An Ali Sadpara Anniversary; Sajid Announces Summer K2 Search

Kites filled the skies today in northern Pakistan, welcoming spring as part of the Basant Mela festival. Nearby, the Karakorum and Western Himalaya remain in the grip of winter. On this day exactly five years ago, Muhammad Ali Sadpara, Alex Txikon, and Simone Moro stood on the top of Nanga Parbat in the first winter climb of that so-called Naked Goddess.

From his Base Camp under Manaslu, Alex Txikon is surely thinking of that day, as he stubbornly hopes for the weather forecast to fail and bring in dry climbing weather instead of the relentless snowfall predicted for next week. “It’s such a weird, sad anniversary without Ali,” Txikon wrote today.

Ali Sadpara went missing on K2 on February 5 and was officially declared lost last week. His other partner on that Nanga Parbat climb, Simone Moro, is already on his way home from Manaslu.

Ali Sadpara (left) and Simone Moro on the summit of Nanga Parbat, February 26, 2016. Photo: Alex Txikon


In his village near Skardu, Sajid Sadpara is recovering from the hardest winter of his life. He had to leave his own father behind on K2 and descend to save his own life. “I am regaining my strength and rationality with the passage of time, and I have decided to lead a search and recovery for my father Ali Sadpara, John Snorri, and JP Mohr,” Sajid wrote on social media today.

The venture is currently in its preparatory stages, but the goal is to get there as soon as possible this summer and to comb the mountain for the bodies. “My family and I will leave no stone unturned to recover them and give the proper rituals as per everyone’s faith,” Sajid said.

Rao and Moirah Ahmad, spokespeople for the late Ali Sadpara, confirmed the plans and noted that Snorri and Mohr’s families fully support the expedition.

Since a number of high altitude porters will be present on the mountain, they will also carry out an unprecedented cleaning operation along the Abruzzi Spur route, between Camp 4 and Advanced Base Camp. “Most casualties on K2 are related to maneuvers with fixed ropes,” Sajid said. “So I have also decided to start a Clean K2 Project to retrieve all old ropes and garbage.”

The expedition may also answer some questions, as well as bring peace to the families of the lost climbers.

Shredded tents and rubbish at Camp 2 on K2. Photo: Elia Saikaly