Wednesday, April 3, 2013

History of Pakistani Expeditions to Mount Everest

Pakistani climbs to Everest (or 8000ers outside Pakistan) have been sparse, majorly because of financial reasons. Prior to Gender Equality Expedition 2013, there has been three Pakistani attempts on Everest. In first attempt, climbers turned back only 300m short of summit while on other two occasions summit was achieved.

1. Sino-Pakistan Expedition to Everest 1997
A joint venture of Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) and China Tibet Mountaineering Association (CTMA), a subsidiary of China Mountaineering Association, expedition was organized to celebrate Golden Jubilee of Pakistan’s independence (1947-1997). Under the leadership of renowned alpinist Nazir Sabir, the ten men team attempted Northeast ridge (Tibet/China Side) route. The climbing team (Sher Khan, Ibrahim, Rozi Ali, Mehrban, Rajab and Nazir Sabir) made three attempt to reach the summit. In one of the attempts, they were less than 300m short of summit, when poor visibility and strong wind forced them to retreat. The team consisted of Nazir Sabir, Col. Sher Khan, Rajab Shah, Meherban Shah, Capt. M. Iqbal, Capt. Dr. Safiullah, M. Ibrahim, Rozi Ali, M. Sarwar and Ghulam Hassan.

2. Mountain Madness Everest Expedition 2000
In 2000, Nazir Sabir joined Mountain Madness Expedition to Everest. The eight members international team, led by American lady Christine Feld Boskoff, climbed the mountain from Nepalese side (Southeast Ridge route). Sabir became the first Pakistani to put his foot on top of Everest, when he reached the summit on the morning of 17th May, followed by Canadian Benjamin Webster and four Sherpas.

Nazir Sabir on Everest Summit.

3. Pakistan Everest Expedition 2011
Funded by Govt of Pakistan, the expedition was facilitated by Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP). Hassan Sadpara was the lead climber while his brother Muhammad Sadiq joined him for support (at BC). After acclimatization, Hassan Sadpara left BC for summit on 10th May. His plan was to reach the top without using bottled oxygen. Unfortunately, the weather deteriorated above C4 and he had to breathe the artificial oxygen. Sadpara summited on the morning of 12th May.

http://www.alpineclub.org.pk/images/everest%20(9).jpg
Hassan Asad Sadpara at summit; Image
4. Gender Equality Expedition 2013
Gender Equality Expedition to Everest 2013 is currently underway. Mirza Ali intends to climb the peak without using supplemental oxygen. If successful, he would be the first Pakistani to do so. Similarly, success of Samina would mean first ascent of an 8000er by a Pakistani female. (Update: on May 19th, 2013 Samina Baig reached the top, to become first Pakistani female to climb Everest).

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