To Leila Esfandyari, the Heroine of the Mountains

To the Leila of Iran

Happy 45th Birthday Sweetheart!

On your Birthday we decided to write to you to remind ourselves what a courage it takes to reach out for new experiences, to embrace all the dangers and defeats that you will face in order to live to your dreams. To quit your job and sell all your assets in life to pursuit your dreams in the mountains is not an easy decision at all Leila. You were so determined that even when Iran’s Hiking Federation did not even recognize your ascend to the Nanga Parbat peak and never supported you on your difficult journey you were not discouraged and continued on your path.

Let us congratulate your birthday also all your super valuable achievements in life.

You have so many ‘Firsts’ on your resume which were never properly appreciated; winter ascends to mount Damavand the highest peak of Iran, the glaciers on Sabalan and Kasra, walls of Alam Kuh, the ridge of Alborz on winter, guiding the expedition to Namakdan Ghar the world’s longest salt cave, joining the team for excursion of Megalaya caves as Iran’s representative, and many many more.

Leila Jan, your bravery inspired so many Iranian girls and women to not only be a great athlete like yourself but most importantly to be a compassionate human being that is always willing to take the most difficult route to make the best out of their life. You did realize that living life is not about the length of it but it is about having enough courage to break the routines and go beyond the boring standards to make your own path, and indeed you did it well girl.

May your spirit find peace on the beautiful slopes of the majestic K4 Mountain.

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