“If I get stuck on a mountain, I can make an ice room and live in it for a few days without eating or drinking”.
Muhammad Ali Sadpara – Meet Pakistan’s latest hero!
In recent days, news of Ali Sadpara and accompanying 2 mountaineers, Snorri and Mohr, has been trending on the news. Sports (other than cricket) in Pakistan is not covered as frequently as it should be, and sports people are no exception. Now if we enter the arena of mountaineering – much needs to change, especially in a country like Pakistan that is home to the glorious Himalayas and the imposing K-2. However, mountaineering expeditions and their keepers have climbed their way to the top through the sheer passion and courage of those who seek to peak the highest, and steepest of summits – Ali Sadpara was no exception.
Who is Ali Sadpara
Ali was born on February 2, 1976, the self-taught climber hails from a village called Sadpara, near Skardu in the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Sadpara’ or ‘Satpara’ is famous for its porters who accompany avid summit seekers and help them achieve their dreams as they carry heavy loads onto Baltoro glacier — the gateway to the mighty K2 and other peaks.
Since a young age, Ali yearned and chased challenging terrains and mountains. Before he knew it, his love for mountain climbing bloomed. He started out as a porter, like many in his village, but soon landed his first proper expedition to K-2 in 2004.
Sadpara always had a ‘determined’ streak. No matter what the odds he was ready for whatever was to come. Even as a mountain climber, he was aware of the obstacles.
In climbing there are two outcomes, life or death, and you must find the courage to accept either possibilityMuhammad ali sadpara
Conquering the mightiest peaks
The mountains were his calling and mountaineering his passion.
2006 to 2015, as an expedition staff member, Ali made summer ascents of Nanga Parbat (twice), along with Gasherbrum I and II. He ascended, and climbed through to Bottleneck on the mighty K2. He set up tent sites for expedition members and made their safety his priority.
Later in 2016, Sadpara wowed us with the historic winter summit of Nanga Parbat along with Alex Txikon and Simone Moro. The three were the first ones to ever scale the treacherous peak of the Killer Mountain. The two mountaineers later admitted that their summit would not have been possible without Sadpara, who is described by those who knew him as a ‘good-humoured chap, but a tough as nails climber’!
Pumori in 2017, Manaslu in 2019, Makalu in 2019, Sadpara really craved to take down the mightiest of them all!
In 2018, he did try to take down the iconic Everest along with Txikon without any supplemental oxygen, but unfortunately, returned without reaching the top.
In 2018, Sadpara was enlisted in Beyond Everest, a program where expeditions planned to ascend Nanga Parbat, K2 and Everest.
However, Sadpara, Snorri and Mohr were last seen on 5th February by Sajid. Since then there’s not been any sort of contact with them. Search operation is underway but it’s a huge challenge due to the extreme weather conditions of the K2.
The nation prays
Pakistan and the world have united. There are lots of prayers and tributes for Sadpara and his teammates.
All we can do is pray and hope
It’s been more than 4 days now, search operations continue. According to reports, the chances of finding fierce mountain climbers are slim. But we pray for a miracle for their return!
If you live for the mountains, you devise ways of keeping safe in conditions that an average human would find impossible, if not hugely daunting. Can Sadpara survive the mountains? We hope so, the nation’s prayers are with you – stay with us, till the mountains beckon you once more!
Perisha likes to think out of the box. Writing, arts and photography are her prime interests. “As a writer, I want to recognize the world through a different lens so that I can make the society more accepting.” Says Perisha