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Female Mountaineers From Pakistan, Iran Reach World's Second-Highest Summit

Pakistani climber Samina Baig poses on the top of Chashkin Sar (6,400 meters) in Pakistan. (file photo)
Pakistani climber Samina Baig poses on the top of Chashkin Sar (6,400 meters) in Pakistan. (file photo)

Two women -- one from Pakistan and another from Iran -- appear to be the first female climbers from their countries to reach the summit of K2, the world's second-highest and arguably most dangerous peak.

Samina Baig, 32, hoisted Pakistan's flag atop the 8,611-meter-high peak, located on the Chinese-Pakistani border, on July 22.

Baig hails from the remote northern Pakistani village of Shimshal in the Gilgit–Baltistan region.

She was among several women to successfully reach K2's peak on July 22, according to Karrar Haidri, chief officer of the Pakistan Alpine Club, which helps coordinate between climbers and the government in the event of an emergency.

Haidri said a second Pakistani female climber, Naila Kiyani, was also among the teams to reach the top of the mountain, but it appeared that Baig had arrived at the peak a few minutes earlier.

Baig was also the first Pakistani woman to climb the Himalaya's 8,848-meter Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, in 2013.

Pakistani media said several other mountaineers, including female climbers from Iran, Oman, Lebanon, and Taiwan, also summited the peak on July 22.

Farsi-language posts on social media identified the Iranian climber in the same party as Afsaneh Hesamifard. According to Iranian media, Hesamifard became only the third woman to reach the top of Mount Everest during an expedition in May.

Haidri said Afghan climber Ali Akbar Sakki died on July 21 due to a heart attack while attempting to scale K2 as part of the team of climbers who reached its summit on July 22.

K2 has one of the deadliest records, with most fatalities occurring to climbers on their descent. Only a few hundred have successfully reached its summit. By comparison, Mount Everest has been summited more than 9,000 times.

Winds on K2's peak can blow at more than 200 kilometers per hour and temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius.

With reporting by AP, Geo TV, and Samaaenglish TV