By Humza Siddique
“We held hands and sobbed as we crossed the pass.”
Saba Haleem’ 22, Mina Harris’ 22 and Namra Nadeem’ 21, made history as part of the first student expedition to cross the Lupaghr Pir Pass in the upper Hunza valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. The three girls were part of the 16 student expedition who made the ascent on 26th August, 2019.
These girls signed up for this summer trip as part of the extreme trip category. “I knew it was going to be one of the hardest things I would do because I had a major knee construction surgery last year,” said Nadeem.
The girls emphasized on how it was challenging to maintain mental and physical coordination in movement. “The landscape was barren and the path was alternating between descents and climbs,” said Harris. “Each step had to be quick.”
Alongside the movement difficulties, the physical strain was also a highlight of the trip as quoted by the girls. Despite having porters accompanying them for the trek, the heavy bags made steep slopes an “uphill” task. “We had to work out at the gym, a few times a week, in order to bear the weight,” said Haleem. “This explains the shoulder pains,” the girls laughed.
The girls commended the bonding opportunities on the trip, with fellow expedition members. “Campsites were lively and great fun. The boys were very supportive and there was no gender-based discrimination.”, said Haleem. Another favourable outcome of this feat was discipline. “We used to set off early at 4-5 AM and settled down at 5-6 PM for tenting,” said Harris.
Abdullah Jehanzeb, Senior Officer at LAS, commented on the Executive Council’s behalf, on how the girls showed immaculate resilience throughout the trek. “This is the sort of empowerment that LAS aims to provide to all women in our society.”said Jehanzeb.
LAS and other student-run tourism clubs provide easier, less harsh travel opportunities but as Saba put it, “Willpower is the only prerequisite” to leap for the toughest adventure challenges.
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