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Nanga Parbat ascent

Updated February 29, 2016

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.─ Photo: North MEA Twitter page
.─ Photo: North MEA Twitter page

IT is always uplifting to witness a historic feat of endurance, and all the more so when a Pakistani is part of the team.

Six months before mountaineering season opens, a small team of four climbers, including Ali Sadpara of Pakistan, made history when they made the first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat on Friday.

The feat comes after 29 teams had already made the attempt in previous years, many of them including members of the present team.

Take a look: Climbers make first winter ascent of Nanga Parbat

Over the decades, attempts to summit Nanga Parbat have produced some of the most brutal mountaineering legends, earning it the nickname ‘killer mountain’ because more people have died trying to summit it than any other mountain in the world.

Given its fierce reputation, the climbing team that just fulfilled its long-fought goal of being the first to ascend the peak in winter has rightfully taken its place in mountaineering history.

The team deserves all the congratulations that will inevitably be coming their way as they return to sea level.

Ali Sadpara was part of a team that attempted a winter ascent last year as well. This year he played a crucial role in the ascent, when he was part of an advance party that carried essential supplies to Camp 3 at 6,700 metres almost a month before the summit attempt began.

Mountaineering is one of the most challenging pursuits in the world, and very few have the heart and mind to be successful at it.

Pakistan can afford to take greater pride in the accomplishments of our mountaineers, and greater interest in what the mountainous north has to offer by way of opportunities for travel and challenges.

The northern areas have produced some of the finest mountaineers in the world, famous for their stoutness of will and refinement of manners.

Hearty kudos to the team that made this historic ascent, and for us the achievement is all the more special because Ali Sadpara was amongst them.

Published in Dawn, February 29th, 2016