ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – A Pakistani and a Danish climber have marked history by reaching the peak of Malika Parbat (North Peak) at 5,290 meters, which is the highest mountain in the Hazara Division in Pakistan. The five-day climbing expedition was initiated as part of both climbers’ interest in expressing the growing friendship between Denmark and Pakistan. This expedition is not only the first ever joint Danish-Pakistani climbing expedition, but it also the first ever Pakistani ascent of the North Peak.
Danish climber and also Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, Jens J. Simonsen, stated upon his return that: “It was really important for me to do this ascent with a Pakistani climber, not only as an expression of my friendship with Pakistani climbers but also as a small concrete expression of the friendship between Denmark and Pakistan. Pakistan is a country of so many strengths and beautiful natural resources, which is breathtaking, especially for us who come from abroad and knew very little about Pakistan. Our relations have never been stronger, and we would like to continue working together and extend Pakistan the support it needs to grow and prosper.”
Malika Parbat is the highest mountain in the Hazara Division, and it is clearly visible from the popular tourist spot of Lake Saiful Maluk in Kaghan Valley. The mountain is, however, considered non-climbable among the local population due to steepness and other mountain hazards.
The Pakistani climber of the two-man team, Imran Junaidi, also shared that he was extremely happy to have taken on this challenge and to have climbed together with his Danish friend and climber, Simonsen. He said, “The climb was no doubt quite challenging at times, but sometimes you have to fight a little for your friendships and for your dreams.”
Only eight climbers have reached the top of Malika Parbat (North) Peak until now. The North Summit was firstly reached by Captain B.W. Battye and four Gurkha soldiers in 1920, followed by a second ascent made by Trevor Braham, Norman Noris, and Gene White in 1967. Two Pakistanis, Rashid Butt and Omer Aziz, climbed the South Peak in 1998, but Rashid Butt unfortunately died during the descent. Imran Junaidi is the first Pakistani to have climbed the North Peak.