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K2: 6 women achieve milestones in mountaineering

Pakistan’s Samina Baig and Naila Kiani, as well as Iranian Afsaneh Hesamifard, Lebanese-Arab Nelly Attar, Bangladesh’s Wasifa Nazreen and Stefi Torguet of Andorra stand on the second highest peak on earth. Over a dozen climbers reach the summit. Afghan climber dies of heart attack

HAH Special Correspondent

Islamabad: Samina Baig became the first woman to climb K2 the second highest peak on earth. Dubai-based Pakistani woman Naila Kiani, Iranian Afsaneh Hesamifard, Lebanese-Arab Nelly Attar and Bangladeshi Wasifa Nazreen, were among the six women who achieved the milestone, said a spokesman for the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

However, ExplorersWeb’s Angela Benavides reported that Stefi Torguet from Andorra, a tiny state situated between France and Spain also stood on the top of the 8,611 metres high ‘Savage Mountain’ without an oxygen supplement.

She dedicated the feat to her friends Sergi Mingote and Ali Sadpara, who died on K2 during the winter expedition in 2021, and to Antonios Sykaris, who died on Dhaulagiri, Nepal earlier this year, according to ExplorersWeb online news portal.

It was a dream come true for Samina Baig — the first and only Pakistani woman to summit Everest in 2013 at the age of 21 — to become the first again to stand on the top of the second highest peak of the world at 7:42am on Friday now 31.

“We are extremely proud to announce that Samina Baig, with her strong Pakistani team, successfully summited the world’s most fascinating and dangerous mountain known as the savage mountain,” Ms Baig’s team said in a statement.

She was accompanied by her strong team consisting of Eid Muhammad, his younger brother Waqar Ali, Bulbul Karim, Ahmed Baig, Rizwan Dad (all from Shimshal valley) and Akbar Hussain Sadpara (Skardu).

Samina Baig and her fellow Shimshali climbers atop K2. Photo: Shah Daulat’s Favcebook

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. The Dubai-based Naila achieved this feat nearly after a year of setting a record by becoming the first Pakistani woman to have conquered an 8,000m, Gasherbrum-II. She was accompanied by famous climbers Sirbaz Khan and Suhail Sakhi from GB.

Wajidullah Nagri from Nagar District of Gilgit-Baltistan was also among the two dozen climbers who scaled the mountain on Friday.

Capping a day of women mountaineers, Afsaneh Hesamifard became the first Iranian woman to climb K2 on Friday morning. Ms Hesamifard became only the third woman to reach the top of Mount Everest in Nepal in May this year.

Lebanese-Saudi fitness expert Nelly Attar also reached the top of the summit.

“This is the first-ever summit of K2 by a Middle East climber, Mr Haideri said.”

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman and GB Chief Minister took to Twitter to congratulate the Pakistani and other women climbers for setting foot on the world’s second-highest mountain.

G-II summit

On Thursday, Nepalese climber Sanu Sherpa reached the top of Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II mountain, setting a new record by scaling all of the world’s 14 tallest peaks — all higher than 8,000 meters — for a second time.

Earlier on July 1, three women — Pasang Lhamu Sherpa (Akita) from Nepal and the 29-year-old Tseng Ko-Erh aka Grace Tseng from Taiwan became the first women climbers in their countries to stand atop the 8,126-metre peak on July 1. Kristin Harila from Norway along with three Nepali Sherpa climbers had also scaled K2.

Alpine Club secretary Karrar Haidri told the media that more than 100 other foreign mountaineers from the US, Norway, Canada, Taiwan, Russia, Poland and Nepal, also were on their way to the summit and some of them had either reached or expected to do so by Saturday.

The weather

At 10:45 pm on Thursday, a six-member Nepali team reached the top. At the same time, climbers gathered in Camp 4 to start their own summit pushes.

On Thursday, some climbers were concerned about the wind. However, it abated and Grace Tseng says that conditions proved excellent. Tseng also spoke of psychological obstacles and more difficult terrain than on Everest.

After a long day of fighting high winds and deep snow on the upper sections, five Sherpa guides reached the summit of K2 at 10:45 pm on Thursday.

They are Pasdawa Sherpa and Chhiring Namgyal of 8K Expeditions, Siddhi Ghising, Dorjee Gyelzen Sherpa, and Rinji Sherpa of Madison Mountaineering.

“Pasdawa and Chhiring Namgyal are playing a key role in opening the route on K2 this season,” Pemba Sherpa, co-owner of 8K Expeditions, told ExplorersWeb from Kathmandu.

“Moreover, the moment he reaches the summit, Pasdawa Sherpa will be the fastest to climb the five highest 8,000’ers, breaking the previous record by Nirmal Purja [and snatching it from Harila and Dawa Ongchu, at least by one day.”

Kristin Harila and Dawa Ongchu bagged their eighth 8,000er in a row, as part of their project to climb all the 14 peaks above 8,000 meters high in only six months.

Sad news

Among the celebrations and excitement, there is a casualty to report. Ali Akber Sakhi of Afghanistan died on K2 pursuing his dream to become the first Afghan on the second highest mountain. He reportedly died near Camp-III (7,350m) due to cardiac arrest., ACP spokesperson said.

Ali Akbar Sakhi of Afghanistan died near camp -III on K2. File photo from Everest Today

Earlier this month, Pakistan’s military airlifted two Pakistani climbers, Fazal Ali the summiteer of K2 three times, and Shehroze Kashif, who became the youngest to scale K2 to safety after the pair went missing during an expedition scaling Nanga Parbat, known as “Killer Mountain” because of its dangerous conditions.

K2 has gained its reputation as the savage mountain among international climbers. It has one of the deadliest records, with most climbers dying on the way down. Only a few hundred have successfully reached its summit, while Everest has been scaled more than 9,000 times.

Pakistan hosts five of the 14 highest peaks on Earth, including K2; eight others are in Nepal, including Everest, and one along the border of Nepal and the Tibetan region of China.

— additional input from Gulf News, VOA


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