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Dubai banker is first Pakistani woman to climb Gasherbrum-II

Waheed Abbas /Dubai
waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 20, 2021

(Supplied)

Pakistan’s Naila Kiani aims to climb all top peaks in the world.


Dubai-based resident Naila Kiani has become the first Pakistani female mountaineer to successfully climb the world’s 13th highest peak Gasherbrum-II, which stands at more than 8,000 metres above sea level.

A banker by profession and a Dubai resident for five years, Kiani aims to conquer all the world’s top peaks in Nepal and Pakistan.

“Gasherbrum-II was my first expedition,” she told Khaleej Times in an interview. “I received a lot of appreciation as the 8,000-metre peak is very significant in mountaineering because the death zone starts above 8,000 level. It was risky and challenging mountaineering. No Pakistani female has ever climbed the top five peaks in Pakistan.”

Fourteen peaks are taller than 8,000 metres. Most of them are in Nepal and five are in Pakistan.

“Rather than having a record under my name, I was keen to conquer a challenging peak,” said the Dubai-based banker about her climb last month. “Initially, I was thinking of climbing the 7,000-metre peak as it takes four to five weeks. While an 8,000-metre peak takes five to six weeks. I thought why not attempt an 8,000-metre peak because it will give me an experience of what exactly the world’s top mountaineers endure when they attempt these high peaks that stand above the death zone,”

Kiani’s video went viral in 2018 when she celebrated her wedding at the base camp of K2, the world’s second tallest peak.

“I and my husband had no plans for a grand wedding as we were keen to have a simple wedding,” she said in the interview. “Secondly, it was love for the mountains for us that we wanted to celebrate our wedding there at the K2 basecamp.”

A fitness and adventure enthusiast, Kiani’s hobbies include boxing, skiing, flying and rock climbing. She said there is no dearth of talent among Pakistani women and urged them to pursue their dreams and hobbies.

“My next target is to conquer another 8,000-metre-plus peak in June-July 2022 because expeditions generally begin during summer in Pakistan. I’ll reveal the name of the peak later. I aim to conquer some of the other top peaks as well. My other objective is to promote tourism and the natural beauty that Pakistan offers to foreign tourists,” she concluded.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

Waheed Abbas





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