Ain't no mountain high enough for Samar Khan

Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak becomes K-P daredevil's latest conquest


Nabil Tahir December 11, 2017
PHOTO COURTESY: SAMAR KHAN

KARACHI: Not content with scaling dizzying heights in her homeland, daredevil extraordinaire Samar Khan recently took her game to the global stage, becoming the first Pakistani woman to climb world famous Mount Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak —the highest peak in Africa and located in Tanzania.

And as those who know her know that no Samar climb is complete without her riding her beloved bike on her newly scaled peak.

Ergo, even Kilimanjaro — which must have seen pretty much everything under the sun — got to expand its horizons as the 27-year-old adventurer from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wheeled around on its surface.

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The thing that pushed her this time to make the arduous journey was to show the world that Pakistani women are not inferior to anyone.

"I wanted to take the green flag at a global level to show the world what Pakistanis are capable of," Samar told The Express Tribune. "And to show them that not just our boys but our girls are also risk-takers."

Samar says Kilimanjaro being the highest peak in Africa was the logical choice for her to showcase her skills.

“As Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest peak (5,895 meters) and a dormant volcano so it seemed the best target for me to ride my bicycle on," she said. "I also thought that by doing so I could bring honour for my country and people. With this aim I went on to achieve what no other girl in Pakistan has."

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She shed some more light on the four-day trip, saying: “I started cycling towards the summit point and at some places I had to trek as well as lift my bike. It was not easy but I pushed myself to the limits."

Such a humongous task could not have been possible without the help of many, most of whom got a mention from the grateful Samar.

"This was made possible with the help of my supporters not only in Pakistan but also in Africa," she said. "I'm also thankful to Pakistan Army (ISPR) for trusting my abilities and sponsoring the event. And as the goodwill ambassador of 'Hashoo Foundation' I also received a lot of guidance and encouragement from them."

But Samar had even greater targets than Kilimanjaro's Uhuru Peak, which she will perhaps have another go at in future when interest in mountaineering has peaked.

“I wanted to ride my cycle on KIBO crater — one of three volcanoes on Uhuru — and that's why I want to share my work with my compatriots," she said. "With my inspiration perhaps more female athletes will venture into extreme sports."

COMMENTS (2)

Jimmy Choo | 3 years ago | Reply You know all of the girls who cycle in a country of 200 million people?
Furqan Masood | 3 years ago | Reply For last 10 years I have been training and doing all sorts of outdoor activities. I would consider myself to be a lil above amature class when it comes to cycling. Which I started in April 17, and since then I have been an active member in alot of cycling communities in Islamabad. I have run a half marathon by now, and have done alot of grand fondos(100km) cycling within islamabad. When it comes to climbing gradients such as going to monal from Zoo I find it extremely challenging. It is a good training camp for any cyclist residing in Islamabad. Reason for saying all this is that I have never met a cyclist(hobbyist and professional) who knows of Samar khan, or if she has joined them ever for a group ride. Islamabad is not a big city, so everyone knows eachother through some connection. Some of my friends have even challenged Ms Samar Khan to go with them for a small cycling ride to Monal, after her huge claims of cycling to huge elevation within Pakistan and now in Tanzania. But she always comes up with an excuse or shames them for being jealous of her achievements. I would be very proud of any girl from Pakistan who would represent us by doing all this. But I fear that in time if she is proven to be a scam, then it would bring defame to our country. I just wanted to bring this to light and the media should assist the cycling community by inquiring some proof from Ms Samar Khan to prove us all wrong.
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