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Wanda Rutkiewicz, who was she? Today’s Google Doodle honours a Polish mountain climber

Google is celebrating the 41st anniversary of Wanda Rutkiewicz’s journey to the summit of Mount Everest.

The Polish mountain climber reached the summit on this day in 1978, becoming the third woman to ascend the world’s highest peak, and the first Pole, either male or female.

To celebrate this landmark event, Google has today launched a special Google Doodle, which features a cartoon of the climber in action.

Here’s everything you need to know about Rutkiewicz, and the Google Doodle to celebrate her momentous climb.
She went on to study electrical engineering at Wroclaw University of Technology.

However, it wasn’t until 1961 that she discovered her passion for climbing, after her motorcycle ran out of fuel.

One of the people who stopped to help invited her to join him on a climb of the Falcon Mountains.

When did she climb Mount Everest?
Rutkiewicz reached the peak of Mount Everest on 16 October, 1978, becoming the third woman to reach the peak, and the first Pole.

She wrote: “I adored the physical movement, the fresh air, the camaraderie, and the excitement.”
Which other mountains has she climbed?
Following her trek up Mount Everest, Rutkiewicz went on to complete seven more 8,000-metre-plus climbs.

In 1988, she became the first woman to climb K2 – the world’s second-highest peak – doing so without using any supplemental oxygen.

Sadly, two of her fellow climbers perished on the descent from K2.
What else is Rutkiewicz known for?
Rutkiewicz published books and produced documentaries about her climbs, and went on to advocate for women’s climbing and to organise several all-female expeditions.

In 1990, she declared her goal of climbing eight 8,000-meter-plus (26,247-foot-plus) peaks in just over a year’s time, a program she called the “Caravan of Dreams.”

While she did not complete that particular mission, Wanda Rutkiewicz has continued to inspire generations of climbers to follow in her footsteps.

What does today’s Google Doodle show?
Today’s Google Doodle shows a cartoon of Rutkiewicz as she ascended the peak of Mount Everest.

The Doodle appears for Google users in Austria, Croatia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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