Visual Recap • Empowering Afghan Women Through Climbing

On August 17th, 2016, Naz Ahmed, Board of Directors of Ascend: Leadership through Athletics, led a talk about Ascend’s work with young women climbing in Afghanistan. Sharing photos and insight about the Ascend climbing team’s success summiting several 16,000 foot peaks in the Panjshir Vally, we learned about the women’s newest goal – to be the first all-female team to summit Afghanistan’s highest peak Mt. Noshaq!

One thing that really spoke to us was that these women have become change makers not only in their own lives, but also for the younger women in their community. This project with Ascend has taught them greater lessons beyond the mountain. For example, one of the women organized a neighborhood cleanup, an action that is unheard of in their traditional roles. The talk, more than anything, created a more tangible connection to these amazing women and the barriers they face living in Afghanistan. We take for granted simple freedoms in America that we so often forget are even freedoms, like walking in a park…or hiking up a mountain.

We must thank American Alpine Club for their support in making this talk come to life at Mesa Rim CoWorking Center as well as donation of raffle prizes. As well, thanks to Ascend Athletics and Adenture 16 San Diego for their generous donations for this event.

To everyone who participated in the raffle, YOU ROCK! We raised $230 for the Ascend Athletics “Climb with Purpose” Campaign, to support these mountaineers, community leaders, and change makers.

“Today outdoor activities are gaining popularity around Afghanistan, particularly in Kabul, but women are often discouraged from participating – or even appearing outdoors – due to perceptions of femininity based on traditional cultural and social beliefs.” – Faisal Naziry • Operations Director at Ascend Athletics (Read full blog post on Ascend’s website)

If you’d like to learn more about Ascend Athletics work, head over to their website ascendathletics.org.


Want to see more talks in conjunction with American Alpine Club? Ueli Steck aka The Swiss Machine is coming to San Diego and you won’t want to miss it! Get your tickets before they sell out.