Three women climbers from Nepal set out on Thursday to ascend Pakistan’s highest peak in Gilgit-Baltistan – K2.
“Maya Sherpa, Dawa Sherpa and Pasang Sherpa begin their expedition today,” said Nira Gurung, senior communications officer at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) in Nepal.
“The expedition will take around 65 days from mid-June to the end of August and starts from Kathmandu,” said Gurung in an email sent to the media on Thursday.
Upon reaching the top, the team will place ICIMOD’s banner on the summit, becoming the first Nepalese women to conquer K2.
The expedition is expected to help women demonstrate their strengths and potential for positive change. “The team will raise awareness on climate change besides help raise funds for the protection of mountains.”
During the expedition, the climbers will also document and record events and happenings with respect to women and climate change for the consumption of ICIMOD. The mountaineers will share their findings and experience at a seminar at ICIMOD once they are back in Nepal.
The expedition was supported by ICIMOD with the objective of integrating women into climate change research and adaptation as well as sustainable development in the Himalayas. It also hopes to further gender equity and gender transformative change.
“We hope the expedition will help raise awareness about climate change and bring about a positive change in gender-related perception and behavior,” states the email.
At an elevation of 8,611 metres above the sea, K2 is the second highest peak in the world after Mount Everest in Nepal at 8,848 metres.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2014.