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By Dominique Herman
Sunday, 14th of January, two domestic workers from Hout Bay were on top of the world and everybody in it when they reached the peak of Mount Aconcagua in Argentina.
The mountain, at 6 960m, is the highest peak on Earth outside of the Himalayas in Asia. And climbers do not attempt the Himalayas in winter, according to Gilad Stern who found Imizamo Yethu residents Zukiswa Matamo and Nomawethu Nika, as well as fellow mountain climber and marathon runner, Evelina Tshabalala, to participate in an extreme adventure sporting-cum-achievement branding project called Isicongo.
Matamo, Nika and Tshabalala plan to climb the seven highest peaks on each continent, from Kilimanjaro to Everest.
In September, Matamo and Nika summited Mount Elbrus in Russia and, on June 1, they will set off for North America's Denali in Alaska.
Tshabalala, who is HIV-positive, will take on Aconcagua in February.
Stern said he made it to the top of Aconcagua on his third attempt two years ago.
The women achieved the feat at their first attempt - and in 11 days.
"It's a little bit flat on top, like Table Mountain. It's so beautiful," Nika, 31, said on Sunday."The weather was good. We were very lucky.
"The day after we summited it was windy and cloudy," she said.
"It was very steep and rocky and we were not used to carrying big bags," she added.
Matamo, 36, said: "It was very difficult, very demanding and very challenging."
At the peak, she blew a vuvuzela, they sang the South African anthem, waved the flag and prayed - although not necessarily in that order.
The two Imizamo Yethu women travelled to Argentina just before Christmas.
They spent Christmas Day with the South African ambassador to Argentina, Peter Goosen, and his family.