Pakistani female mountaineers created history on Friday morning by achieving what no other woman from the country has done before – reaching the top of the 2nd highest peak of the world – 8611m high K2.
At 7:40am Pakistan time, Samina Baig summited the mighty K2 along with her team members and became the first ever Pakistani woman to scale the K2. Less than three hours after Samina’s summit, Naila Kiani reached the top – becoming the second.
No other Pakistani woman has achieved this feat before.
Several other climbers from various countries, including female climbers from Oman, Lebanon, Iran, and Taiwan, also summited the peak on Friday morning.
The summit push started late last night as soon as rope fixing teams completed their jobs and the first group reached K2 at around 3:00am in the night.
Pakistan’s 31-year-old climber, Samina Baig’s team confirmed that she – along with other Pakistani mountaineers – summitted at 7:42am PKT on Friday.
“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 Savage Mountain, the world’s second and Pakistan’s tallest mountain, K2, at 8611 metres this morning at 7:42am,” said the statement by Samina’s team at ground.
“Grateful and blessed that K2 allowed her to stand atop this incredible mountain,” the statement added.
Samina Baig comes from the remote village of Gilgit Valley, Shimshal. Earlier in 2013, she became the first Pakistani woman to scale the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest.
The other members to climb with Samina include Eid Muhammad, Bulbul Karim, Ahmed Baig, Rizwan Dad, Waqar Ali and Akber Hussain Sadpara.
Less than three hours after Samina’s feat, Pakistan’s other climber, Naila Kiani, reached the top of K2.
“Yes, Allhamdolillah,” Naila texted this correspondent via satellite communication device, confirming her summit.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif congratulated Samina Baig and the team on accomplishing the feat.
“Congratulations to Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman mountaineer to reach the summit of the world’s second highest peak, ‘K2,’ and her family on their accomplishment. Samina Baig has emerged as a symbol of Pakistani women’s determination, courage, and bravery,” said the PM in tweet.
Pakistan’s Sohail Sakhi and Sirbaz Ali Khan also summited K2 along with Naila.
Over 50 climbers completed their summits of K2 on Friday morning, and this also included Norway’s Kristin Harlia, who reached the top of K2 between 2:30am and 4:00am and has since then returned to safe camp.
Kristin Harilia is aiming to summit all 14 8000ers in six months. This was her 8th such summit in less than 3 months. If she gets success, she will be the first woman in world to summit all the world’s top peaks in one season.
She was joined by the USA’s Kristin A. Bennett, Norway’s Frank Loke and Canada’s Liliya Ianovskia. They were supported by a team of mountain guides that included Pakistan’s Fida Ali along with Nepal’s Pema Chhiring Sherpa, Dawa Ongju Sherpa, Pemba Tasi Sherpa, Dawa Dorchi Sherpa, Dawa Wongju Sherpa, and Pemba Dorchee Sherpa.
In another development, 29-year-old Tseng Ko-Erh, who is also known as Grace Tseng, summited the mountain without using supplementary oxygen and has become the youngest female in the world to do so. She is also the first Taiwanese woman to stand atop K2.
Her expedition organisers announced that their 3-member team had just made it to the top of the world’s 2nd highest mountain. They reached the summit of Mount K2 (8611 m) at 7:35 am Pakistani time.
Two other members of the team were Nima Gyalzen Sherpa and Ningma Dorje Tamang of Nepal.
Iran’s Afsane Hesamifard and Oman’s Nadhira Alharthy became the first ever female climbers from their respective countries to summit the K2. They were part of the seven summit trek team and reached the top just a few hours after the rope fixing. The team also included a Chinese female climber, He Jing, who summited the mountain without supplementary oxygen.
The other members of the seven summit team included Poland’s Monika Witkowska, Russia’s Vladimir Kotlyar, and Nepal’s Mingtemba Sherpa, Pasang Sherpa, Fura Tshering Sherpa, and Ngima Sherpa.
In another group to summit K2 on Friday morning, Nelly Attar – an Arab Lebanese woman – successfully scaled the K2. She was accompanied by America’s Terray Ellington Sylvester, Argentina’s Claudio Cocho Javier and Estonia’s Krisli Melesk.
Along with them, Pakistan’s Inayat Ali also climbed K2. Nepali Aang Phurba Sherpa, Siddhi Bahadur Tamang, Dorji Gyljen Sherpa, Kamdorji Sherpa, Lakhpa Wongchu Sherpa, Mingdongji Sherpa, Lakpa Bhote, Rinji Sherpa, Temba Sherpa and Lakpa Sherpa – who all were part of Madison Mountaineering – also summited K2 in the early morning.