Famed Pakistani Climber Ali Raza Sadpara Seriously Hurt in Fall

The man Pakistani mountaineers call “master of the masters” is fighting for his life.

At dawn on Tuesday, Ali Raza Sadpara was training near his hometown of Skardu, Pakistan for a planned summer objective on K2. During the routine session, he took a fall that led to serious injuries.

Photo: Sirbaz Ali Khan


“He was on a routine adventure at dawn today near his village,” Alpine Club of Pakistan secretary Karrar Haidri told Pakistan’s Associated Press, “when he slipped off a cliff and fell into a ditch.”

Sadpara undergoes treatment

As of this writing, few details of the fall itself exist. However, the trauma was severe enough to break Sadpara’s spinal cord and fracture some ribs.

The 55-year-old is now undergoing treatment at RHQ Hospital Skardu, in Gilgit−Baltistan, Pakistan. Further updates on his condition were not available at the time of publication.

Muhammad Arif Baltistani, Ambassador For Eco-Tourism at the Himalaya Rural Development Programme (HRDP), visited the fallen climber and assessed his situation as “critical”. He also appealed to various Pakistani authorities for help.


The ‘Master of the Masters’ Life

The Associated Press said Sadpara’s son Bashir Hussein, also a climber, appealed to the nation to pray for his father.

During a career that started in 1986, Sadpara has summited 17 8,000m peaks, including each one in Pakistan except K2. He has climbed many signature Pakistani 8,000’ers multiple times, including Broad Peak (8,047m) and Gasherbrum I (8068m) four times, and Gasherbrum II (8,035m) five times, most recently last summer.

No other Pakistani climber has stood on more high-altitude summits. Climbing K2 will bring or would have brought the mountaineer’s career full circle. He first worked in the mountains as a porter there.

Sam Anderson

Sam Anderson takes any writing assignments he can talk his way into while intermittently traveling the American West and Mexico in search of margaritas — er, adventure. He parlayed a decade of roving trade work into a life of fair-weather rock climbing and truck dwelling before (to his parents’ evident relief) finding a way to put his BA in English to use. Sam loves animals, sleeping outdoors, campfire refreshments and a good story.