We believe every woman has their own hurdles their own struggles in their lives and they all have different problems to face. Sometimes we say, “Yaar yeh mushkil to paharh jesi hougayi hai” [Man, this problem has become a mountain for me] and sometimes that problem is wee. Have you ever considered doing a comparison of your problem with the tallest mountain peak in the world? Say, the Mount Everest? And we say now you have to climb that mountain and leave your problem behind, you might think twice or maybe more than that… We have a woman here today whose passion for leaving her trouble behind for one goal, one big goal, to achieve the badge the honor of becoming the youngest woman to reach summit and not just one, SEVEN! [Yes, we are as proud as you might be right now] that woman is Samina Baig and today it’s all about Samina and her achievements!
Coming from Shimshal Village in Hunza Gojal, Gilgit Baltistan Pakistan, Samina Baig is a Pakistani High-altitude mountaineer who has completed her Mount Everest summit on 19th May 2013. She was joined by Indian twin girls Tashi and Nungshi Malik in climbing Mount Everest and they together perched national flags of India and Pakistan side-by-side atop the peak, to spread a message of Indo-Pakistani friendship and peace. Baig has been a professional climber since 2009 and became the first and youngest Muslim woman to have climbed Mount Everest at the age of 21. And that’s not all; she then did all the Seven Summits by 2014. Baig was also the first woman to climb the peak Chashkin Sar (above 6000 meters) in Pakistan, and that was later renamed as Samina peak after her. For her love for climbing, she has also summited the Koh-i-Brobar (Mount Equality) in 2011. She did an attempt at the seven-kilometer high Spantik Peak ended in failure due to adverse weather conditions.
Samina Baig and her Seven Summits
“Samina Baig conquered all of the seven summits at only 23 years of age. We had the greatest honor to hoist our green flag on the seven summits,” said Mirza Ali who accompanied Samina Baig on the seven summits adventure around the world.
The Seven Summits include Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Mount Vinson, and Carstensz Pyramid.
In December 2013 they reached the summit of Aconcagua. It is the highest peak in South America. The Alpine Club of Pakistan reported that the duo arrived at the top of Aconcagua – which is 6,961 meters (or 22,838 feet) high.
The Alpine Federation also reported that Samina and Mirza conquered Mount Vinson in January 2014; Baig and Ali successfully scaled the 4,892-meter Mount Vinson in the planet’s southernmost continent as a part of a five-member team.
The duo flew to Russia, after summiting Mount McKinley on July 3rd, 2014 in Alaska, then on 24th July, they did a summit to climb the highest mountain in Europe Mount Elbrus, which is 5,642 meters tall. In February 2014 Mirza and Samina reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania which was 5,895 meters tall Baig climbed the highest peak in Indonesia, Carstensz Pyramid in March 2014; it is 4,884 meters tall pyramid.
Besides the Himalayas, Baig has been employed as a mountain guide and expedition leader in the Hindu Kush and the peaks of Karakoram. Special Communications Organization (SCO), a telecom operator in Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan has appointed her as its Brand Ambassador.
A Sibling’s Support for Samina Baig
Being a student of Arts, Baig started climbing when she was four years old and started her proper mountaineering training with Mirza Ali (her brother) at age 15. In an interview with her brother before the ascent of Mount Everest; Baig stated that the expedition was a demonstration of gender equality. Samina’s Brother Mirza Ali, approximately 248m short from the summit of Everest, let his sister go to the summit on her own without his support, to present a message of female empowerment in Pakistan. She considers her brother Mirza Ali her biggest supporter, she says, “this is the real example that a brother is encouraging his sister, he is allowing his sister [considering where she belongs from] and he trusts his sister that my sister is capable of reaching the top of Mount Everest without my support.”
Samina Baig As a Women Empowerment Ambassador
In July 2018, Baig was appointed as the national Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme. Samina’s main aim in the mountaineering field was to empower women to participate in mountaineering and trekking sports. “For this purpose, I started training camps in Shimshal in 2014, where girls from all over Pakistan got training in mountaineering,” she said, adding events were also organized by Pakistan Youth Outreach, headed by her brother Mirza Ali, who is also a mountaineer.
Ms. Baig said the purpose of the event was to promote outdoor sports, encourage women’s participation in challenging adventure sports and promote tourism, especially winter and adventure tourism in Pakistan.
As Samina Baig says, “I was motivating myself that I have to reach the top. On Mount Everest was not as Samina Baig I was representing Pakistani women if I am from Pakistan and I can climb the mountain they can climb their own mountain because everyone has their own mountains in their lives.”
Read more about Women Empower Wednesday and If you like this article you can also check these