An eight-year-old boy has successfully scaled a 6,050-metre high peak, according to a local news report. Mohsin Ali, from Shimshal in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), accompanied three experienced climbers, including his father Fazal Ali, to climb Minglig Sar peak in Shimshal valley on January 28.
The Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) says it is awaiting confirmation to validate the success of the expedition. Pamir Times, a local news website in G-B, published photographs of the climbers and the Pakistan flag atop the peak.
Ali is the grandson of mountaineer Rajab Shah, who climbed K-2, and studies in the third grade at Noubahar School in Shimshal. ACP President Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Manzoor Hussain said the club had not supported the expedition but it has sent a request to the climbers in Shimshal to provide evidence of the boy’s age.
Hussain said it is difficult to contact residents of Shimshal currently as the area is mostly snowed out of communication.
Shimshal is a ‘hub of mountaineering activity’, according to a climber Shaheen Baig, who recently returned to Islamabad after participating in an expedition in Nepal. Shimshal has produced Pakistani mountaineers such as Samina Baig, the only Pakistani woman to have successfully climbed Mount Everest. A training school in the area, the Shimshal Mountaineering School, has also promoted the culture of climbing among the valley’s children, Baig said, adding that a group of eight girls from the school climbed the same peak last year. However, he said Mohsin is probably the youngest to scale the mountain.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2014.