2019 – Handren Mountaineering
History is being made practically every day in Iraq as mountaineers sprint and catch up with the rest of the world. They do this in spite of not having the right tools or training, guided by the same unstoppable passion that drove elite athletes from other countries to forbidden summits around the world. In the latest display of such tenacity, Iraqi mountain guides lead two blind women to the summit of the second tallest mountain in their country, Mount Halgurd at 3,607 m / 11,834 ft.
On August 1, 2019 Handren Mountaineering group escorted two blind women and one handicapped man to the summit of Mt. Halgurd in a climb that lasted two days and one night. The Kurdish climbers who are overcoming their disabilities are Mr. Salah, Mrs. Shahla, and Mrs. Sabriya. The three were escorted by 12 mountaineers, with group leader Karox Ali who organized the expedition. The climb consisted of a stop in Camp 1 at 2,400 m / 7,874 ft, followed by a four hour ascent to the summit at 3,607 m / 11,834 ft. This mountain is considered to be one of the toughest climbs in Kurdistan and is located just 170 km from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.
2015 – Destey Lutka
The accomplishment by Handren Mountaineering group is the second escort of blind climbers to date. The first was conducted on September 18, 2015 by Destey Lutka crew with Siamand Ahmad and Hawraz Raza organizing the expedition to the summit of Mt. Pire Migron, elevation 2,611 m / 8,566 ft. The expedition included 3 blind climbers with a team of 13 escorts and took one day from the base of the mountain to the summit. Team leaders Siamand and Hawraz waited for a day with perfect weather conditions and started early in the day, with the climb taking the full length and the team returning safely down in the late evening.
It bears repeating that all of these incredible accomplishments are being made by people who do not have the right gear and had no access to professional training. For this reason, we are starting the First Climbing School in Iraq’s history. Click the link below because we need your help to deliver a base set of gear and complete the construction of the climbing wall – and you can help in so many ways. Thank you for reading!
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