Hassan Sadpara, who hails from Skardu which is home to the world’s second-highest peak K2, scaled the world’s highest peak on Thursday, becoming the second Pakistani to achieve the feat.
He made it without any oxygen supply, which makes his achievement even more courageous than that of Nazir Sabir, the first Pakistani who climbed the 29,028 ft (8,840 m) tall Mount Everest in 2000.
“On Thursday, Sadpara reached the summit at about 7:30am before starting his return journey after hoisting the Pakistani flag,” Sakhi Hassan, a colleague of Sadpara who runs an NGO in Skardu told The Express Tribune from Skardu by phone.
“We are in contact with Sadpara’s team stationed at the base camp,” Hassan said, adding that the mountaineer made it to the summit alone as the team accompanying him remained at the base camp, waiting and praying for his safe return.
Sadpara adopted the south route for ascent and reached the peak from the base camp in three days. “By now, he must have descended to camp-4,” Hassan said.
Sadpara’s expedition was launched by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.
He has already scaled five 8,000-metre-plus mountains, including K2, Nanga Parbat, and Broad Peak. His team includes his younger brother Mohammad Sadiq, and an Alpine Club representative, Mohammad Changezi, who keeps Sakhi Hassan and others updated in Skardu.
The news of Sadpara having conquered the summit brought jubilation among the people in Skardu, who took to the streets to celebrate the rare feat.
Pakistan is home to some of the world’s highest mountains, but poor security has seen fewer and fewer mountaineers from around the world ascend the peaks on Pakistan’s side of the Himalayas.
With additional input from AFP
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2011.