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Pakistani, Iranian climbers become first women to scale K2

Pakistani mountaineer Samina Baig. File.

Pakistani mountaineer Samina Baig. File. | Photo Credit: AP

A Pakistani mountaineer and another from Iran scripted history on Friday by becoming the first women from their countries to scale the summit of the mighty and treacherous K2, the second-highest mountain peak in the world, a mountaineering official said on Friday.

At 7.42 a.m. local time, Samina Baig, 31, completed the ascent to the top of K2, an imposing 8,611-metre-tall mountain situated on the Karakoram Range, Karrar Haidri of the Alpine Club of Pakistan said.

“We are extremely proud to announce that Samina Baig (Pakistan) with her strong Pakistani team, successfully summit the world’s most fascinating & dangerous mountain known as savage mountain the world’s second and Pakistan’s tallest mountain #K2 8611meters this morning at 7:42am,” Mr. Haidri said.

In 2013, she became the first Pakistani woman to scale the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.

Barely three hours after Ms. Baig’s monumental climb, another mountaineer named Naila Kiani also reached the top of K2, becoming the second Pakistani woman to do so.

Capping a day of women mountaineers, Afsaneh Hesamifard became the first Iranian women to climb K2 on Friday morning, according to Mr. Haidri, who also said that Lebanese-Saudi fitness expert Nelly Attar is also on her way to the top of the summit.

Ms. Hesamifard became only the third woman to reach the top of Mount Everest in May this year, and she was hailed in Farsi-language posts on social media, according to Iranian media.

K2, the second-highest mountain on the planet after Mount Everest (standing at 8,849 metres), is considered one of the most dangerous summits for mountaineering enthusiasts across the globe.

Known as the ‘Savage Mountain’ as winds on its peak roar at more than 200 kilometres per hour and temperatures drop to minus 60°C.

Climbers representing Pakistan as well as the United States, Lebanon, Nepal, Philippines, Estonia, Turkey, New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, Argentina, and the United Kingdom are part of the group.

About 1,400 foreign mountaineers are visiting Pakistan this year to scale different mountains located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.

Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated Ms. Baig and the team on accomplishing the feat.

“Congratulations to Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman mountaineer to reach the summit of the world’s second highest peak, ‘K2,’ and her family on their accomplishment. Samina Baig has emerged as a symbol of Pakistani women’s determination, courage, and bravery,” Mr. Sharif said.

The flurry of records on Friday comes on the back of a 47-year-old Nepali sherpa setting a record by scaling all the world’s 14 peaks that are higher than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) for a second time on Thursday.


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Printable version | Jul 22, 2022 7:01:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistani-iranian-climbers-become-first-women-to-scale-k2/article65670493.ece