ISLAMABAD: Continuing his #Mission14, mountaineer Sirbaz Khan on Friday announced his plans to become the first Pakistani to summit more than eight of the world’s highest 14 peaks over 8,000 metres high.

If Sirbaz Khan is successful, this would be his ninth conquest of the world’s 14 highest peaks. At a press conference at Serena Hotel, he announced his departure for Nepal to attempt Mt Dhaulagiri, which is 8,187 metres (26,795 feet) above sea level, and the world’s seventh highest peak.

Dhaulagiri, which forms part of the Himalayas mountain range, is widely known as one of the hardest peaks to climb due to its steep sides and bitterly cold climate.

In an optimistic tone, Sirbaz Khan said he was confident of his chances being on a prolific climbing streak already having scaled Mt Everest, the highest peak of the world, and followed by Mt Annapurna, which is the tenth highest peak in quick succession earlier this year.

His mission is being sponsored by Serena Hotels, under its adventure diplomacy initiative that aimed at fostering adventure sports in the country and providing a supportive environment for the nation’s talented sportspeople to flourish.

Sirbaz Khan said: “I am looking forward to his expedition and reaching closer to the dream of my mentor Ali Sadpara, who had the similar dream of scaling the 14 highest peaks, but tragically lost his life earlier this year during a winter expedition on K-2.”

Serena Hotels South and Central Asia chief executive officer (CEO) Aziz Boolani said: “Serena Hotels takes pride in supporting climbers like Samina Baig in the past as well as Sirbaz Khan who made us extra proud by summiting Mt Everest this year. We wish him all the best for this upcoming treacherous expedition.”

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2021

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