GILGIT: Renowned Pakistani mountaineer from Skardu Mohammad Ali Sadpara, along with French climber Marc Batard, scaled Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps and deadliest in the world, on Friday.
With this, the 44-year-old Sadpara has become the first Pakistani climber to scale the peak, which rises 4,808 metres above sea level. The expedition scaled the peak from the France side.
Through satellite communication, Mr Sadpara told Dawn that he had been visiting Europe for the last four years to climb peaks and to work on training children in climbing.
Mr Sadpara has previously climbed all five 8,000-metre-high peaks in Pakistan, including K2 (8,611m), Gasherbrum-I (8,080m), Gasherbrum-II (8,034m), Nanga Parbat (8,126m) and Broad Peak (8,051m). He is the first Pakistani to have climbed Nanga Parbat in winter.
He has also climbed 8,516-metre Lhotse peak, located on the border between Tibet region of China and Nepal, and 8,485-metre Makalu peak and, 8,156-metre Manaslu in Nepal, without bottled oxygen last year.
Foreign winter expeditions in Pakistan
Foreign winter expedition teams continue their efforts to climb Broad, (8,051 metres), Gasherbrum-I, Gasherbrum-II and K2 in Karakoram Range of Pakistan.
Italian high-altitude climbers Simone Moro and Lunger are aiming to climb Gasherbrum-I and then Gasherbrum-II. They are currently at the base camp of the peak and waiting for suitable weather.
The Broad Peak winter expedition — comprising famous Russian mountaineer Denis Urubko, Don Bowie from Canada, and former Miss Finland Lotta Hintsa — is at the base camp of the peak.
In his latest update, Mr Bowie through a social media post said that Mr Urubko and Ms Hintsa had returned from establishing the route to the bottom of the west face of Broad Peak.
Meanwhile, two climbers of an eight-member international team arrived in Pakistan on Saturday to start climbing K2, second highest peak in the world and one of deadliest peaks in winter.
The K2 winter expedition will trek the Baltoro glacier on Jan 10 or 12, depending on the weather.
The team will set up camps 1, 2 and 3 before Feb 20 and then line up for the mountain. Once that is complete, they will begin to monitor the weather conditions to determine the best time to summit K2, aiming for mid March.
Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2020