Young Pakistani top climbers Naila Kiani and Shehroze Kashif have successfully scaled Annapurna-1, the world’s 10th highest mountain.
The expedition was sponsored by BARD Foundation and the duo has fulfilled its aim of raising the Pakistani flag at the top of this 8,000-meter Annapurna-1 at 6:31 AM PST on Monday in Nepal. Naila and Shehroze have shared their sentiments over the phone saying, “This has been one of the difficult ascents of our journey, however, it was a matter of honour and immense pleasure to have raised our prestigious flag on the top of Annapurna peak.
“Here, we would like to emphasize that our primary purpose is to make our country proud while portraying a soft and positive image of Pakistan at a global level. We would also like to let the world know that this passion is not going to stop anywhere. Our mission is to promote mountain climbing and generate opportunities for more young souls like us,” he added.
Both the mountaineers expressed gratitude to Bard Foundation for their support and sponsorship. “We would like to thank Bard Foundation for making this climb a success. It is because of these organizations that such dreams turn into reality,” said Naila.
After today, Naila will be continuing her journey towards Mount Everest and Lhotse while Shehroze will be climbing Dhaulagiri which is the seventh-highest mountain in the world.
Shehroze started his journey at the age of 11 when he first summited Makra Peak (3,885 m). Now, he is the youngest mountaineer in the world to summit 11 peaks of over 8,000m. At the age of 19, he successfully climbed Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak at 8849m, becoming one of the youngest in the country to do so. In the same year, he also scaled K2 and became the youngest climber in the world. His mission is to become the youngest in the world to climb all 14 peaks.
On the other hand, Naila Kiani summited K2 in the first attempt and has also scaled Gasherbrum-I and Gasherbrum-II. Now, she is aiming to summit Mount Everest. This recent summit is just another feather in their cap.
Managing Director of BARD Foundation Mehreen Dawood said, “We started this journey to promote education, sports, and social welfare. With time and our constant effort, we have demonstrated the importance of sports for the development and prosperity of youth.
“Now, we are sponsoring a good number of sports enthusiasts who are being lauded at national and international levels for their remarkable skills. It has been a wonderful journey supporting these gifted kids and their dream of making their homeland proud. And, we pledge to keep backing them for all future endeavors.”
Naila has been known by the title “Bard Sinf-e-Ahan” for her long-time association with the foundation. However, Shehroze has just come on board with Bard. Bard Foundation will be part of his upcoming ventures in the quest of summiting all 14 8000ers where Shehroze is aiming to set a new world record of being the youngest in the world to do so.