- Becomes first Pakistani woman to conquer all five eight-thousanders.
- She completes eight successful climbs above 8,000m.
- Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak ascents recently marked her accomplishment.
Former banker Naila Kiani, once based in Dubai, has made history in mountaineering as the first Pakistani female climber to conquer all five of the country’s eight-thousanders (peaks over 8,000m). Remarkably, she holds a total of eight successful climbs above 8,000m, securing her place as the sole Pakistani woman to achieve this feat. Naila recently achieved her goal by scaling Nanga Parbat and Broad Peak, rounding off her accomplishment.
Initiating her journey only two years ago, Naila’s ascent began with the 8,035m Gasherbrum II, the world’s 13th highest mountain. What began as an experiment transformed into her passion, propelling her forward in the world of mountaineering.
While Naila acknowledges her background in sports, she initially never intended to become a mountaineer. Her interest sparked when she visited the K2 basecamp for trekking and saw mountaineers in action. This experience ignited her curiosity about scaling mountains.
Climbing Gasherbrum II marked her starting point in 2021, followed by K2, Gasherbrum I, Annapurna, Mount Everest, Lhotse, Nanga Parbat, and Broad Peak. Six of these summits made her the first Pakistani woman to reach their peaks, with Samina Baig ahead of her by a few hours on K2. However, Naila’s relentless pursuit of mountaineering success places her as Pakistan’s most accomplished female mountaineer.
Amidst the challenges she faced on her journey, Naila’s unwavering belief in the attainable guided her forward. Despite the difficulties of leaving her two- and four-year-old daughters behind for expeditions, the thought of them fuels her energy during challenging climbs.
Naila sheds light on the inadequate support the public sector provides to mountaineers in Pakistan and the need for improved infrastructure and rescue facilities. Her ambitions continue to soar, aiming to conquer the remaining six eight-thousanders and become the first Pakistani woman to scale all 14 peaks over 8,000m.
Her aspirations extend beyond her personal achievements, serving as an example for her daughters and inspiring others. She conveys the message that nothing is impossible, urging everyone to persevere and reach for high targets without being deterred by obstacles.
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