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September 20, 2019

Pakistani high-altitude mountaineer Samina Baig sets eyes on mighty K2


Fri, Sep 20, 2019
Facebook/Samina Baig (@saminabaig.pakistani)/via

KARACHI: In 2013, she became Pakistan’s first woman to climb the Mount Everest. Next year, at the age of 24, Samina Baig captured all seven summits.

Now 29, Samina has set her eyes on mighty K2, which she considers hardest peak to climb in the world.

Samina told The News on Friday that climbing K2 has always been her dream and she’s planning to do so for last two years but she hasn’t got enough support for the expedition.

“My dream is to climb K2, it has been two years I am planning for it,” she said. “Unfortunately, I haven’t got enough support but I am not giving up on my dream.”

Although the Everest is 237-metre taller, K2 is widely perceived to be a far harder climb.

According to reports, the K2 ranks as one of the most dangerous mountains in the world to climb. It is estimated that 74 of the K2's 280 summiteers have died, meaning that 26 percent of those who reached the top died on the way back down.

And Samina is aware of this challenge.

“The K2 is the most toughest out of all peaks in the world, by all aspects,” Samina highlighted.

Samina added that it is disappointing that despite bringing laurels, the sport of mountaineering isn’t getting the due support.

“Last year, we were planning to take Pakistan’s first-ever women’s team to Everest. It would’ve been country’s first women expedition to the Everest but it couldn’t work as we did not get any support,” she said.

“We haven’t given up, we are still looking forward and trying to get support from various quarters,” Samina said.

The mountaineer highlighted that since her summit to the Everest, a lot of women mountaineers have joined in and are doing good for country.

“We have come a long way, a lot of youth — especially women are now taking interest in mountaineering, we get equal participation from women in our training camps and there are women who have climbed 6,700 peaks, so it is a wonderful thing,” she explained.

“It is important to support women in adventure sport. World recognises this sport but in Pakistan nobody cares,” Samina emphasised.

Hailing from a small village in Gilgit-Baltistan region, Samina said her achievement has also encouraged other girls of her village to excel in sports and other activities.

“Before 2013, there was not much awareness about sports, but since I summit Mount Everest it gave other women a motivation that they could also achieve something in their respective field,” she said.

“And not only mountaineering, it is heartening to see girls in GB generally taking part in sports, sports like football and volleyball as well,” she concluded.