Afghan girl climbers are now studying in the United States

Afghan girl climbers are now studying in the United States

“Growing up in a male-dominated society, you are always reminded that you are weak. That is why I started climbing. To prove to myself that I am strong, mentally and physically.” The word Mina Bakhshi, a young Afghan climber who was brought to the United States with 130 other people, the next day August 15, 2021 to escape from the Taliban, by a small NGO founded Ascend Marina Legree. A twenty-minute film, with photos of American Yosemite and those of Afghan news, tells the story of these children’s rebirths.

“We’ve gone from an organization that empowers girls in Afghanistan to one that evacuates and resettles refugees,” says Marina Leggeri.

Five young Afghan women have been transported to North Carolina. Yosemite Search and Rescue (Yosar) climbers Merryn Venugopal and Michelle Pellette reached out to the group to introduce them to the challenges of climbing in Yosemite. “Ascend’s goal is to empower women through leadership and climbing,” explains Allison Kaplan, climbing ranger at Yosemite National Park. “Many of the women who have been part of this community seem to have a desire to help other women and bring more of them into the climbing community.”

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