1. Tashi and Nungshi Malik are two incredibly talented mountaineers from India.
3. The Explorers Grand Slam is completed when one scales the highest peak of every continent, as well as reaches the North Pole & South Pole.
^At the summit of Mount McKinley, the highest peak in North America.
4. Yes, that includes Mount Everest as well.
5. And the real kicker? They’re all of 23 years old!
6. BuzzFeed India caught up with the twins over e-mail to talk about their feelings after completing the Explorers Grand Slam.
7. BF India: What were the first emotions you experienced when you finally completed your journey?
Tashi: On top of the world! We feel so fortunate to have our parents’ full support for such a dangerous mission. I have an amazing sense of fulfillment and pride on behalf of all girls who are denied an equal opportunity to realize their full human potential.
Nungshi: I felt like a true champion with a mission accomplished for the Indian girl child. First thing I did with my sister on reaching the summit was to strike a steel plate with a spoon as a celebration of being girls, much like families in many parts of rural India do to celebrate and announce the birth of male child to their neighbours!’
8. BF India: What in your opinion were the biggest obstacles you faced during these trips?
Nungshi: Serious mountain climbing is definitely very demanding. On one hand, it is generally an individual and lonely effort (it is you and the mountain!), on the other, there is immense physical pain and impending dangers. Even a small avalanche can easily send you into oblivion.
Tashi: Even if we usually rate climbing Everest as our biggest feat, I would admit that our biggest obstacle was successfully climbing Mt McKinley. While the mountain is not technically difficult, the lower half is packed with crevasses while above 14,000 feet are steep slopes of up to 50 degrees on ice and many dangerous and exposed sections.
9. BF India: What’s next on the card for you, now that you’ve achieved the Grand Slam?
Nungshi: A lot is on our minds and a lot yet to crystallise! There’s a lot on the platter! This year is about completing our graduate diploma in sport and exercise in New Zealand by November. We are on the verge of starting a trust by the name ‘NungshiTashi Foundation’ with the aim to create livelihoods and girl empowerment through mountaineering.
Tashi: We just became the first twins and the world’s youngest women to complete the Explorers Grand Slam. Now we certainly wish to take up our other deep interest, i.e. dancing! And we hope to act ourselves in a movie we plan to make, based on our mission.