ISLAMABAD: Uzma Yousaf on Wednesday made history after she became the first Pakistani woman to scale the 7,027-metre high Spantik peak in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).
“We have arrived at the top of Spantik at 9:16am today (Wednesday),” a jubilant Yousaf told APP on phone from atop Spantik, located in the Spantik-Sosbun mountains – a sub-range of Karakoram in the Nagar Valley of G-B.
“I am really happy at the achievement. I know people in Pakistan are gearing up to celebrate Independence Day on August 14. My joy has multiplied as I have been able to carry Pakistan’s flag to the top of Spantik at this moment,” she added.
Yousaf’s high-altitude team included Wajidullah Nagri, Asghar Hussain and Yaseen.
Also known as the Golden Peak, Spantik has only recently gained significance amongst climbers.
The 43-year old only recently started her climbing career after she scaled the 6,050-metre Mingling Sar in October last year in a determined effort, having previously only hiked to Mushkpuri peak and Ratti Gali. She followed it up with the 5,098-metre Rush Peak in February this year.
“It was a really tough journey. The snow was not allowing us to move. But we did not give up our mission and thank God that finally, we made it,” she said, adding it took her team 31 days to complete the voyage.
She said her successful expedition was proof that with determination and passion challenges could be overcome and dreams materialised.
Her husband, Yousaf Akhtar, who financed and backed the expedition, said he was proud of his wife.
“She is really a talented lady. Though she has not been trained like other mountaineers, she was undertaking meticulous preparations for this climb for several months. Her hard work has been paid back” he said.
“Yousaf just talked to me from 7,027m Spantik Peak. My dream came true, she scaled Rush Peak 5,098m, Mingling Sar 6,050m and right now she is on top of Spantik 7,027m,” he later wrote on his Facebook page.
Polish climbers abandon attempt
An attempt by Polish climbers to scale K2 and then ski down from the summit has been abandoned owing to a combination of bad weather and danger of avalanche.
Fredrik Sträng and skier Andrzej Bargiel along with Kuba Poburka and Janusz Gołąb were trying to scale the ‘Savage Mountain’ but had to turn back due to the absence of fixed ropes from camp II up to camp IV.
The team apparently tried to change the route to the top of the mountain.
“The forecast shows a good weather window after the weekend. Tomorrow early in the morning together with Poburka and Gołąb, we’ll start the hike. We want to reach camp III where we’ll spend a night. Then we’ll move to camp IV and if the weather holds good we plan the summit attack for Tuesday,” Bargiel wrote on his Facebook page on Sunday.
But just a day later, he announced that their summer expedition had come to an end.
“It was pretty warm today which quickly increased the danger of avalanches. Boulders and stone were falling down on our head. Poburka got hit by a small one, but he is all right. We have decided there is no sense to risk it. Safety first,” he said, adding that Gołąb had to turn back earlier due to an infection.
“Unfortunately it looks like I won’t ski down from K2 this year… well sometimes you gotta lose the battle to win the war. It is very likely we will come back,” the Polish skier said, before announcing their departure from K2 base camp.