(By Karrar Haidri) Joint Pak-China Friendship Expedition 2013 climbed 7,546 m high Mt. Muztagh Ata, situated in Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China, today, July 24th. The leader of the Pakistani team, Mr. Rehamat Ullah, along with team member Dr. Naveed Iqbal, accompanied by five Chinese members, departed from Camp 3 at midnight and managed to reach the summit of Mt Muztagh Ata at 07:00 am today.
A third member of the team, Ahmad Mujtaba, was forced back short of the summit due to strong winds. Rehmat Ullah reported cloudy weather with very high winds in the range of 35-45 km an hour, which did not allow the climbers to stay for long on the summit. The expedition members quickly retreated to the safety of Camp 3 later.
The team leader, Mr. Rehmat Ullah speaking from Muztagh Ata summit thanked all well wishers for their prayers for their success. All members also took turn to speak to the President ACP, Manzoor Hussain, from the summit as well as from Camp 3.
The expedition was launched by the Alpine Club of Pakistan jointly with the Chinese Mountaineering Association to express solidarity with the Chinese mountaineers after the Nanga Parbat Diamer Base Camp tragedy and to pay tribute to the two slain Chinese mountaineers.
The expedition earlier left Islamabad on July 5th and reached the Base Camp on July 10. In their final attempt for the summit they climbed to Camp I (5,200) on July 21st and then were in Camp 2 (6,000 m) on July 22nd. The expedition was able to reach Camp 3 (6,900 m) on July 23rd from where they launched their summit bid at midnight.
President and all members of the ACP have congratulated the Pakistan Team on their successful climb. President ACP said that it demonstrates their dogged determination, strength and climbing skills. He congratulated all the members on attaining the laid down objectives of the expedition. He also thanked the Chinese side for their support in launching this expedition.
The expedition is expected to reach Base Camp by tomorrow. Their return journey back home is being finalised.
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