Muhammad Ali Sadpara, the person for whom every Pakistani has been praying for this week, along with two other climbers has been missing since February 5.
The three climbers went for the summit to become only the second team to climb K2 in winters. According to Ali’s son, Sajid Sadpara, he is sure that they summited the mountain but faced some incident while descending from the peak. It is pertinent to mention that Sajid was also part of the team, but returned back to Camp III, after a malfunction in his oxygen mask.
We still hope for a miracle, and Sadpara along with his team will reach basecamp. If not, I just want to say, he belonged to mountains, and he is resting there for eternity. K2 has made him a permanent guest. Adios, Sadpara, the son of mountains, who will stay there forever.
Despite having this phenomenal nature’s gift of high mountains, the country itself has a serious deprivation in the field of high-altitude climbers. There are names like Samina Baig, Hassan Sadpara and a few others which can be counted on fingertips and Ali Sadpara is one of them. Most of the people came to know about him after he became the member of the first expedition team to summit Nanga Parbat in the winter of 2016.
Ali Sadpara from ‘Sadpara village’ of Skardu calls mountain climbing his passion. While talking the climber said that he started as a porter at Boltoro Glacier from 2000 to 2002. “I went there to see my friends who were working as porters and I fell in love with it and I started working as porter. After doing it for two years, I got my job as a high-altitude porter to K-2 in 2004,” he said. “From that point I have been in love with these high snowy palaces. Some people love cars, some love wealth and property, I just love these mountains, they give me peace and tranquility,” he added.
About his climbing experience and achievements, he told that he has climbed four out of the five highest mountains of Pakistan. “I climbed G-1 in 2010, have climbed G-2 twice, ascended Nanga Parbat in 2008 and 2009, and was in the team which climbed Broad Peak,” he narrated with pride. “On April 2, I am going to Nepal for expeditions of Makalu and ManasluMountains which are eighth and fifth highest mountains of the world respectively,” he said. “My friends and family ask me why I do this, as it has great dangers and I simply say that this part of me is without which I cannot live,” he explained.
On a query about how Nanga Parbat is different and difficult from other mountains, he said that apparently it seems to be an easy climb. “Another aspect is that there is very less study on the killer mountain and lack of study makes it more lethal as it has steep climbs especially near its top, has layers of rock and ice which make more difficult to climb on it,” he explained. “These are the conditions of summer and in winter it becomes more icy than snowy, the weather becomes more dangerous due to its ridges and hanging glaciers the avalanches occur more constantly and kill the mountaineers on spot,” he added.
On the question of why it has not been ascended in winters he said that again it is about research on this mountain. “I, Alex Txikon, Daniele Nardi, and our other team members have been studying this mountain for the last two to three years. The key is patience, you have to understand the mood of it and secondly, learn from your mistakes like we did. We did not repeat the mistakes which we did last year, like last time we left for summit at 3 AM, this year we left at 6 AM, this year we pitched our camp 100 to 150 meter high from last and many other small things, which led us to a successful summit.”
“The most important thing which I believe is, don’t do it for fame or money, do it with passion and love and you will reach the top,” Ali said. “I have seen my relatives and friends getting rich, getting new cars, properties but I am happier than them because I love what I do and at the end of the day, this is all that matters,” he said.
About the future of climbing in Pakistan, Ali replied that he sees a dark future of climbing as far as Pakistani climbers are concerned. “There are few like me,
Hassan Sadpara and Samina Baig, we are almost 10 to 12 high altitude climbers in Pakistan and after us, there is no one,” he replied with melancholy. “It is because of Alpine Club of Pakistan and lack of interest of our government which has done nothing for promotion of climbing among the youth of this country,” he said. “The foreign climbers who came to Pakistan asked us which mountains we have climbed and our experience in it before hiring or making us team members and there is no young climber,
unfortunately,” he added. “I have requested the government and I want to deliver my message through media that our youth has immense potential, we even get sponsorships, I just want the Alpine Club and government to establish and train a Pakistani team of climbers,” the climber pleaded.
“The Nepali Sherpas have captured our whole climbing industry as the foreign climbers bring them because they are more professional and good climbers,” he added. “Government has to take emergency steps for climbing industry or else we will have only mountains but no mountain climbers.”
“The climbers who summit these mountains take photos of their countries and sponsors on top and as a Pakistani sometimes I cannot do it because I have not been sponsored, In this ascend I got the time to take a photo with Pakistani flag and I cannot even explain the proud feeling, which I had at that moment,” he said. “I just want the government to establish a proper platform for climbers and we will take this field, where it actually is meant to be,” Ali said. “With other foreign teams, we do all the hard work mostly, like placing the rope for climbers but do not get credit because we don’t have government backing,” he added.
About the feeling after reaching the top, Ali mean that it is simply out of world and unexplainable. “In the whole world, our country is considered to be territory of terrorists and we have very distorted image but when we go with these foreigners and reach to top, it gives a highly positive message about Pakistan and this is the best feeling,” he said. “I have learnt about life from mountains of Pakistan and I want this land to be appreciated in the world.”
Courtesy :The Nation Islamabad Feb-8-2021