An expert Spanish climber has told how officials in Iran stopped her from summiting a mountain because she is a woman.
Raquel Garcia was about 2,200 feet from the summit of 18,606-foot-high Mount Damavand in Mazandaran Province in Iran when her guide turned her and her party back.
According to Raquel, when she and her six companions began the last stage of the ascent, their guide told them that “time was running out and they had to go back”.
But, said Raquel, this was a lie, as they were within an hour of reaching the peak.
The climber – who hails from Torrelavega, Cantabria – said the real reason the group was turned back by the guide in the Islamic Republic was because she is a woman.
She told Spanish media: “How they treated us was probably the most frustrating thing because they’re projects that take a year of work.
“It’s a very difficult path and to be there, a few metres from the summit, and have them tell you you can’t go up because you’re a woman, that’s bad and ugly.”
Raquel and her friends from Torrelavega had chosen to scale Mount Damavand following their conquering of 19,984-foot-high Pisang Peak in Nepal.
She had picked the Iranian peak because it was a similar height and no woman from Cantabria had ever reached its summit.
Raquel said: “When we went in May, the whole Masha Amini business hadn’t happened and everyone had spoken very well of the country to me.”
But she will not let the bad experience deter her and hopes to summit another mountain in Asia in May 2023.