Published on 30 Jul 2011 | over 6 years ago
The Karakorum of Pakistan -- the Land of the Pure -- one of the rare few places on this planet that still offers pure culture, pure nature and pure adventure:
Unspoilt Culture where traditions of centuries are still alive and preserved, untouched nature with a fascinating scenery and some of the highest mountains of the world, including nameless, unclimbed peaks in wild and unexplored areas.
Already on the road to Shimshal Valley we witness how uncontrolable and hostile the Karakoram mountainranges can be -- not only is there a persistent risk of landslide and rockfall that can block the roads for days, but since 2010 a massive landslide created a giant lake by blocking the narrow Hunza valley with its river around Attabad -- cutting the only lifeline that exists here, the KKH leading all the way from Hunza to the Chinese border. The natural dam has blocked the Hunza River to a massive lake of more than 20km in length and up to 100m (300ft) in depth. Swallowing one settlement with their rare farming lands in this narrow gorge one after another. For the further approach our team has to go by boat to get to the starting point of the expedition : the entry of Shimshal, a hidden valley whose isolation has been broken by an adventurous shelf road built in more than 20 years by the locals themselves - finished in 2003. Before you had to trek a week through this valley before reaching the settlements. Shinshal is the staring point of our climbing expedition "Gender Equality Expedition 2011" with three local protagonists from Shimshal aiming at a nameless and unclimbed peak in the Karakoram of Pakistan:
All this comes together with the modern struggle of a young Shimshali female climber - Samina Baig - trying to overcome social hurdles in a traditional society dominated by man. With her mountaineering success she tries to be a role model for the youth of Pakistan and to pave the way for women equality, where so far women sports was looked down on.
Samina Baig´s vision is to inspire all women of Pakistan and around the world for an active participation in all fields of society. She says, „It is my intention to motivate more women to participate as this will give a message of confidence to females everywhere that if a young woman can climb a mountain, she can do anything".
The focus of this mountaineering & filming expedition is on a 20 year old Pakistani female mountaineer, Samina Baig, ascending an unclimbed and nameless peak in heights where no other Pakistani woman has ever been before -- thus breaking the rules of a country where not only sports but all fields of society are dominated by men. Samina and her brother Mirza Ali of the Pakistan Youth Outreach Program (a youth education, environmental awareness and women equality promoting program) organize her third woman expedition to ascend an unclimbed and nameless peak deep in the wild and mostly unexplored border area of the Karakoram between Pakistan and China, far away from the last remote settlements of the Shimshal Valley -- where isolation still protects the untouched culture. The expedition will lead over 5.000m passes before proceeding to the virgin peak.
At the age of just 19 this young Shimshali girl was the first Pakistani woman that climbed a virgin peak of 6.400m, called Chashkin Sar - now named Samina Peak after her. Her first ascent was broadcasted on Pakistan´s Geo TV documentary, followed by TV interviews and newspaper articles, that gained her so much media attention in Pakistan, that her message can not be denied anymore in the long run.
Samina was recently nominated for the Azme Alishan (AZM) Award 2011, for a significent contribution to a betterment of Pakistan. She was invited to meetings with the Minister of Sports of Pakistan, received support from the UIAA Youth Comission President Anne Arran.
The goal of our project now is to produce a documentary of this unique Pakistani woman expedition with impressive scenes from an unexplored area of the Karakoram with incredible natural beauty still untouched Shimshali culture and to spread a strong message of female equality in a modern Pakistan.
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