ISLAMABAD: Nelly Attar, a Lebanese mountaineer born and raised in Saudi Arabia, on Monday began a 50-day journey to become the first Arab women to reach K2, the world’s second highest mountain, saying she wanted to use her climbs as a vehicle to inspire women across the Middle East.
In 2017 Attar left her career as a mental health professional to focus on sports and expeditions. She is the founder of Move Studio, Saudi Arabia’s first dance studio. In 2020, the Muslim Women Network named her “One of the Top Influential Women in Sports,” while Sports 360 in 2019 called her the “Female Fitness Influencer of the Year Across the GCC.”
Attar successfully climbed Mount Everest in 2019 and had scaled 15 other peaks around the world before setting her sights on K2.
At 8,611 meters (28,251 foot), K2, known as the Savage Mountain, is widely considered the most dangerous climb in the world due to its difficult terrain and treacherous weather. Fewer than 20 women globally have summited K2 and for about every five people who have reached the top of the mountain, one has died in the attempt.
In 2014, three Nepali women led the first all-female team to climb what most mountaineers consider a much tougher challenge than Everest.
“I am embarking on the most challenging journey to climb K-2 on June 20,” Attar told Arab News in an interview in Islamabad last week. “I feel like there’s so much unknown, there’s so much to this journey that we will be embarking on,…