Patriotism takes flea market shopkeeper to Everest

Published: May 18, 2011
Hassan Sadpara’s incredible effort became possible because of his dream of hoisting the national flag atop Mount Everest. PHOTO: EXPRESS

Hassan Sadpara’s incredible effort became possible because of his dream of hoisting the national flag atop Mount Everest. PHOTO: EXPRESS


At a relatively advanced age, he defied various hardships of mountain-climbing: the rough terrain, adversities of the harsh climate and a deteriorating oxygen supply, to conquer Mount Everest. Hassan Sadpara overcame all these obstacles on his life-endangering mission, claiming that it was only love of the country that saw him make it to the top.

The Skardu climber, who is in his 40s, reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain on May 12 becoming the second Pakistani after the legendary mountaineer Nazir Sabir to hoist the national flag on the 29,028ft peak.

After accomplishing this feat, Sadpara also became the most successful climber in Pakistani history, as he also enjoys the distinction of reaching the peaks of all five mountains of over 8000m in Pakistan. Sabir only managed to reach summits of four of these mountains.

Patriotism fired up ambition

Sadpara, who runs a small shop in a flea market in Skardu, said it was sheer patriotism that helped him achieve his goal. He claimed that the one thought that kept his ambition alive during the deadly mission, was that of hoisting the Pakistani flag atop the Everest.

“I did this purely for my country,” Sadpara told The Express Tribune in an interview from Kathmandu. “Only huge inspiration can result in big achievements and my inspiration is Pakistan.

“It was death at every step when I was nearing the summit. But when heavy rain and dangerous slides were making me weak, dreams of hoisting the Pakistani flag at the Everest peak gave me strength.”

Sadpara dispelled the notion that he reached the summit without oxygen supply.

“I spent the best part of my mission without oxygen supply but its use became inevitable due to the worsening weather as I neared the peak. I have evidence of my success. I’ve proved it to Nepalese officials and will also prove it to Pakistanis when I return.”

Hopes achievement revives tourism

Lamenting the present state of the tourism industry in the country, Sadpara hoped his achievement will help in reviving tourism.

“Skardu was a central tourist spot but unfortunately security concerns have now altered the situation. I hope my achievement will send a positive message to the outside world and with that we revive our tourism industry.

“I have a small shop at the flea market and it becomes very hard to make ends meet. I also request Pakistani sports authorities for financial assistance.”

Past Achievements

Inspired by his father and uncle, Sadpara started mountain-climbing in 1999 and the same year conquered Nanga Parbat. He climbed K2 in 2004 and two years later reached the peaks of Gasherbrum 1 and Gasherbrum 2 within a week of each other in July 2006. In 2007, he made it to the Broad Peak to become the first Pakistani to scale the tallest five mountains of the country.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (18)

  • Aamir
    May 18, 2011 - 1:53AM

    I’m proud of you, May ALLAH (SWT) bless you with more sucess in years to come…..ameen Recommend

  • M. H. Hussain
    May 18, 2011 - 10:23AM

    We are all proud of you Hasan…Way to Go!!!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Ghazanfar
    May 18, 2011 - 12:16PM

    Long live Pakistan…..!!!Recommend

  • Fareeha
    May 18, 2011 - 12:26PM

    I hope he is inducted by Army or tourism ministry to train local mountaineers…great achievement…Recommend

  • A Khan
    May 18, 2011 - 1:25PM

    One of the few Good men.

    May Allah bless you.Recommend

  • fred
    May 18, 2011 - 3:24PM

    is the nation going to reward this poor man for his great achievement?
    i read that his province chief minister is giving him rs 50,000!

    is that it?
    shouldnot we do more?Recommend

  • Kamran Khan
    May 19, 2011 - 3:32AM

    While we appreciate the success of Hassan it would be better to put few things in the right perspective.

    A certain group of people are exaggerating Hassan’s success and making many mistakes.

    The news of his Everest climbs is drummed up having done without Oxygen which is a very big lie. Hassan used Oxygen all the way from the higher camp and he was even used it for sleeping in camp 3.
    Hassan climbed 8000m peaks in Pakistan years after Rajab Shah. Rajab finished his last 8000m peak (G2) in 1998 and Hassan climbed his first 8000m Peak in 1999.
    many people are trying to make a comparison between Nazir Sabir and Hassan. Those ignorants need to understand Nazir Sabir climbed mountains for his passion while Rajab and Hasan types climbed for money. While they carried a load for money and were allowed to get up a summit that came as a bonus. If it was not for money Hassan would not even go one step.
    Nazir Sabir climbed all the mountains from his own pocket including Everest.
    Hassan climbed all the time as a porter. Therefore those who are trying to compare should open their eyes.
    Besides Hassan used 6.2 million out of the national resources otherwise he would not even get to Kathmandu from his own pocket what to talk of even seeing Everest.

    Therefore is is worth noting to see on special grounds a certain lobby is pushing a poor porter much beyond his limits. Recommend

  • May 19, 2011 - 8:33AM


    Gladiator in Green………..Recommend

  • Shehryar
    May 19, 2011 - 12:03PM

    @Kamran Khan. Jealous much?!! You sir, need to have your head checked. First climb everest yourself and then put other people down for not having enough money to be able to fulfill their dreams. So what if he was a porter?? So was Tenzing Norgay! Learn to appreciate your fellow countrymen’s achievements. Recommend

  • Zubair
    May 19, 2011 - 5:20PM

    @Kamran Khan
    Get a life dude Recommend

  • rehan
    May 19, 2011 - 6:50PM

    We should give him a better reception than our CRICKETERS!!!!!Recommend

  • ???
    May 19, 2011 - 8:54PM

    Compare his feat with the so-called current cricketing heroes before giving comments Recommend

  • Hamood
    May 19, 2011 - 9:35PM

    Guys like Hassan are the true heroes of the country and NOT the overrated and corrupt Cricketers who have brought no laurels for the country for many years now. We should promote other sports in the country. In the last few years, our Hockey, Squash, Tennis and now mountaineering guys have brought honor to the country while our Cricketers have brought nothing but shame and defeats. Recommend

  • khan
    May 20, 2011 - 8:04AM

    dont be that much jealous. I m surprized that a pakistani is saying this…. It is completely a cheap thinkin… U want to say that a poor man should nt become famous… What a mentality… Climbing 5 highest peaks as a porter is a greater achievement than climbing 4 peaks as the presidnt of alpine club. If a lobby is really pushing him they are doing the best they could do.Recommend

  • Hassan Cheema
    May 20, 2011 - 10:49AM


  • Adnan
    May 20, 2011 - 7:01PM

    Brilliant!!!! He deserves not only a cash prize but a medal from the President of Pakistan! Recommend

  • ahmed
    May 24, 2011 - 12:08AM

    @ Kamran Khan.. how is a small shop keeper suppose to finance these trips from his pocket. The fact that he climbed so many peaks as a porter only increases the value of his achievements. Recommend

  • Ijaz Mir
    May 24, 2011 - 2:13AM

    Do not get that he is not a professional climber. He is a high altitude porter and he is paid to carry equipment. All Pakistanis should be proud of him that they have such a good porter.
    sorry to say he is not a sport man. Recommend

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