Mountain Fund Aids All-Star Pakistani Women's Climb

A group of American guides will travel to Pakistan facilitate a mountaineering course for up to 100 female Pakistani women. The Mountain Fund is supporting this important outreach project in a critical country.
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Increasing numbers of all female expeditions are exploring the world's mountain ranges, achieving highly technical climbs in a sport traditionally dominated by men. Pakistani women are ready to join the world of climbing as well. Their country is home to three major mountain ranges - the Himalaya, Karakoram and Pamir - and K2, the second highest mountain in the world. Pakistani women have been unable to learn to climb as cultural norms do not allow contact between men and women who are not directly related and all the climbing instructors in Pakistan are men.

A group of American guides will travel to Pakistan in the summer of 2007 to facilitate a mountaineering course for up to 100 female Pakistani women. The goal of the project is to expose women to the world of climbing and mountaineering. Their experience may lead to careers not previously available to them in a growing tourism industry, in mountain rescue or guiding.

The course will take place on and around the Passu and Batura glaciers in Northern Hunza, followed by an attempt 19,619-foot Kusheikh Peak, near Khunjerab Pass. Training will be progressive, starting with the basics of mountain survival, travel, and safety. Technical rock and ice climbing as well as glacier travel and self-rescue will be taught throughout the course.

The Guides are: Charlotte Fox, Heidi Kloos, Janet Bergman, Danika Gilbert, Sallie Dean Shatz (photographer) and Cherie Silvera (filmmaker)

The Mountain Fund - www.mountainfund.org is providing equipment and funding to assist in this rare effort to bring Pakistani women into the domain of the climbing world. The climbing camp will be coordinated by the American Alpine Club and the Pakistan Alpine Club.

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