Friday, November 25, 2016


One of the best known means for an outdoorsy sportsman to gain celebrity status since back in the 20 th Century was to go on an extreme adventure like climbing a mountain, more so if it was one or more of the world’s tallest peaks. Look no further than in the example of New Zealand’s Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepal’s Sherpa Tenzin Norgay, who have been immortalized in modern legend by their ascent of Everest itself. Even now climbers who have braved the summits of the world are held in high regard, at the very least, by their countries’ governments and mountaineering clubs.

Such then is the final honor extended to Hasan Sadrapa of Pakistan, a celebrated mountaineer who has ascended five of his country’s over-8,000- foot peaks, topped off with a trip to Everest. Ultimately he succumbed to cancer of the blood and other related complications at the relatively young age of 42. Tributes were immediately given in his memory across Pakistan with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the lead.

";Pakistan has lost its hero today," he said. "Sadpara's endeavours of winning laurels for the country will always be remembered in golden words."

Sadrapa was survived by three sons and a daughter. One of them, Arif, informed the AFP news agency of his father’s passing last Monday November 21 at Rawalpindi, near Islamabad. According to Sapdara’s cousin Esa Khan, the veteran climber had been laid up at the Rawalpindi military hospital at least 15 days beforehand, where doctors discovered that a bout of tuberculosis has irreparably damaged his lungs. Attempts to stabilize his lung condition and his liver prior to medical treatment for his cancer were cancelled upon his death.

Esa Khan Sapdara has her own theory on what brought on her cousin’s sudden physical decline.
"Hasan had suffered a severe bout of pneumonia four years ago, shortly after he climbed the Everest,” she remarked. “Probably that started the rot in his body."

Social media in Pakistan was abuzz with condolences from the nation’s politicians and civilians. Aside from PM Sharif, his party the PML(N) lauded Sapdara for the honors he had bestowed upon them all. A Tweet from retired foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi stated his deep sorrow and his confidence that Sapdara’s legacy will be remembered by the country. Sabhaz Sharif, chief minister of Punjab province, provided Sapdara’s family with a check worth 2.5 million rupees.

Hasan Sapdara became famous in Pakistan for his ascent of the country’s five heights, starting with the “Killer Mountain” of Nanga Parbat. A mountaineering tour office he started in his hometown of Skardu was relatively successful until 9/11 caused many western tourists to stop coming. In 2011 he completed his celebrated Everest climb.

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