Melissa Arnot completes sixth summit of Mt. Everest, without supplemental oxygen

Melissa Arnot summited Mt. Everest for the sixth time on Monday, without the use of supplemental oxygen.
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Melissa Arnot summited Mt. Everest for the sixth time around 1:30 a.m. MT Monday. Photo courtesy of Eddie Bauer.

Melissa Arnot summited Mt. Everest for the sixth time around 1:30 a.m. MT Monday. Photo courtesy of Eddie Bauer.

The Eddie Bauer athlete is the first American woman to summit without supplemental oxygen, and the only American woman to summit six times. She held the world record for five summits since 2013.

Arnot summited at 1:26 a.m. Mountain Time. Arnot kept this attempt a secret, and news of her records came as a surprise Monday.

“This has been an emotional journey, to say the least,” Arnot said in a press release issued by Eddie Bauer shortly after her climb. “Everest is an incredible mountain that continues to challenge and intrigue me. I never anticipated that I would be lucky enough to summit once, let alone six times. Climbing Everest without supplemental oxygen has been a goal of mine for a long time. When you succeed at reaching your goal, it makes you reflect on the hard days, the work, and the lessons I’ve learned along the way. I’m incredibly fortunate to have this experience.”

Arnot attempted to summit Mt. Everest without oxygen support last year, from the South Col, but her trip was cut short because of the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that killed 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000.

The world's most successful female Everest climber is Lhakpa Sherpa, 42, who summited Everest for the seventh time on Friday. Sherpa, born in Nepal, is a permanent resident of the United States on a path toward citizenship, according to Outside Magazine.

Since last year, Arnot has been helping to rebuild Nepal through a non-profit she co-founded called The Juniper Fund. On top of providing financial assistance to families who have lost breadwinners to tragedies like the earthquake, the organization is trying to improve local working conditions and raise awareness so consumers can make responsible choices.

Arnot is hardly taking a break after her summit. Next month, she’ll set out for the 50 Peaks challenge, and will attempt to climb the highest peak in every state within 50 days, along with mentee Maddie Miller.

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