First all-women expedition team will attempt to scale K2 next month

Published June 8, 2024
MEMBERS of the K2 women’s expedition pose during training at the Sadpara
Mountaineering School in Skardu.—Photo by the writer
MEMBERS of the K2 women’s expedition pose during training at the Sadpara Mountaineering School in Skardu.—Photo by the writer

GILGIT: The first all-women expedition team will attempt to scale the world’s second highest peak K2 (8,611 metres) next month.

Members of the expedition team completed their one-week climbing training at Sadpara Mountaineering School on Friday.

According to organisers, the six-member women expedition team comprising Anum Uzair from Lahore, Shama Baqir and Bibi Sultana from Shimshal, Afzoom from Gulmit of Hunza and two sisters Siddiqa Hanif and Amina Hanif from Ghanche will hoist Pakistan’s flag on the K2.

The first women expedition for K2 has been organised by Force Command of Northern Areas (FCNA).

All team members including guides and porters will be Pakistani

According to an FCNA statement, Pakistan’s challenging peaks offer immense opportunities for young women athletes, especially in mountaineering.

However, these talented individuals often face substantial barriers, primarily due to insufficient resources, which hinder their ability to fully showcase their potential.

In an empowering initiative, the FCNA is spearheading a significant effort to promote gender equality in this demanding sport.

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the first successful ascent of K2, the FCNA has committed to supporting young female mountaineers by providing them with essential resources and training to summit the mighty K-2.

The expedition will be led by renowned Pakistani climber Sirbaz Khan, who is first Pakistani to summit 13 eight thousanders peaks in the world and 11 eight thousanders peaks without oxygen.

Talking to media, team member Shama Baqir said the women expedition team members are optimistic to conquer the world’s second highest peak this summer.

She said despite having immense potential, women generally avoid taking part in mountaineering in Pakistan, but through this adventure “we will give a message that women can dare and excel in this field too and the women who take interest should take part in mountaineering”.

About the training at the Sadpara Mountaineering School in Skardu, she said: “We practised basic climbing, rock climbing, got training on ascent and descent on peaks and how to climb peaks with luggage.”

K2, standing at 8,611 metres, is famous for its sheer slopes, unpredictable weather conditions and severe storms, making the already treacherous climbing conditions on its slopes even more challenging.

The Pakistan army is not only sponsoring the women’s expedition but also facilitating all preparations needed for the summit. This will be a unique expedition of its kind where all team members including the guides and the porters will be Pakistani.

Another member of the expedition team, Anum Uzair, told media: “I am honoured to be a part of this historical event. Me and my team members are hopeful to open doors for other women and we will be aiming summit with this thought that women can move mountains when they work together as a force, InshaAllah.”

Published in Dawn, June 8th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Price bombs
17 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

THERE was a time not too long ago when the faces we see sitting in government today would cry themselves hoarse over...
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
17 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

IT is no secret that visa applications to the UK and Schengen countries come at a high cost. But recent published...
After the deluge
Updated 16 Jun, 2024

After the deluge

There was a lack of mental fortitude in the loss against India while against US, the team lost all control and displayed a lack of cohesion and synergy.
Fugue state
16 Jun, 2024

Fugue state

WITH its founder in jail these days, it seems nearly impossible to figure out what the PTI actually wants. On one...
Sindh budget
16 Jun, 2024

Sindh budget

SINDH’S Rs3.06tr budget for the upcoming financial year is a combination of populist interventions, attempts to...