Sadpara; The Lost Mountaineer, Who Is He?
By: Hannan Ali Narejo
Ali Sadpara along with his two mountaineer colleagues Jon Snorri and Juan Pablo Mohr went missing on Saturday after summiting K2. It had been reported that Sadpara and his team had successfully summited the 8,611-metre K2 — the world’s second-highest mountain — late Friday, a month after their first attempt failed. He has been declared missing for 72 hours and no signs of him or his team have been found till yet in the search operation being conducted by the Pakistan Army and Government of Pakistan. But the question remains that who is this guy and why has he gone so viral on the internet?
Muhammad Ali Sadpara, born on February 2nd 1976, is a Pakistani mountaineer. He was part of the team that successfully achieved the first-ever winter summit on Nanga Parbat in 2016. He was born within the village of Sadpara, within the periphery of Skardu city, within the extreme north of Pakistan to Fiza Sadpara. The youngest of 11 children, eight of his siblings didn’t survive childhood. He married his wife, Fatima, when he was 19 and had his first son, Sajid, soon after. He features a total of three children. He started his career as a high-altitude porter assisting in hiking expeditions. Like most porters, Ali traversed the rugged Baltoro Glacier in flip-flops and castoff gear. His passion for mountaineering led to him becoming a successful mountaineer. He is one of those individuals who have climbed 8 of 14 eight-thousander mountains in the world. His first-ever climb of such a mountain was Gasherbrum II in the Karakoram. Sadpara’s achievements consist of climbing mountains such as Gasherbrum II of Pakistan in 2006, Spantik Peak of Pakistan in 2006, Nanga Parbat of Pakistan in 2008, Muztagh Ata of China in 2008, Nanga Parbat of Pakistan in 2009, Gasherbrum I of Pakistan in 2010, Nanga Parbat First Winter Ascent of Pakistan in 2016, Broad Peak of Pakistan in 2017, Nanga Parbat First Autumn Ascent of Pakistan in 2017, Pumori Peak First Winter Ascent of Nepal in 2017, K2 of Pakistan in 2018, Lhotse of Nepal in 2019, Makalu of Nepal in 2019, and Manaslu of Nepal in 2019. In 2015 his team tried to scale the Nanga Parbat in winter and was unsuccessful. They again tried in 2016 and summited the height, and this resulted in the first-ever winter summit of Nanga Parbat. He has climbed Nanga Parbat fourfold. In January 2018, Ali Sadpara teamed up with Alex Txikon, a Basque mountaineer, and tried unsuccessfully to summit Everest in winter with no supplemental oxygen.
Sadpara is one of the precious assets of our country and losing such an individual would be a great loss. He has helped achieve various new mountaineers their dreams by using his excellence and expertise which he learned while growing in a village near mountains. On Sunday, Sajid Ali Sadpara, the son of Ali Sadpara, had said that the chances of his father being alive “are next to none”. In a conversation with reporters in Skardu, where he arrived earlier on Sunday, Sajid said: “Rescue operations now only make sense if they are carried out to bring back his body. Otherwise, the chance for anyone to survive at 8,000 meters [after being missing for] two to three days are next to none.” The whole world is praying for Pakistan’s national hero to survive in this blooming death venture until rescued by the authorities. Unlike others, Ali Sadpara is one of those individuals who grew the attention of the people as a legend after being declared nearly dead. This is the worst part of our country that people are considered legends after they are on their deathbed or are declared dead.