From BBC to Yetness
Female Yeti – Budapest-born Zsuzsanna Kovács was living and working for the BBC in England a few years ago. Then, in 2015, she had an epiphany over coffee and made a big decision: to leave everything behind and become a globetrotter. Feeling she had reached the peak of her career, she had no desire for further professional success, nor did she want to wait for the two weeks of the year when she could take a holiday.
At first, he thought of taking just a few months off to be on his own and get out of the rut he was on. In the end, he chose a backpack as his faithful companion and has been on “holiday” for 6 years.*
The birth of the Female Yeti
Before she left the world, she was no stranger to Nepal, where she had visited several times and was captivated by its beauty, its mountains and its people.
So, when the Nepal earthquake struck in 2015, it was an invitation to the Yeti in her soul and she travelled there to help. And so began his adventure. From there, his journey took him to Bangkok, Thailand, and he travelled all over Southeast Asia: Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Singapore. From there, he flew to New York, where his journey took him to the Canadian border.
Next, his journey took him to Peru, where he was ticked off for the Andes, Argentina, Chile and Patagonia. When it looked like she had completed all the destinations on her bucket list, she headed home to Europe, where she began giving lectures and organizing trips to the Himalayas.
This is how the name Female Yeti stuck because of his love of the mountains and his passion for the Himalayas.
Then one day in February 2021…
Nothing could dissuade her from her dream
In the winter, Female Yeti realized her dream of reaching the summit of Manaslu. Probably the 28th of September will be a memorable day for her, when she reached the 8163m summit of Manaslu with Lakpa Sherpa at 7:30am from Camp 3. It is true that his original plan was to make history without oxygen, but unfortunately he needed it, but that doesn’t diminish his achievement.
Especially in light of the fact that he was already about 50 metres and 30 minutes from the summit on 26 September, but due to final exhaustion he made a carefully considered decision: turn back. He had previously started from Camp 2 and marched non-stop for 19 hours. He was determined to break his way ahead, often in waist-deep snow or even in continuous snowfall, sometimes during blizzards.
Even though the summit was almost within reach, he was aware of his own strength and feared that if he kept going he would be completely exhausted. Of course, it was a slap in the face for him too to realise that he was almost there, but he did not risk incapacitating himself or his companion.
So he wisely retreated, rested for a day in camp, and then set off with renewed vigour to pursue his dream. She arrived at the summit of Manaslu in much more favourable weather conditions. As Zsuzsi put it in her post, although she had to climb the mountain of her dreams with supplementary oxygen, it eased her heartache that she actually did it twice.
Her first mountain above 8,000 metres taught her a lot and she learned a lot on the way. And the lessons he learned will certainly be put to good use on his next adventure after a rest!