ISLAMABAD: Eight young Shimshali girls added a new chapter in Pakistan’s history of mountaineering when they summitted the 6,050 meters Mingligh Sar peak on January 3, traversing 1,750 meters on a windy day when winter temperatures dipped 38 degrees below zero. The peak straddles the Shimshal Pass bordering China.
Qudrat Ali and Shaheen Baig, two renowned climbers who led the ascent told The Express Tribune that it was challenging for the girls, who trained at Shimshal Mountaineering School, to do the winter climb.
The eight women mountaineers who embarked on the first-ever winter expedition to the peak on December 29 were Dur Begum, 30, Farzana Faisal, 22, Tokht Bika, 23, Shakila Numa, 25, Mera Jabeen 21, Gohar Nigar 22, Hafiza Bano, 16, and Hamida Bibi, 18. They made it to the summit on January 3 along with instructors Qudrat Ali, Shaheen Baig, Wahab Ali Shah and Rehmatullah Baig. Their fellow Shimshali girl Samina Baig, in an earlier expedition on the same mountain, was unlucky in her attempt. The tough weather and lack of proper gear (down suit) forced her back just 150 meters short from the summit.
Hafiza Bano at 16 became the youngest Pakistani girl to climb Mingligh Sar in winter, Qudrat Ali said, who has also scaled four of the five 8000ers in Pakistan, except K2.