- Samina Khayal, Mirza Ali and Stelian Pavalache with other group members on Chashkin Sar summit, Aug 30, 2010.
Karakoram spires are setting the scene for young guns to show their true colors. In this case, news is even better as it is a local female rising star which has bagged her first ascent. At only 18, Samina Khayal (Officially Samina Baig) summited the previously unclimbed Chashkin Sar (6,400m) in Shimshal, in the Hunza-Giligit region.
Promoting adventure for Pakistani girls
Samina climbed along with her brother Mirza Ali (group leader), Romanian Stelian Pavalache (film maker and photographer), Tafat Shah, Yahya Baig, Salamat Khan and Arshad Karim .
The peak has been renamed “Samina Peak”, according to the team.
The expedition project was launched by Pakistan Youth Outreach, which is a educational program for youth mountaineering and awareness and promoting women adventurers. Mirza Ali is also the founder and president of PYO.
“The project’s main goal was to film a documentary promoting women adventurers in Pakistan,” Mirza told ExplorersWeb. “Thus PYO joined forces with Stelian Pavalache’s Satwa Guna Project–Illusion of Forms. This was for a film about a Pakistani girl climbing a Karakoram 6000er.”
Pakistani women climbers: Everest as ultimate goal
Stelian Pavalache’s 2010 stage of the Satwa Guna Project was named “Shimshali People”. It comprises of two 90-minute video documentaries and a photographic series “which wants to reveal, but not to judge, aspects of the status of women in the Muslim culture, traditions and local customs, beliefs and forms of mystical practices in the Pakistan, Karakoram area in an attempt to perpetuate and to sustain the conservations of authentic values,” the project website reads.
“Times have changed, and today women in Pakistan are working in areas previously designated for men (such as an army or police officer),” Stelian states. “Despite the progress, climbing is still an exclusively male domain. Lack of information in society about mountain sports, the fact that it is an expensive sport, prejudices about women’s inability to climb and the absence from home in a wilderness area are several reasons that explain the lack of women in the
Pakistani alpine world.”
“This is part of a larger project that will culminate with a Pakistani woman climbing Everest, as Nepalese, Iranian and Indian women have done. No Pakistani woman has ever climbed a 8,000-meter peak–this is ironic if we think that Pakistan has five of the 14 peaks over 8,000 meters in the world.”