Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nazir Sabir

Nazir Ahmad Sabir is a mountaineer, adventurer, humanitarian, expedition organizer, former politician and an inspirational speaker from Hunza, Pakistan. He was born on December 10, 1955. It wouldn’t be erroneous to term Nazir Sabir as the most distinguished mountaineer in Pakistan. He is well known for making first ascent of Everest by a Pakistani, though his resume includes feats quite loftier than Everest-ascent. Sabir summited K2 in 1981 via new route - West Ridge/SW side. He is the only Pakistani to summit an 8000er via new route. He is the recipient of Sitara-i-Imtiaz (only Pakistani mountaineer with this award) and President’s Pride of Performance award. Sabir holds the honor of being a climbing partner of Reinhold Messner on Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak, (supposedly) the greatest mountaineer in history. Both peaks were climbed in alpine style in a short duration of one week. Sabir was also a part of 1977 expedition to K2, the second successful expedition in the history of mountain, in which Ashraf Aman became first Pakistani to summit K2.

Sabir’s mountaineering career started off with a Japanese expedition to the 7284m Passu Peak in Hunza in 1974. Next year, he was part of Nanga Parbat expedition and in 1976, he along with Army Mountaineers team made first ascent of Paiyu Peak (6660m). 1977 was the year when he climbed above 8000m; reaching 8280m on K2. He abandoned summit push to search for two missing fellows. However, he become second Pakistani to summit K2 when he reached the summit on 7 August 1981 via new route, only Pakistani to do so on an 8000er peak. Later that autumn, he participated in an unsuccessful expedition to Nanga Parbat. In 1982, Nazir Sabir along with Col Sher Khan and Reinhold Messner climbed Gasherbrum II (8035m) and Broad Peak (8047m). Both Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak were done in Alpine style in a period of just one week, the fastest ascent of two 8000m peaks at the time. That year, he won the President’s Pride of Performance Award in the category of sports.

Sabir tried to ascend Nanga Parbat in 1983 and 1985 but couldn’t succeed. In 1992 he summited Gasherbrum I (8068m). In 1997, he led mountaineering and filming team to Everest. Team turned back from only 300m short of summit due to strong winds. Sabir summited Everest on 17 May 2000, in romantic hours of sunrise. He was first Pakistani to reach atop highest mountain in the world. Sabir was honored with The Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) in 2001 for his outstanding performance in mountaineering sports.

Aside running an expedition and trekking organizing company named Nazir Sabir Expeditions, he is a member of several mountaineering communities. He was an honorary member of Alpine Club (UK), Polish Mountaineering Federation and American Alpine Club. He took over as president of Alpine Club of Pakistan in 2004, becoming first Non-Army president of ACP. He also delivers inspirational lectures in many universities, all over the world. Nazir Sabir was elected as a representative to the Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Provincial Assembly in the October 1994 and was appointed Advisor on Education and Tourism to the government for a five year term. Nazir Sabir is currently working as an environmentalist on the conservation of wildlife in his native Hunza Valley and across Northern Pakistan including the Baltoro Glacier region. He is involved on the conservation of the 5000 years old world heritage of Juniper forests in Ziarat Balochistan in collaboration with Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan. Sabir can be reached at Twitter: @NazirSabir.


8000er Profile:
1981 K2
1982 Gasherbrum II
1982 Broad Peak
1992 Gasherbrum I
2000 Mount Everest