THE whole mountaineering community is dejected over the missing of Pakistan’s legendary climber Muhammad Ali Sadpara and two others who went missing since February whilst trying to scale K-2. In extreme weather conditions, helicopters of Pakistan Army are continuing the rescue operation but unfortunately have not spotted anyone thus far.
Whilst everybody is praying for the miracle to happen, the bravery of the missing climbers needs to be lauded and recognized as they were on K-2 for over two months in challenging conditions which tire the body and mind both. Winds on K-2 can blow at more than two hundred kilometres per hour and temperatures drop to minus 60 degrees. Braving such life-threatening weather is not an ordinary thing. Especially Sadpara has been an inspiration for the country’s young mountaineers. He has the distinction of proudly hoisting the Pakistan flag on eight high-altitude peaks. Sadpara began his career as porter and worked his way up to climbing high peaks with expeditions. He was part of the team which successfully achieved the first ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016. Both his teammates, Alex Txicon and Simone Moro, have gone on record stating that they could not have done it without Sadpara’s brilliance. He was also the first Pakistani to climb Makalu, the world’s 5th highest peak, located in the Mahalangur Himalayas, southeast of Mount Everest on the border between China and Nepal. All this indicates that Sadpara was not only adventurous in nature but used to take challenges head one. The entire Pakistani nation is proud of him for raising Pakistani flags on the important peaks and we pray that he along with his co-climbers returns home safely and continues to bring more laurels for the country. Pakistan is home to five of the world’s 14 tallest mountains, which entices hundreds of trekkers and mountaineers from near and far to summit the dangerous peaks. This winter an unprecedented four teams totally around sixty climbers converged on the K-2 alone which is more than all previous expeditions put together. We, therefore, will urge the government to extend all out support to the mountaineers so that they could continue raising the country’s flag at high peaks. Doing so will also help attract tourism in the country.