1st Pakistani Woman Snowboards down Europe’s Highest Peak

Samar Khan made history by becoming the first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.

1st Pakistani Woman Snowboards down Europe's Highest Peak f

"When I started snowboarding here, not many in Pakistan knew it as a sport"

Pakistani adventure athlete Samar Khan continues to inspire and set records. After summiting Mount Elbrus, she then became the first Pakistani woman to snowboard down Europe’s highest peak.

She fearlessly descended the 5,642-metre peak.

On Instagram, she wrote: “I’m pleased to announce that I have successfully climbed Europe’s highest peak, Mt. Elbrus, and snowboarded down, becoming the first Pakistani to pioneer this feat in the world of action sports.

“I set out for the summit push around 3 am and reached the top by 10 am with a green flag, followed by an exhilarating snowboarding descent from Elbrus.”

Khan comes from Dir in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Pakistani adventure athlete is passionate about encouraging people to engage in sports.

She was selected by the ESPNW Global Sports Mentoring Program due to her exceptional work inspiring youth, especially women, through adventure sports.

In 2022, Khan reflected on her snowboarding journey when speaking to Dawn:

“When I started snowboarding here, not many in Pakistan knew it as a sport.

“Snowboards or boots are not even available here.

“When you talk about action sports or adventure sports, you don’t see any platform for it in Pakistan, despite us having three big mountain ranges with ideal destinations for adventure sports.

“There is no infrastructure, no coaching and no mentors. After my initial snowboarding classes in the US, I trained myself further on my own through YouTube videos.”

Samar Khan has been breaking barriers, winning medals, and inspiring many for years.

In 2022, Khan won a silver medal in the Sadia Khan Championship for snowboarding.

Moreover, in 2021 she emerged as the winner of the Red Bull Homerun.

In 2017, she was the first Pakistani to have cycled on the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro.

She was also the first woman in the world to have cycled on the third-largest non-polar glacial system, Biafo Glacier and Godwin Austen Glacier, in the Karakoram mountains of Gilgit Baltistan.

She founded her initiative Samar Camp in 2014 and began travelling across Pakistan.

Khan’s travels involve her leading projects, seminars, and outdoor expeditions. These programs aim to train and educate people about the importance of sports activities.

She focuses on training girls through her organisation, stating in 2022:

“With so many restrictions imposed on them, girls in our country don’t get many opportunities.

“I would like to see them pursue sports. If not professionally, then recreationally.”

She wants there to be a “culture of sports” in Pakistan.

Athletes like Samar Khan pave the way and break barriers, setting the stage for more Pakistani women to emerge on the world athletics, sporting stage.

Somia is our content editor and writer who has a focus on lifestyle and social stigmas. She enjoys exploring controversial topics. Her motto is: "It's better to regret what you have done than what you haven't."

Instagram: @skhanathlete

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