Journey of a Lifetime

Islamabad: Billi Bierling, a German mountaineering journalist based in Nepal, recently went on an expedition to K2 and broad peak, the 2nd and 12th highest mountains in the world respectively, located on the massive Baltoro Glacier in Pakistan. Upon completing this milestone, Billi returned to Islamabad to share her thrilling journey.

In her presentation at Kuch Khaas on Sunday, Billi shared her excruciatingly challenging yet adrenaline pumping journey to the second highest yet toughest mountain of the world — the K2. Although her group could not make the summit due to difficult weather conditions, Billi considers it a successful trip as she gained a wealth of experience. Billi was part of a 35 person expedition that was led by famous mountaineer Russell Brice.

For the past eleven years, she has assisted famous Himalayan chronicler Elizabeth Hawley in keeping a record of all her expeditions in Nepal. Her work as a journalist has taken her to many parts of the world including Pakistan — a country very close to her heart.

Other than writing, Billi also climbs. In 2009 she became the third German woman to reach the top of Mount Everest, and she plans to climb seven of the 14 highest peaks in the world.

Talking about K2, she said “So if you look at how a child would draw a mountain, like a triangle, that is how K2 actually is. Everest, in comparison, is a walk through, a part with its numerous tea houses, where you could stop and relax, take a hot shower. K2, however, is a totally different ball game,” she said.

Sharing her almost-summit to K2, she said “At one point I stood breathing in the beautiful view of the mountains with tears flowing from my eyes. I said to a colleague that we are one of the very few lucky people in the world who will ever get to see this beautiful view.” Billi wishes that more Pakistanis became aware of the beauty of their own country.

[The Express Tribune]

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