaphorical mountain I would say is living by my own rules and my own parameters, that was the most difficult thing emotionally. A lot of people just want to hear the glam about climbing the mountain but you do not actually get there without heavy emotion, fear and of course causing a lot of worry for family members and loved ones.