Miscellaneous Information:

"Sofie Lenaerts, born in Leuven in 1975, is a world-class Belgian alpinist, as well as a traffic police officer, television presenter, and participant in charitable sporting events. In 2020, she became the first woman from the Benelux countries to climb the highest peaks of all seven continents. In 2015, she made a solo ascent of Khan Tengri (7010 m) in the Tian Shan Mountains. Over the course of her explorations of the splendors of high-altitude mountaineering, Sofie Lenaerts has developed ever more respect for the cultures and ways of life of mountain populations.

Realizing that access to remote mountain areas cannot be sustainably successful without the help of local people, Sofie Lenaerts decided to expand her expeditions with humanitarian projects in Nepal, Pakistan, and other mountain regions. She now links her mountain journeys, both financially and in terms of media coverage, to humanitarian projects involving support for schools, orphanages, clinics, and local sports initiatives, and does so in exemplary fashion.

Through lectures, magazine articles, training courses, and crowdfunding, Sofie Lenaerts, often in tandem with her life and climbing partner, Stef Maginelle, promotes the idea that expeditions and treks should improve the living conditions of local populations — which, with the necessary awareness and initiatives, they truly can. In this way, Sofie Lenaerts encourages current and future mountaineers to act responsibly — to see their primary goal not as a summit or a pass, but as the way there and how they traverse it."

Albert Mountain Award 2022