Nazir Sabir
Nazir Sabir

Nazir Sabir is a Pakistani mountaineer. He was born in Hunza. He has climbed Mount Everest and four of the five 8000 m peaks in Pakistan, including the world’s second highest mountain K2 also known as Chogori in 1981, Gasherbrum II 8035m and Broad Peak 8050m in 1982,[2] Gasherbrum I (Hidden Peak) 8068m in 1992 and he became the first from Pakistan to have climbed Everest on May 17, 2000 as a team member on the Mountain Madness Everest Expedition led by Christine Boskoff from USA that also included the Everest famed Peter Habeler of Austria and eight Canadians.

Nazir started off his climbing career with a Japanese expedition to the 7284m Passu Peak in Hunza in 1974. In 1975 he was part of a German Expedition as a trainee that attempted Nanga Parbat (8125m) and only went to 6700m up the S W Ridge. On July 17, 1976 he made the first ascent of 6660m virgin Paiyu followed by Col. Manzoor Hussain and Major Bashir with the first Pakistani expedition organized by the Alpine Club of Pakistan.

In 1977 Nazir Sabir joined the largest Japan/Pakistan joint expedition to K2, attempting the traditional South East Abruzzi Ridge. It was a huge expedition, using bottled Oxygen; this team had an army of 1500 porters and 52 members. However Nazir Sabir’s first assault team including four Japanese had to turn back due to snow storms from 8280m. Another attempt with the same team had to be abandoned again from 8150m when they had to come down searching for two missing colleagues who were found alive below C4 the next day. However they put seven members of the team on the summit making the second ascent of K2. Till then only two mountaineers of the 1954 successful Italian expedition had stepped on the K2 Summit.

Nazir Sabir was invited to climb K2 in 1981 by his friends by the Waseda University Expedition attempting the West and South West ridges rather than the usual Abruzzi ridge. The Duke of Abruzzi had, in 1909, surveyed K2 from all its sides. He felt that K2 could only be assailed from the South East Ridge, which was to be named Abruzzi Ridge. In 1978 the famous British climber Sir Chris Bonington made his first attempt on this new route up the West Ridge. Nick Estcourt, a member of this team, was swept to his death by a slab avalanche on the way to Camp 2 while Doug Scott barely survived the avalanche.It involves a difficult grade on a mixed ground of snow and rock at higher elevations. Doug Scott who was a member of the 1978 expedition led another team strong teams of five top British climbers but the gave up at 7300 due to bad weather.

Nazir, followed by Eiho Otani, reached the summit of K2 on 7 August 1981. Nazir and his team from the Waseda University created history by successfully climbing K2's West/South West Ridge for the first time. A documentary film of the climb, "50 Day Struggle" shown all over Japan, made Nazir Sabir a household name there.

In 1982, Nazir Sabir along with Sher Khan and the famous Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner climbed Gasherbrum II 8035m and Broad Peak 8047m. Both Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak were done in Alpine style in a period of just one week, the fastest ascent of two 8000m peaks at the time.

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