AIA One Billion Story

Athena Wang's Story

2023 dot 3-min read

Overcoming Challenges to Reach K2 Basecamp

Athena Wang
Branding & Corporate Communication, AIA China

Athena enjoys hiking and outdoor exercises, especially activities that give her the opportunity to explore the wilderness and extreme nature. This spring, Athena set out to do the Trans-Karakoram Tract, located northwest of the XinJiang Province, (also known as the Kelechin River Valley). She set the goal to reach the K2 basecamp, at the foot of the Chhogori Peak, which is the borderline between China and Pakistan.

This trek, however, wasn’t an easy feat. Chhogori is the 2nd highest mountain on Earth at 8,611 meters above sea level, known to be the hardest to climb and the dreaming land for all climbers. Hiking for about 18KM per day at an average altitude of over 4,000 meters, there were strong wind, wild animals, dust and rocks – this was Athena’s hardest trek. But she was not alone – she was part of a team of more than 20 members, local villagers and more than 20 camels. With support and encouragement, they helped each other to overcome every challenge and Athena was able to witness her team and herself getting stronger.

Without doubt this hike brought many physical and mental challenges, but with resilience and determination, her team reached the destination. “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience: being among the clouds, seeing the stars, the snow and the ice all around – the splendid view made me feel like this trip was totally worth it.”

Inspired by many explorers’ stories and autobiographies of their experiences around the world, this has attracted and motivated her to be more in touch with nature. This also inspired her to take up hiking as a healthy living change. “I feel like outdoor travel helps improve people both physically and mentally, and it makes you cherish your daily life.”