“When I went to climb Everest, my original trainer and supporter, Xhimi Begeja, said, “You are doing an expedition that is not only yours anymore, it is going to be something much, much bigger.” Yes, I’m doing 8,000-meter peaks, it’s a big project, but it’s not such a big, big project because there have been so many people who have already done it. But being from a small country, without much experience in alpinism, this isn’t just about me, this is about my country.”
Uta Ibrahimi was the first Kosovo Albanian to summit Everest and now she’s got a new project in her sights: She’s about to embark on a first ascent attempt of Lhotse’s south face via a variation of the Jerzy Kukuczka route. This namesake line is the one on which he perished thirty years ago. For Ibrahimi, undertaking one of the hardest routes in the Himalayas will be the opportunity of a lifetime.