3 Pakistani female mountaineers, are, all set to scale Nanga Parbat this June ( 2023)
( Story by Muhammad Khalil Dar)
Naila Kiyani, Samina Baig, Salena Khawaja will lead separate expeditions to put Pakistani flag on top of 26800 feet high Nanga Parbit, also known as killer mountain. Fourth expedition is being led by renowkned Jabbar Bhatti, 66 years old. llll he makes it to top, he will be oldest in the world to do so.
Visiting Nanga Parbat base Camp (Diamir Face) on 5th Jun was a breathtaking experience by itself. It dawned on me that it wasn’t a standard set piece base camp full of many nationalities with thriving life and unstoppable chatter. What set it apart was the mere fact that this summer there are four Pakistani Expeditions aiming for a common goal and that is to place the flag of our beloved country at the top of Nanga Parbat. But that wasn’t enough of an exhilaration. There was an ecstasy, oh God, three were being led by female climbers. Within no time it became clearer beneath the trance that daughters of Pakistan are incidentally got together for one aim and that is to tell the world that they are capable of achieving the most challenging and they are not less than anyone in the world. A history is about be written in June 2023, God willingly. A bright star of hope and inspiration will be out shining the rest of the northern sky throughout the June 2023.
First one is being led by the senior most and renowned mountaineer Lt Col Doctor Jabbar Bhatti with two emerging mountaineers ie Mr Asif Bhatti and Mr Saad Mohammad. They are being supported by High Altitude Helpers i.e renowned Fazal Ali from Shimshal, Younus from Skardu and from Hushe.
Second one is being led by Dubai based Pakistani Naila Kiyani who is mother of two kids. She is banker by profession, boxer by hobby and climber by passion. Her first encounter with loftiest mountains was in 2018 when she decided to have her marriage ceremony at K2 Base Camp. That single event unleashed so intense an energy that propelled her to climb 8000 Ms peaks in a seemingly unstoppable sequence. It wouldn’t be wrong to equate her with a space craft launched in the deep space. Quite literally she gets a sling shot gravitational energy whenever she summits an 8000 Ms peak. She targeted Gashabrum – II as her first peak to be crowned and emerged as the first Pakistani female to have climbed an 8000 Ms peak in 2019. Covid 19 only acted as a sling shot for her and she did two peaks in a row i.e K2 in Jul 2022 and Gashabrum -1 in Aug. This year she has already done three 8000 Ms peaks in Nepal i.e Mount Anapurna-I (8091 Ms / 10th highest) on 17 Apr, Mount Lhotse (8516 Ms/4th highest) and Mount Everest (8848 Ms) within a week in May. Well acclimated from Nepal she is now in Islamabad and all set to go for Nangaparbat Base Camp this week. PM Shabaz Sharif has already announced Sitar-e-Imtiaz for her.
Third expedition is being led by the pride of our country Samina Baig along with his brother Mirza Ali in support. She is the first Pakistani female to have set her foot on the highest mountain of Pakistan i.e K2 in July 2022, incidentally only two hours before Naila Kiyani. She hails from Shimshal and carries no ordinary history like many of her peers. Samina was the first to climb the Chashkin Sar and ‘Koh-i-Brobar’ (above 6,000 meters) in her home ground i.e Shimshal in 2010 & 2012. She climbed Mount Everest in May 2013. Later she successfully completed the renowned challenge of Seven Summits that is climbing the highest mountains in all seven continents. She is now 30 years of age and hides a tough look in her eyes of a mature climber who has progressively paved her way up the ladder in a methodical manner. May god protect her in times to come.
Fourth one is the most inspiring already famed as “Little Princess of Mountains” i.e Selena Khawaja from Abbottabad. Like Samina Baig she deceptively hides extraordinary history of unparalleled achievements inside a short stature body. Carefully guided by her energetic father Mr Younus Khawaja she crowned a 5000 Ms peak, Kuz Sar, in Shimshal at the age of 9. She rose to the world fame when she climbed the 7000 Ms Spantik peak on 17 July 2019 at the young age of 10 years. By doing this she became the youngest person to scale Spantik and any peak over 7000 meters in the World. She then set her eyes on Mount Everest but wanted to scale Broad Peak (8045 Ms) first but that was partly successful. She now aims to carry the country’s flag at the top of Nanga Parbat. She reached at the Base Camp on 11th of June along with her father and Mr Parwana from Hushe as her High-Altitude Supporter. Selena through her summits, wishes to inspire young kids to, “Aim high, work hard and achieve your goals.”
Now, what is saga in making by the grace of God. If Dr Sahib becomes successfully, IA, he will be achieving the feat of doing it being the senior most climber in the history, not to mention his partial disability of amputated hand and fingers. He started his carrier with becoming the youngest Pakistani climbing his first 8000 Ms peak i.e Broad Peak. If Selena Khawaja is successful, she will be the youngest in the world to have climbed Nanga Parbat. Obviously, success of Naila Kiyani will enable her to have 7th Summit of 8000 Ms peaks in 5 years. Last of all our most favorite Shimshali lady i.e Samina Baig will add another feather in her cap.
Whole nation may put hands together and pray to God for the safety of daughters of the nation. Nanga Parbat is a not an ordinary mountain. Without a place to install Camp 4 she demands utter respect and extraordinary planning and execution.