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Tashi and Nungshi conquered the highest mountain in Oceania

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Twin sisters Tashi and Nungshi Malik set another world record

India’s pride, Tashi and Nungshi conquered the highest mountain in Oceania, Carstensz

Pyramid, at 08.23 am on the morning of 19 Mar again creating history as the world’s first

twin sisters to do so. This marked their fifth successful climb in a row, leaving just two

more of the famed Seven Summits (highest peaks in each of the seven continents).

Carstensz Pyramid, at 4,884m, is located in Indonesia’s extremely remote and rugged West

Papua region. It is also the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes, and the

highest ‘island peak’ in the world.

Carstensz Pyramid is known as the most technical climb of the Seven Summits and remains

one of the least climbed due to its remote location and difficulty of access. The access route

to the mountain is notorious for being called the toughest trek in the world. It was tough -

12 days - 5 days in to base camp through deep mud, climbing over huge roots and fallen

trees in the jungle, overwhelming heat, constant rain and long days.

The twin sisters’ expedition comprising 10 members reached the Base Camp after six days

of grueling hike through a terrain that varied from jungle to rain forests and high altitude

bogs. Along the trek, they braved deep mud, overwhelming tropical heat, huge rubber

boots and fallen trees. The team comprised two Pakistanis, two from Emirates, three

Canadians and an Australian.

The final summit attempt was equally arduous. Carstensz is very steep with razor sharp

rock. No room for error. The sisters had to complete Tyrolean Traverse by undertaking

dangerous jumps over wide rock gaps and had to rappel down 80% of mountain!

. Sometimes the trek lasted into nights as valuable morning hours were lost due to the

unpredictable nature of the local porters who repeatedly sat down in protest to demand

more money. Several of the porters left midway during the trek.

The unique feature of these tropical mountains is that they are located just four degrees

south of the equator and are one of the very few places in the world where permanent ice

can be seen almost directly on the equator!

Since 1962 when it was first climbed, only about 350 people have climbed Mt Carstensz,

while the world’s highest mountain Mt. Everest was climbed 300 times in 2013 alone! In

addition to its comparative technical difficulties, Carstensz Pyramid remains a difficult

climb due to its old fixed ropes, often dangerously worn out by the constant rain and the

sharp limestone edges.

The twin sisters experienced the most dangerous slips and falls during their two week long

trek up and down the mountain but their strong will to win prevailed against all odds.

Adding excitement to this climb was that Samina Baig along with her brother Mirza Ali

teamed up with the twin sisters and reached the summit together. They hoisted their

national flags together on the highest point of this part of the world.

Last year Samina Baig had teamed up with Tashi & Nungshi to climb Mt Everest thereby

becoming Pakistan’s first woman to do so. Like the twin sisters #mission2for7, Samina and

her brother are also attempting to climb the Seven Summits and have also climbed five

peaks. Unlike Tashi and Nungshi, (who have so far been mostly funded by their parents’

efforts through savings, borrowings and a gold loan), their Pakistani counterparts received

adequate funding support from their government and well wishers for their seven summits

attempt. Having exhausted their parents resources and unable to secure adequate

corporate sponsorships, the twin sisters soon plan to launch public campaign with title

“Support #Mission2for7” to appeal to spirited country men and women for donations and

sponsorships to raise funds for the remaining two peaks. They are hopeful that many

people will come forward to donate for the pride of their daughters and their country. In

successful completion of #mission2for7, the twins will make at least seven world records

in mountaineering, ‘which will never break’!

They will attempt to climb North America’s highest peak, Mt McKinley (USA) in mid May.

After Everest, this is one of the most challenging mountains to climb being located at

tropics with extreme weather conditions and snow storms lasting up to weeks at a stretch.

The twin sisters are aware of the next challenge and will do intense training and

preparation either at NIM Uttarkashi or at High altitude training school in Kashmir.

Inquiries regarding donations can be made at 9410729434 or via email

tashimalik10@yahoo.com. More details are available at www.nungshitashi.com