‘Mountain Princess’ Selena Khawaja is the youngest Pakistani to scale 5,000-metre peak in Hunza
A nine-year-old Pakistani girl has become the youngest to scale the 5,765-metre-high Quz Sar Peak.
The peak is located in the scenic Shimshal Valley, Hunza in the north of the country.
Hailing from Abbottabad, Selena Khawaja, in her first detailed interview, told Gulf News she has a special love for scaling peaks. The little climber said she had felt “great” reaching the summit on February 21.
Selena was accompanied by her father, Yousaf Khawaja, expedition guide Wazir Baig, porter Arif Baig and other team members during the expedition. It took them more than 10 days to summit Quz Sar, of which seven were dedicated to the hike.
Recalling a difficult experience from her latest triumph, Selena said: “At 5,000 metres, I felt slight altitude sickness but my training and the support of my father helped me overcome it soon.”
Selena who has been titled the “Mountain Princess” by Pakistan’s mountaineering community, has now set her sights on three more peaks: Mingling Sar (6,050 metres), followed by Spantik Peak (7,027 metres) and then Broad Peak (8,051 metres), the 12th highest mountain in the world.
“I aim to climb all these peaks this year,” said a determined Selena. According to her, she began physical training just last year in the Miranjani and Makra mountains.
“I have scaled Miranjani at least 45 times and it is nearly 3,000 metres high,” she recalled. “And summited the 4,000-metre Makra Peak around 3 times.”
Yousaf Khawaja, Selena’s father who accompanied her during her latest triumph, said, “when she started climbing at the age of 8, I sensed improvement in her activity within a month.”
“In less than one year, she was able to do Miranjani round trip in half the time,” he added. Since then, Yousaf has been takidn special care of her daughter’s diet and exercise.
In 2019, when she will be 10, Selena aims to become the youngest girl to conquer Everest. “I will aim for the world’s tallest mountain in 2019 to become the youngest girl to reach the top of Mount Everest” she said.
Through her exploits, she wishes to inspire young kids to “aim high, work hard and achieve your goals.”
Check out her interview here: