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Another feat: Mountaineer siblings climb Denali peak in US

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ISLAMABAD: Mountaineer siblings Samina Baig and Mirza Ali have successfully scaled Mount Denali in Alaska in the US, said audio messages they have posted on the website Alpine Ascents, the company facilitating the expedition on June 29.

HunzaNews July 1,2014.

Samina and Mirza from Pakistan, Ankur Bahi from India and two alpine guides, Ben Jones and Peter Moore, successfully reached the top of the 6,168-metre Mount McKinley, or native name Denali, the highest mountain peak in North America. This is the third most prominent peak after Mount Everest and Aconcagua. Located in the Alaska Range in the interior of US state of Alaska, McKinley is the centrepiece of Denali National Park and Preserve.

On March 19, they had conquered Carstensz Pyramid in New Guinea Island in the Indonesian province of Papua, which is on the Australian continental shelf. The 4,884-metre high mountain is also known as Puncak Jaya.

They are now only one peak away from completing their ‘Seven Summits’ goal, which they have dedicated to women’s empowerment, gender equality and environmental conservation.

Their last attempt will be on Mount Elbrus in Russia next month, said Mehboob Ali, elder brother of the climbers.

If they scale each continent’s highest mountain, they will become the only siblings in the world to have achieved this feat.

The Adventure Diplomacy Group consisting of the Serena chain of hotels and the embassies of Argentina, Indonesia, Nepal, Russia and the US, was set up to provide logistical and diplomatic support to the duo’s Seven Summits campaign. Their expedition is financially supported by a Pakistani-Canadian philanthropist, an American woman and a group of New Zealanders.

The mountaineering duo had earlier climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica in January, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in February  and Mount Aconcagua in Argentina in December last year.

Samina Baig climbed the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest on May 19 last year, becoming the first Pakistani woman to accomplish this task.

Denali is the sixth peak the brother-sister duo from Gilgit-Baltistan’s Shimshal valley has climbed since they started their expedition in November 2013 in their quest to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.

The first verifiable ascent to McKinley’s summit was achieved on June 7, 1913 by climbers Hudson Stuck, Harry Karstens, Walter Harper, and Robert Tatum, who went by the South Summit. On September 11, 2013, Alaska’s lieutenant governor Mead Treadwell announced Mount McKinley is 6,168-metre tall and not 6,194 meters as measured in 1952 using photogrammetry.

The Koyukon Athabaskan people who inhabit the area around the mountain referred to the peak as Dinale or Denali (the high one or the great one, respectively).

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