Samina Khayal Baig is the first Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest. She is also the youngest Muslim woman to climb Everest, having done so at the age of 21. Samina is also the first Pakistani woman and the first Muslim to climb the seven summits.
Early life and career
Baig comes from Shimshal village in Hunza Gojal, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, and was trained in mountaineering from the age of fifteen by her brother Mirza Ali. She is a student of arts and began climbing, when she was merely four years old. Besides the Himalayas, Baig has been employed as a mountain guide and expedition leader in the Hindu Kush and the peaks of Karakoram. Baig has been a professional climber since 2009.
Climbing Mount Everest
Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest.
On May 19, 2013, at 7:40 a.m., Baig stood on top of the world, one of fewer than 400 women from across the globe – of various ages, nationalities and socioeconomic backgrounds – to reach Everest’s summit.
Since then she has climbed to the top of the highest mountains on the five other continents: Denali in Alaska, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Elbrus in Russia, Aconcagua in Argentina and Vinson in Antarctica, as well as Carstensz Pyramid in Oceania.
Today, Samina Baig travels throughout Pakistan spreading a simple but poignant message.“I want to tell the women in Pakistan that if I am from Pakistan and I can climb mountains, they can climb their own mountains, because everyone has their own mountains in their lives,” Baig said during a recent visit to California. “They can work hard, they can overcome their challenges and they can reach their goals.”
That is a strong testament coming from a woman, who grew up in a one-room house with no electricity, indoor plumbing or telephone. The family used firewood for cooking and heating. But Baig’s parents, a farmer and a homemaker, ensured that all their children – four sons and two daughters– went to school.
As a girl, Baig loved the outdoors and developed a close connection with the mountains surrounding her village, where she would herd animals, fetch firewood and play.