Pak-Dane expedition: Climb for ‘friendship and dreams’
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Danish friendship reached new heights Thursday when climbers scaled the Malika Parbat (North Peak), the highest mountain in Hazara Division.
In the first ever joint Danish-Pakistani climbing expedition, Danish climber who is also the Deputy Head of Mission at the Danish Embassy Islamabad, Jens J. Simonsen joined hands with Pakistani climber Imran Junaidi.
While both South and North peaks have been previously climbed by European mountaineers, the expedition made history on the Malika Parbat, which stands at 5,290 metres (17,356 feet) only a few kilometres from Lake Saiful Muluk particularly for Imran Junaidi, who became the first ever Pakistani to ascend the peak.
On return, the Danish climber Jens J. Simonsen stated, “It was really important for me to do this with a Pakistani climber, not only as an expression of my friendship with Pakistani climbers but also as a small concrete expression of friendship between Denmark and Pakistan.”
Jens Simonsen described Pakistan as a country of many strengths and beautiful natural resources, which were breathtaking, especially for visitors who came 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,” said Jens Simonsen.
The peak was clearly visible from the popular tourist spot of Lake Saiful Maluk in Kaghan Valley. Among the local population, the mountain is however considered non-climbable because of the steepness and other mountain hazards.
Pakistani climber, Mr Junaidi was extremely happy to have taken on this challenge and to have climbed together with his Danish friend and climber, Simonsen.
“The climb was no doubt quite challenging at times but sometimes you have to fight a little for your friendships and for your dreams, said Imran Junaidi who described his experience.”
Only eight climbers have reached the top of Malika Parbat (North) Peak until now. The North Summit was first 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 died during the descent. Imran Junaidi was the first Pakistani to have climbed the North peak.