On Monday May 30, 2005, two Iranians became the first Muslim women to conquer Mount Everest as the early season expedition took advantage of a rare weather window to reach the world's highest summit.
Farkhondeh Sadegh, 36, a graphic designer, and Loleh Keshavarz, 26, a dentist, hoisted their country's tricoloured flag on the summit together with six Iranian men at 10:45am local time yesterday.
"It's fantastic," Mohammad Hajabolfath, the editor of Iran Mountain Zone, a website for climbers, told The Scotsman.
"It is a very big thing for women in Iran. Because of weather conditions, most climbers here expected to hear the Iranian team would be returning unsuccessfully."
The 21-strong Iranian team, including seven women, arrived in Nepal in mid-March but their expedition, like many others on Everest, was hampered by treacherous weather.
The window of opportunity for a final push had become ever narrower in recent days with the approach of the monsoon season.
A huge avalanche earlier this month caused havoc for the team which had been forced lower down the mountain by snowstorms.
"We opened the tent to see what had happened but a great deal of snow came into our tent," a gloomy dispatch sent to EverestNews.com recently said.
"We are in base camp now and waiting for good weather to climb," the report ended.
It is 30 years since Junko Tabai, a diminutive Japanese housewife who weighed just 7 stone, became the first woman to scale Everest.
A men's team from the Islamic republic first scaled Everest in 1998.
Mountaineering, long popular with Iranian men, has gained enthusiasts among Iranian women, along with golf, skiing and even paragliding - activities in which the need to keep the body well covered is not a serious hindrance to performance.
Some 69 women responded when the Iran Mountaineering Federation threw down the Everest gauntlet last year.
That number was whittled down by a series of gruelling elimination tests in Iran, which is home to Mount Damavand, a dormant, snow-covered volcano. At 18,605ft, it is the Middle East's highest peak and more than four times the height of Ben Nevis.
The Everest success will raise even further the profile of women's sports in Iran which have surged in recent years.
Earlier this year, Iran hosted the All Women Games for Muslim and Asian Capitals.
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