9-year-old becomes youngest Pakistani to scale 5,000m peak in Hunza
NEWS DESK: Selena Khawaja, a nine-year-old Pakistani girl, has become the youngest from the country to climb the 5,765-metre-high Quz Sar Peak in Hunza. She plans to try her luck with Mount Everest next year.
The peak is situated in Shimshal Valley in Hunza district. Her father, Yousaf Khawaja, and expedition guide Wazir Baig, porter Arif Baig and other team members accompanied her on the expedition, which spanned over more than 10 days.
Selena gave an interview to Gulf News, saying that she has a special love for peaks as she lives in the mountain city of Abbottabad. According to her, she felt “great” upon conquering the summit on February 21 this year. “The view from the top of mountain is very beautiful.”
Now, Selena aims at scaling three more peaks: Mingling Sar (6,050 metres), followed by Spantik Peak (7,027 metres) and then the Broad Peak (8,051 metres), which is the 12th highest mountain in the world. “I aim to climb all these peaks this year,” she said.
Her plans for next year include scaling Mount Everest. “I will aim for the world’s tallest mountain in 2019 to become the youngest girl to reach the top of Mount Everest,” she said.
Selena, a student of class five, has always had a passion for outdoor activities. Encouraged by her parents and teachers, she started physical training at the age of eight in the mountains of Miranjani and Makra. “I have scaled Miranjani at least 45 times and it is nearly 3,000 metres high,” she said. “And [I climbed] the 4,000-metre Makra Peak three times.”
The mountaineer community pf Pakistan has welcomed Selena’s feats and named her the “Mountain Princess.” A climber, Umar Hassan, said, “This young kid has made Pakistan so proud. We should appreciate and support her as she aims to climb Mount Everest and bring the title home.” APP/AFP