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Naila Kiani: The sensation of Karakorum Range


Naila has become the first lady mountaineer of Pakistan who successfully reached Gasherbrum II the 13th highest mountain in the world at 8,035 meters above sea level. It is the third-highest peak of the Gasherbrum Massif and is located in the Karakoram range.

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She climbed the peak after a few months of giving birth to her second child. 8-thousand-meter height, minus 15 temperature and cold wind storm, nothing became more aggressive in front of her ambition.

Naila who is also a boxer said in an interview with BBC “I am a boxer and a fighter; I am very well aware of the courage I have so I chose 8000-meter-high mountain as my first adventure”.

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None other women of Pakistan climbed this peak before her. The secretary of Alpine Club of Pakistan Qarar Haidery says, “she has made a history, she has not the only conqueror of  Gasherbrum II but also the first Pakistani woman who made a record of 8 thousand meter height in her first attempt”.

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Another encouraging fact is that no foreign mountaineer was included in this adventure. Qarar Haidari says that the Alpine club has requested the govt of Pakistan to give awards to Naila Kiani, Sirbaz Sadpara, Ali Raza Sadpara, and Sohail Sakhi.

Naila hails from Gujar Khan an outskirt of Rawalpindi, Punjab, Pakistan. She has got a degree in aerospace engineering from England then for a short period of time worked in this field too but nowadays is settled in Dubai with her husband and working as a banker but she says adventure always remains her top priority. Naila recalls the days of her school time where she used to enter

The boxing ring but rock climbing became her passion during her stay in Dubai where she has started rock climbing and ice skating.   

Although Naila belongs to a conservative family, she appreciates that her family has never become a hurdle for her hobbies.

About her marriage life, she says “I have got a love marriage and my hubby Khalid Raja knows about all of these interests” adding a laughter “he knows very well that I am a person who tries new hobbies and interests”.

Naila’s marriage was also a sensation as she had chosen K2 base camp to make the marriage ceremony memorable. she was against huge marriage gatherings and this unique idea became viral with her marriage pictures on the internet.

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Naila is the mother of 2 kids the elder son is 2 years old whereas the younger daughter is just 7 months old. She appreciates her hubby and family who took good care of her toddlers during her absence.

About this unique journey, she says, “it was a really challenging decision to climb a mountain after a few months of giving birth but as a hobby to accept challenges I accepted it too”

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Tributing to her husband she quoted very sweet words of her hubby, “I have not married to Naila only, her dreams are also part of this marriage”. According to her, they both are very supportive of each other in the chase of their dreams.

Khalid Raja is extremely excited and happy about her wife’s success he says “Naila is an adventurist personality. We decided that our kids are young so it may an opportunity that she could fulfill her dreams after a few years kids will grow up and maybe we will not able to manage this all with their increasing needs”

Khalid added, “I and other family members took care of kids during these 5 weeks and she prearranged all before she has gone for her camp”.

Gasherbrum II the Journey

Naila Kiani says she has taken no formal training for mountaineering. Even she has never climbed some 5 or 6 thousand feet high mountain but she has got training at Gasherbrum II, camp 3, which is routine training for mountaineers before kick-off their track. Naila said in an interview that the majority of mountaineers belong to the Gilgit Baltistan region, they are born at a 2-to-3-thousand-meters height so it’s natural for them to climb but the whole scenario is so difficult for a person like her who belongs to plain. She also said that after giving birth to a child a woman’s body does not support such adventure but she concentrates more on the brain than the body to achieve success. Although she faced a few episodes of depression, it was her trained brain that brought her out and makes sure to concentrate on objectives.

Naila gives huge credit to other team members of the adventure. She recalls each moment of their great company. The Guru of great late Muhammad Ali Sadpara Ali Raza Sadpara accompanied this team. She mentioned that Sirbaz Sadpara, Sohail Sakhi, and Ali Raza Sadpara, they coiled the ropes and Ali Raza guided her very carefully on every step.

She recalls camp 3, days where she had become used to this life and Naila has got clarity about the adventure and how she had mentally prepared herself for upcoming hardships.

The whole scenario was very rough and tough. She lost the apatite, faced very severe episodes of insomnia and sometimes her feet stopped working. 

She added, “as the real adventure started after camp 3, I have come under stress her body stopped working and she thought that it’s the end of her journey. Then she rea
lized that she is very near to the destination and she will never lose the glory of victory, she had collected her whole will and determination and asked herself “yes you can do it!!”

She gives its credit to his companions who all encourage her a lot and she finally defeated the stress after 2 hours of struggle.  

She was absolutely fine when they reached camp 4. It was the end of the use of ropes and all 4 mountaineers started the journey towards the peak with a coil of each the temperature was between minus 10 to minus 15. The cold wind was too fast and harsh it seemed that it could throw us far. this 8 thousand meter was also the first adventure of Sohail Sakhi. Ali Raza Sadpara and Sirbaz Sadpara were encouraging us.  

Naila says it took them 15 hours to reach the peak from camp 4. The air pressure had increased that it was even difficult to still stand there. She mentioned with pride that she raised the Pakistani flag there and made pictures and videos.

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She said” it was my childhood dream which has become true. I dreamt of flying and climbing mountains. The wind was throwing small particles of ice on us. She could see the china and Indian mountain and was enjoying a feeling of flying in the air. 




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