By Akanksha Dean
The twin climbers epitomized India in Switzerland’s “100% Women Peak Challenge.”
India’s ‘Everest Twins’ Tashi and Nungshi Malik climbed two 4,000-meter (13,000 feet) summits in the Swiss Alps as a part of the “100% Women Only” crusade on International Women’s Day 2021.
This year’s challenge was designed to inspire women-only teams to come collected to climb all the forty-eight – 13,000 feet peaks in the Swiss Alps.
The twins effectively seized Mount Breithorn (13,662 feet) and Allalinhorn (13,212 feet). Nungshi said, “We are gratified to Switzerland for welcoming us to represent our nation and Indian women in this summit challenge!”
“We have always visualized of climbing the peaks here in the Swiss Alps, because we had heard so much about them from our peers, and the Alps did not fail!”
“Both the summits we climbed were in the automobile free township of Switzerland, Zermatt,” she said. “At the top of Allalinhorn, the weather was tremendously windy at the top, and the temperatures dropped to minus 5 degree Celsius).”
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“The mountain had lots of ravines to negotiate in the start and bared rock to climb towards the summit and was more technical than Breithorn.”
Tashi said, “This was our very first time experiencing the Swiss Alps, the landscape here is so dissimilar to anything that we have done in the past, specifically the Himalayas.”
“But it was a marvellous adventure for, the images from the top of the mountain just took our breath away! The climb to Breithorn was relatively easier.”
“We would inspire more women who are looking to step out of their ease zones and try their hand at mountaineering, to visit Switzerland and rule these mountains.” she said. “The complete beauty of the Alps and joy of reaching the pinnacle will motivate you to continue and become a seasonal mountaineer.”
Over 400 women from across the world have taken on this challenge so far, comprising both weathered mountaineers as well as women who have never climbed a four-thousand-meter peak before.
“Inviting Tashi & Nungshi Malik to Switzerland for the Peak Challenge was a chance to unite international travelers, particularly women mountaineers, and bring them together to uncover all that Switzerland offers in its varied landscape,” said Ritu Sharma, Deputy Director, Switzerland Tourism.
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“On the climb to Mt Breithorn, two more Indian women who are not expert mountaineers accompanied the twins! We hope that India’s representation in this Peak Challenge will motivate more ladies to try out outdoor life by partaking in high-altitude hikes, mountain biking and climbing or camping.”
“Because we strongly credit that there is no mountain a woman cannot climb, in the world or in her life!” Sharma said.
The twins also endeavored their first ever- multi pitch climb on Riffelhorn, which is at an altitude of 9,603 feet. The steep bolted routes, slippery rock and uncovered sections pose unalike challenges in themselves and gives the peak a climbing grade of 4a.
Apart from the climb, the twins also indulged in a few entertaining activities like jetboating in Interlaken, slithering across the dragon slider on Mount Pilatus, and visiting the Swiss Museum for Transport in Lucerne.
The twins could not oppose themselves from doing the essential SRK move…they were in Switzerland after all!
(Akanksha Dean is an independent chef and food and travel writer. She is the first Indian to have trained at Osteria Francescana, in Modena, Italy, rated as the world’s best restaurant in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in 2016 and 2018).