Naila Kiyani becomes first Pakistani woman to summit 11 peaks above 8,000 metres

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani mountaineer Naila Kiani scaled the 8,485 meters Mount Makalu, one of the world’s highest mountains, on Sunday, becoming the first woman in the country’s history to summit 11 peaks above 8,000 metres.

“After a challenging climb through the night, Naila has achieved another historic milestone by successfully summiting Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world at 8,485 meters, today [Sunday] at approximately 9:35am Nepal local time [8:50am Pakistan time],” Karrar Haidri, the secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan, said in a statement.

In 2023, she became the second Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest. It was earlier achieved by Samina Baig in 2013.

In July the same year, she along with Samina, scaled the 8,125-metre-tall mountain Nanga Parbat — the world’s ninth-highest peak.

Kiani was grateful for all the prayers and wishes. She also thanked Sherpa Gelgen Dai from Imagine Nepal, who supported her every step of the way, making the achievement possible.

“This latest success highlights her exceptional endurance and determination. She now holds the record as the fastest Pakistani, both male and female, to have summited 11 of the 8,000-meter peaks, accomplished in under three years.”

Naila Kiani

Naila Kiani is a Pakistani woman known for her achievements as a high-altitude mountaineer. Kiani is a Dubai-based Pakistani banker, an amateur boxer, and a mother of two daughters.

She achieved her latest feat in less than six months, making her one of only 10 mountaineers worldwide and the sole Pakistani to have climbed multiple peaks, seven, over 8,000 meters in such a short time frame.

Kiani also holds the record as the fastest Pakistani, male or female, to conquer all 10 8,000-meter peaks, accomplishing this in just two years.

She is an aerospace engineer, having studied at the University of London, and has held a prominent position as an Associate Vice President at the HSBC bank.

“Kiani is a role model and a goodwill ambassador for several organizations supporting women’s education and youth empowerment through sports. Her contributions to mountaineering and her commitment to social causes have been recognized by the government of Pakistan, which awarded her the Sitara-i-Imtiaz, the highest civilian honour for a female athlete in the country,” said the statement.

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