In the hope to create history, one of the best and legendary Pakistani mountaineers, Ali Sadpara, began to winter ascend K2, the world’s 2nd highest mountain, without supplemental oxygen and lost his life.
What made Ali Sadpara do the impossible? To climb one of the highest and deadliest mountains during winters and that too without bottled oxygen. He was an experienced mountaineer, and he knew the risks involved in such an expedition. Then why?
The answer is simple: when choosing between life and the mountain, the fearless and hardcore Pakistani mountaineers will always go for ‘the mountain.’
Let us introduce you to some legendary Pakistani mountaineer who took the Pakistani Flag to the world’s highest peaks and made history.
The Renowned Legendary Pakistani Mountaineers and their Feats
Their pure allegiance towards their country, their searing passion for climbing and their sheer resolution to leave a mark in history made them the heroes of Pakistan.
Ashraf Aman (1938-present)
Ashraf hails from Hunza. Ashraf is a well-known Pakistani legend because he is the first Pakistani to reach and hoist the Pakistani flag on the summit of K2 8611m in 1977. He has the honour of being the first Pakistani to scale any 8000er. Thatswhy he was awarded the President’s Pride of Performance Award in 1982.
Nazir Sabir (1955-Present)
He is an exceptional Pakistani mountaineer from Hunza. To bring his country pride, Nazir made history and became the first Pakistani to climb Mount Everest in 2000. Before that, Nazir has ascended many other mountains, among which four are the 8000m peaks of Pakistan.
Nazir was awarded the prestigious Award for ‘Pride-of-Performance’ in 1982 and the ‘Sitara-i-Imtiaz’ in 2001 for his outstanding achievements. Since then, Nazir has been traveling around the world to promote Pakistan as a tourist destination.
Rajab Shah (1951-2015)
He was born in Shimshal, Hunza and is known as ‘The crown of Karakorum.’ He started his mountaineering expeditions by becoming a high-altitude porter. In 1998, he became the first Pakistani to climb all the five 8000ers peaks of Pakistan without using supplemental oxygen. The Government awarded him The President’s Pride of Performance Award in 1993.
Hassan Sadpara (1964-2016)
A legendary mountaineer and high altitude porter from Skardu. After Rajab Shah, he became the second Pakistani to ascend all the five 8000ers Pakistani Peaks in 2007. At that time, he was the only Pakistani climber who summited six out of fourteen world’s 8000ers. The Government honoured him with The President’s Pride of Performance Award in 2008.
He dreamed to climb all the highest and most difficult 14 8000er peaks globally with the Government of Pakistan’s financial backing. Unfortunately, the aid came, but he died due to leukemia in 2016 and could not fulfill his dreams.
Ali Sadpara (1976-2021)
The son of Hassan Sadpara carried on his father’s dream; he scaled one mountain after another to mark his name on all the five 8000ers Pakistani peaks. Ali broke his father’s record and became the first Pakistani mountaineer to scale eight of the fourteen world’s 8000ers. He came to be known as a legend throughout the world when he conquered Nanga Parbat during winter expedition in 2016 without any bottled oxygen, the feat no other mountaineer dared to attempt before.
The searing elation Ali experienced upon holding the Pakistani flag on Nanga Parbat lured him to another feat, more precarious and deadly. Yet, his fearlessness made him winter Ascend K2 ‘the Savage Mountain’ in 2021, without bottled oxygen. However, sadly this time, fate had another plan. The most experienced and adept climber like Ali Sadpara, went missing and presumed dead after his trail went cold.
Samina Khayal Baig (1990-present)
The Pakistani high-altitude mountaineer who topped Mount Everest in 2013 and became a legend by making several records. At the age of 21, she has gained titles as,
- The first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest.
- The third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest.
- The first-ever Muslim person to climb the seven summits (highest peaks of each continent).
- The Youngest Muslim woman to ascent Mount Everest and the seven summits.
In 2013, during the climb of Everest, approx. 248m below the top of the summit, Samina’s brother Mirza Ali encouraged her sister to reach the top of the peak independently without his aid to show the world the strength and capability of Pakistani women.
Samina Baig also runs an organization under the name of the “Youth Outreach Program.” Her mission is to inspire women to follow their dreams and to educate women on their rights.
That is how Pakistani mountaineers are nurtured to live their life – without the fear of death. Engineered to be brave and fearless, they keep climbing, creating histories, making records until they perish from this world.
They know the risks, the dangers, and the possibility of never returning home, but patriotism and adventure flow in their blood, and therefore, we know them as Legendary Pakistani Mountaineers.