Abdul Karim
Abdul Karim

GILGIT: Noted mountaineer Abdul Karim, also known as Little Karim, passed away at the age of 68 on Monday.

According to family sources, he had been suffering from liver cancer since 2017, and died at the Combined Military Hospital in Rawalpindi.

Mr Karim hails from Hushe village of Ghanche district.

He left behind four sons, as many daughters and a widow to mourn his death.

Karim was globally known as a high-altitude porter and mountaineer in the 70s and 80s as he served a guide to western tourists on high-altitude expeditions, braving the north’s unforgiving cold all the while carrying as much as 25-kilogramme luggage on his back.

He also holds the world record of climbing the 8,035m-high Gasherbrum-2 without supplementary oxygen.

Many documentaries were made on his life and achievements in Europe. In 1985, Laurent Chevallier, a French documentary filmmaker, directed a movie on his life named Little Karim. This movie then won many awards in France and other European countries.

The same director made a film on Mr Karim a second time in 1997.

Little Karim was later selected as president of the jury committee of a French film award, which is an honour for Pakistan, especially for Gilgit-Baltistan.

Mr Karim also successfully climbed Gasherbrum-2 (8,035m) in 1985 and without oxygen in 1988 and Broad Peak (8,048m) in 1986. He also attempted K2 (8,611m) nine times, but weather conditions remained unfavourable each time.

He also rescued a few foreign mountaineers by putting his life at great risk.

Published in Dawn, April 5th, 2022

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