Adventurers of the Year 2005
Josune Bereziartu: Climber
On May 9 professional climber Josune Bereziartu, 33, started up Bimbaluna, a 65-foot (20-meter) limestone well in Saint Loup, Switzerland, to do what no woman had ever done: climb one of the world's few 5.15s. The rating is so difficult it didn't even exist until four years ago, and since then, only 12 people had managed it, all of them men.
For Bereziartu, a 15-year rock veteran from the Basque region of northern Spain, finishing Bimbaluna was a real coup. What had taken the route's first ascensionist three years took her just five weeks of dogged determination.
"Bimbaluna," says Bereziartu, "is the highest point of my career." And to female climbers, it is one more step toward closing the sport's shrinking gender gap.
- Nat Geo Expeditions