Whilst most of us at the age of 21 were negotiating early adulthood, Indian twins Tashi and Nungshi Malik were summiting Everest. Just two years later, at the age of 23, they became the youngest people in the world to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam – summiting the highest peak on each of the 7 continents and skiing to both the North and South Pole– a bucket list of achievements that many mountaineers spend decades attempting to achieve. All while doing it to encourage more women and girls to get outside.
This year, the 28-year-olds swapped mountaineering for adventure racing as they took part in the famous Eco Challenge expedition adventure race in Fiji; a non-stop, multi-day race billed as ‘the toughest in the world’, where the siblings competed in a team of four to race hundreds of miles across the jungle, mountains and ocean via various means. All teams are under strict confidentiality agreements until the TV series of the event with Bear Grylls airs in 2020, however Tashi describes it as ‘brutal’.
I caught up with the twins via email while they were in Fiji to revisit their race experience ahead of writing a book about it, and quizzed them on their extraordinary mountaineering achievements.