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American Climbers to Teach Pakistani Women

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A small team of American women will head to Asia this summer to train Pakistani women in mountaineering skills. The program is a joint effort of the Alpine Club of Pakistan and the American Alpine Club, and the team tentatively includes Janet Bergman, Charlotte Fox, Danika Gilbert, Heidi Kloos, and Cherie Silvera. Up to 100 Pakistani girls and women will participate. Initial practice in rock and snow climbing will be followed by glacier-skills training for advanced students. An expedition of about 15 women then will climb 19,619-foot Kusheikh Peak, near Khunjerab Pass in far northern Pakistan.

Seeds for the women’s climbing program were planted last summer, when AAC vice president Steve Swenson and other American climbers met with the Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP), following an expedition to the Latok group. The ACP asked for the Americans’ help, hoping to jump-start efforts to introduce the nation’s women to mountaineering. The ACP will cover all in-country expenses and organization for the month-long program, but donations are being sought to help the American women travel to Pakistan. For more information, contact Charlotte Fox at cfoxalpine@earthlink.net.

Sources: Charlotte Fox, Alpine Club of Pakistan