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Pakistani Girls Begin Their Ascent to Equality in ‘Climbing for a Reason’

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‘Climbing for a Reason’ will document the transformative power climbing can bring to even the most repressed corners of the world.

Chilean climber Luis Birkner and filmmaker Mateo Barrenengoa founded the nonprofit group Climbing for a Reason. The project aims to provide underdeveloped communities with climbing access, equipment, and education.

The idea is that the challenges presented in climbing are fundamentally empowering. And when a foundation has enough resources to work through local barriers to access, culturally transformative things can happen.

Such is the case in Pakistan, where the organization spent 3 weeks in the summer of 2021. In that time, Birkner and his team developed the first climbing crag in the Daskoor region, comprising 19 sport routes graded up to 5.11c. The group also built the town’s first public climbing wall.

Most importantly, they worked closely with local Pakistani girls, teaching them comprehensive safety and climbing techniques. Through its sponsors and donors, Climbing for a Reason provided an estimated 7 years’ worth of climbing equipment and helped the local community establish a sport climbing club, the first in the Shigar Valley.

“Watching these girls climb for the first time in their lives, watching them play with each other … on their new climbing wall and on their own rocks, and seeing them feel like they were [fighting against] a history of repressed women was priceless,” Birkner said in a recent press release.

Take a look at the trailer for “Climbing for a Reason” and learn more at the team’s fundraising platform.

Runtime: 2.5 minutes

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