Sirbaz Khan
Sirbaz Khan

GILGIT: Climber Sirbaz Khan has summited Mou­nt Everest, the world’s hi­­ghest peak at 8,849 metr­­es, without using supplem­entary oxygen, becoming the first and only Pakistani to have conquered 11 eight-thousanders.

According to expedition officials, Sirbaz Khan has also scaled 13 mountains above 8,000m with supplementary oxygen, including Everest last year.

Sirbaz reached the summit of Everest at 12:30pm (Pakistan time) on Tues­day. He was part of a team of the Imagine Nepal 2024 Everest Expedition comprising 14 international climbers and 18 Sherpas.

The officials said the climbers started descending from the top after the successful summit.

Before the summit Sir­baz Khan, in a post on his official Facebook page, said: “Spring of 2024 mea­ns that my incredible journey with Serena Hotels has reached the milestone of five years. In these five wonderful years, I got the opportunity to raise Sere­na’s flag on some of the hi­­ghest peaks in the world.”

He added: “Together, we worked for adventure diplomacy and for the promotion of tourism and hospitality through multiple initiatives. “I thank Sere­­na Hotels for their consistent support over the years and look forward to many more years of meaningful collaboration.”

Mountaineers, civil so­­c­iety members, social med­ia activists and politicians congratulated Sirbaz Khan on his achievement. In a statement, Alpine Club of Pakistan Secretary Karrar Haidri also congratulated Sirbaz on summiting Everest.

Sirbaz Khan, 34, hailing from the Aliabad area of Hunza in Gilgit-Baltistan, began his climbing career in 2016.

In 2019, he became the first Pakistani to have summited Mount Lhotse, the world’s fourth-highest peak at 8,516m, in Nepal, without supplementary oxygen.

He summited Nanga Parbat (8,125m) in 2017, K-2 (8,611m) in 2018, Broad Peak (8,163m) in 2019, Gasherbrum-I (8,080m) in 2022, and Anapurna (8,091m), Everest (8,848m) with supplement oxygen, Gasherbrum-II (8,035m) and Cho Oyu (8,201m) in China’s Tibet in 2023.

On four of these expeditions, he had been accompanied by late Mohammad Ali Sadpara. Sirbaz is aiming to become the first Pakistani to climb all 14 of the world’s highest peaks.

Published in Dawn, May 22nd, 2024

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