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Tonya Riggs - Windows to the Universe

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Tonya Riggs
Image Courtesy of Tonya Riggs

Tonya Riggs

I was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was a city girl for most of my life. I went on my first camping trip when I was in my mid-30s and discovered rock climbing about ten years ago. I am now 45 years old and am a passionate mountaineer. I have climbed mountains in the Peruvian Andes, the Dolomites of Northern Italy, the Central Alps of Europe, the mountains of East Africa, and have been on three expeditions to the Himalayas of Nepal and Tibet. In the spring of 2006, I successfully reached the top of Mt. Everest.

I understand how powerful mountains can be, and how they can act as a spark to bring both personal and cultural change and awareness. I decided to organize this expedition to Annapurna after reading several books by Arlene Blum, the leader of the 1978 Annapurna Expedition. As a female mountaineer, I feel a connection with the Blum expedition, and I recognize and appreciate how much the efforts of Arlene Blum and her teammates advanced the equality and respect of women. I hope our expedition to Annapurna will inspire and empower women and men to oversome obstacles, strive for their goals, and realize achievement.

My husband Brad and I are going on this expedition to Annapurna together. We are excited to communicate with kids about our experiences in the Himalayas, including sending in postcards to this site.

Last modified September 4, 2008 by Becca Hatheway.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF