Monday , March 20 2023

Foreign climbers claim glory, but Pakistani ports are still undesirable masters of the mountains, South Asia News and Top Stories


SHIMSHAL, PAKISTAN (AFP) – He is the only person who reduced K2 three times, but the results of Mr Fazal Ali are largely unknown to many other agents who endanger Pakistan's highest peaks.

It is one of the few elite-carriers in the country that is specialized in high-speed expeditions for nearly 40 years, nearly two decades on Pakistan's most desirable slopes – plotting routes, lugging kits and cooking for paying customers.

At 8,611 meters, K2 is not as high as Mount Everest, which is 8,848 meters.

But the technical challenges have earned the "Savage Mountain" nickname and dozens of people have lost their lives on the traitor's icing side.

Ali Ali conquered K2 in 2014, 2017 and 2018 – without any further oxygen.

"He's the only climber to do this," said Eberhard Jurgalski of Guinness World Records.

While foreign climbers have won their pride, Mr. Ali and his colleagues ignore the mountaineering community.

"I'm very happy," Mr. Ali told AFP. "But I also have a heart attack, because my work will never really be appreciated."

He is one of the many high-port ports who work in foreign expeditions in northern Pakistan, in a remote region, home to the three highest mountains in the world, the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush family.

Faced with their extremely difficult terrain and knowledge, the ports keep track of the mountaineering route and fix the ropes to their climb. They also deliver food and supplies on their backs, and up the customers' tents.

However, as mountaineers come home, expatriates, who are indispensable in expeditions, are often forgotten.

"When they arrive, they are full of goodwill, many promises," Ali said. "But after they have achieved their goals, they forget everything."

One incident left a bitter flavor in Mr. Ali: he came to the western climber at the K2 summit, but instead of making a picture together, he was alone with the flag in his hand.

"He commanded us to make a picture and keep it away," he said, adding that the episode is a controversy between the climbing and the Nepalese Porter.


Ali, like many Pakistani high-heights, was born in the remote Shimshal valley in the northern part of the country near the Chinese border.

Ali is the home of only 140 families in his family, the village of Mr. Ali has produced the largest mountain climbers in many countries, including Mr. Rajab Shah, the first Pakistani who surveyed all five 8,000-meter peaks in the country.

Rehmatullah Baig, who conquered K2 in 2014, while carrying out important geographic measurements and installing a meteorological station, is also from Shimshal and affects Mr. Ali's anger.

"I'd be happy, but I'm not," he said.

"If it was recognized that the Pakistani climbers recognized them, or if they had some kind of recognition or financial support, then they could climb up to 8,000-meter high peaks in the world," he said.

Mr. Baig's father was the first Shimshal to continue the dead chase, but now he tells his kids not to follow his steps.


One of the main sources of tension between Ali and his colleagues is their conviction that they are treated worse than Nepalese counterparts.

In the event of an accident, Pakistani ports rarely qualify for helicopter rescue by their employers.

In Nepal, local guides are entitled to life insurance for $ 12,700 ($ 17,451.07) after mountain workers have successfully lobbied for a post-2014 avalanche that killed 16 shark in Mount Everest.

Pakistan's high-altitude ports are lucky enough to receive a $ 1,500 life insurance policy, according to the Pakistani Alpine Club.

Climbing experts agree that there is a difference and believes that Pakistani workers should be better educated and supported by the government.

German Climber Christiane Fladt, who wrote a book about Shimshal, claims that Pakistani ports "have to organize themselves in a union to put stress on their financial needs."

"We hate the mountain"

In 2008, there were two Shimshal carriers from 11 people who died on the same day in the worst disaster to hit K2.

One of them, Fazal Karim, the French mountaineer Hugues d Aubardae fell as they descended from the peak. Mr. Karim's body was never found.

Haji Parveen (right), Fazal Karim's widow lies under her husband's photo (right to right) while chatting with her son in the Hussain valley, Shimshal village, northern Pakistan. PHOTO: AFP

Your widow, Mrs Haji Parveen, said that she tried to stop her from launching a expedition.

"I told her," There is a good life here and enough to live, "but he did not listen to me," he said softly.

Karim was a skilled worker, in the village owned by a sawmill, where he also offered the shop. After her disappearance, her widow sold the mill for their children's education.

According to Parveen, neither the expedition company nor the foreign mountaineers helped him.

Now the eldest who studies in Karachi wants to become a portrait of his father.

"She always talks about her when she comes home and says she wants to be like her father, but we forgive him because we hate the mountain: it's useless, not at all.

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