I was born as the ninth child in my family on 25 June 1957 in Kranj. In 1979, I married Andrej Štremfelj with whom I have three children. I finished the Gimnazija Kranj secondary school in 1976 and graduated from the Biotechnical Faculty at the University in Ljubljana in 1984. Since 1982 I have taught biology at the Gimnazija Kranj secondary school.
My alpine career started in 1975 at the Kranj Alpine Club. The first contact I had with high mountains was during the expedition to the Andes in 1979. Three years later, I was a member of the first female Yugoslav alpine expedition to the Pamir Mountains, where I climbed the 7,495 m high Peak Communism. By standing on my first eight-thousander in 1986, the 8,047 m high Broad Peak, I became the first female Slovenian to reach any of the fourteen highest summits in the world. In 1990, I became the thirteenth woman in the world to ascend the roof of the world, the 8,848 m high Mount Everest. This was and still is the first female Slovenian ascent to the top of the world. Together with my husband Andrej we entered the Guinness Book of World Records for becoming the first married couple to stand on Mount Everest. I managed to reach my third eight-thousander, Cho Oyu, in 1995, and the fourth one, Dhaulagiri, in 2004. By ascending Denali (Alaska), Aconcagua (South America), and Fuji (Japan) I was familiarized with an alternative climbing environment and style.
In the course of these expeditions, I performed many other ascents throughout different periods in more than thirty years of my alpine career. While I was still ‘green’ in my mountain boots, I repeated the female ‘sixes’ in the Paklenica Canyon, the Velebit Route, and the Raz klina Route (all of them are located in Croatia). In winter, I climbed the Dularjeva zajeda Dihedral in the Jalovec Mountain (Slovenia). This was followed by the winter repeats of the Krivic‑Cedilnik Route in the Široka peč Mountain, the Cozzolini Dihedral in the N Face of the Mali Koritniški Mangrt Mountain (both in Slovenia), and the ascent of the N face of Matterhorn (2003). The Walker Spur in Grandes Jorasses (1989) was the first female Yugoslav ascent to one of the Three Great Problems of the Alps. Other notable climbs in the rock include the Nose of El Capitan, the free climb repeat of the Kunaver-Drašler Route (VII+) in the Sfinga Pillar of Triglav, and the Comici-Dimai Route (VI) of Cima Grande (all three climbs were performed in 1993). In the last years, the first female repeat of Smer mladosti Route (Slovenia) in 2010 stands out.
Sport climbing as well as competition and rock climbing have a special place in my life. In competition climbing, one of my significant achievements was the win at the Rock Master climbing tournament in Kranj less than four months before ascending Mount Everest (1990). My other major climbs in the rock include the routes in the Dovžanova soteska Gorge (Disco, Bogovi so padli na glavo: Eng. The Gods Must Be Crazy, and Solea). One of my climbs in the Bohinjska Bela climbing garden is still considered the most difficult route climbed in sport climbing (Adria, 1990).