When Climb­ing is a Joy!

Moun­tain climb­ing is no longer exclusive to men. Pak­istani women are also ready to par­tic­i­pate - and break records.

Southasia - - Women & sports - By Muham­mad Omar Iftikhar

king zones to­day. Moun­taineers from all over the world ac­cept the tow­er­ing stance of these moun­tains as a chal­lenge to climb up the snow-cov­ered sum­mits. In our part of the world, moun­tain climb­ing or trekking is con­sid­ered to be a man’s world and women aren’t en­cour­aged to go on such ex­pe­di­tions, even if it’s only a cou­ple of thou­sand feet. But this mind­set is chang­ing and it should, be­cause Pak­istani girls too, are en­gag­ing in moun­tain trekking and boldly tack­ling hos­tile en­vi­ron­ments just like their male coun­ter­parts.

In 2010, eigh­teen year old Samina Baig, be­long­ing to Shimshal, cre­ated his­tory by climb­ing Chashkin Sar, in the Karako­rum moun­tain range, to an al­ti­tude of 5,525 me­ters in the dead of win­ter. Ear­lier this year, eight Shim- trained at the Shimshal Moun­taineer­ing School and pre­pared them­selves for the nerve-wrack­ing win­ter climb. The youngest girl in this team of eight, Hafiza Bano, 16, be­came the youngest Pak­istani to climb Ming­ligh Sar in the win­ter while in 2006, Farzana Faisal, 22, be­came the first Pak­istani girl to climb Ming­ligh Sar in the sum­mer. Dur Begum, 30, climbed the same sum­mit in 2007. These girls were ac­com­pa­nied by their in­struc­tors Sha­heen Baig, Rehmat­ul­lah Baig, Qu­drat Ali and Wa­hab Ali Shah.

The opinion that women are not fit for moun­taineer­ing ex­pe­di­tions is chang­ing. Women climbers from ur­ban ar­eas are also prov­ing their met­tle as trekkers. One ex­am­ple is of Hina Ali, a me­dia pro­fes­sional liv­ing in Karachi and an ad­ven­tur­ist by with her en­tire group. Hina said that there are no schools that of­fer crash cour­ses for moun­tain climbers. “Although trekking is not a sci­ence, it re­quires a cer­tain de­gree of stamina and strength, es­pe­cially for first-timers,” she added. In Hina’s opinion, it’s bet­ter for first-time trekkers to go with friends or ac­quain­tances who keep you mo­ti­vated through­out the climb. Women are con­sid­ered to be the ten­der gender, but Pak­istani fe­males are cer­tainly prov­ing that they have the grit by demon­strat­ing that they can go ex­plor­ing the world thou­sands of feet up and prove that what men can do, women can do bet­ter! The writer free­lances for var­i­ous pub­li­ca­tions on is­sues re­lated to youth, de­vel­op­ment and so­cial ac­tivism.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.