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Famous Climbers of Pakistan
By Tahir Imran Khan

As mentioned earlier adventure sports especially trekking and mountaineering are neglected in Pakistan and there are very rare opportunities to get any proper training in this field. This can be imagined that as compared to several foreigners, only four Pakistani climbers have been successful to scale the peak of K-2. However credit goes to our few highly skilled climbers who have attained international recognition in such circumstances where the infrastructure is barely minimum and chances of training are scarce.

The most famous mountaineers belong to Northern Areas of Pakistan especially from Hunza and Baltistan. Shimshal in upper Hunza and Hushe Valley in Baltistan can lay their claim of being the richest and most fertile areas in this regard, however few climbers from southern part of the country have also performed well and have climbed even 8000 meters high peaks and have their rich contribution in mountaineering. Pakistan Army could be said as an academy of mountaineering as it has produced some very fine climbers and most of the expeditions have been organized by the Pakistan Army.

An introduction of few top class climbers is being mentioned below.

Ashraf Aman

Ashraf Aman will always remain on the top of list of Pakistani climbers, as he is the first Pakistani to set foot on the top of K-2.

Ashraf Aman achieved this great feat while attempting K-2 with a Pak/Japan team and reached atop on 9th. August 1977.

In 1982 he was awarded President's Award for Pride of Performance ( sports ). Presently he is running a tour-operating agency under the banner "Adventure Tours - Pakistan ".

Nazir Sabir

Nazir Sabir is the most famous name among Pakistani mountaineers. He is the second Pakistani to climb K-2. On 7th. August 1981 he reached on the summit as a member of Pak/Japan team.

List of his achievements in mountaineering is praise worthy. Starting from his early climb of Passu Peak as a young member of Pak/Japan team he has the honour to lead Pakistan Mount Everest Expedition - 1997.

His career is studded with several unbelievable records and achievements. A very distinct feat was to climb two eight thousanders in one attempt. In this climb he accompanied world's renowned climber Reinhold Messner and Sher Khan when they climbed Broad Peak & Gasherbrum II. This was the first time in the mountaineering history when two eight thousanders were climbed in a row.

As a tribute to his services he was awarded President's Award for Pride of Performance ( sports ) in 1982.

Apart from his mountaineering activities he also took part in politics and has been working as Education Advisor for northern areas.

By profession he is running an outfitting agency, 'Nazir Sabir Expeditions', which excels in trekking and mountaineering expeditions.

Sher Khan

Mountaineering is in his blood as his father Group Captain Shah Khan was himself a climber of his time. Native of Hunza which is known for climbers and working with Pakistan Army which is an academy for mountaineers, Sher Khan has all the circumstances to become a climber, which he is. Undoubtedly he is a born and natural climber.

Sher Khan is amongst the very few lead climbers of Pakistan. Unlucky not to reach on the summit of K-2 even crossing the magic line of 8000 meters twice, but he has climbed all the rest four eight thousanders of Pakistan. He was detailed as deputy leader of Pakistan Mount Everest Expedition - 1997.

While climbing two eight thousanders in one attempt, he was also the member of Messner's team.

Apart from his mountaineering activities and profession, he is also a top class player of Polo. Moreover Alpine Club of Pakistan has enjoyed his services as vice president for last few years. He is another recipient of President's Award for Pride of Performance (sports).

Rajab Shah

Rajab Shah is not a publicly known personality but in mountaineering circles he is a famous figure as he has the most challenging and unique record to climb all five eight thousanders of Pakistan, and so far he is the only Pakistani to achieve this feat.

Rajab Shah belongs to Shimshal, the most fertile area to produce top ranking climbers. A very simple person but a choice of most of teams who want to select any Pakistani in their climbing teams.

Rajab Shah was a member of Pakistan Mount Everest Expedition - 1997. He also has the honour to achieve President's Award for Pride of Performance ( sports ).

The history of his climb of eight thousanders is as follows,

Year Name Height
1989 Nanga Parbat (8125m)
1990 Gasherbrum I (8068m)
1992 Gasherbrum I (8068m), second time
1993 Broad Peak (8047m)
1995 K-2 (8611m)
1998 Gasherbrum II (8035m)

His introduction by Alpine Club of Pakistan states as follows,

Meherban Shah

The youngest among above-mentioned climbers, Meharban Shah has the honour to climb K-2 in 1995 as a member of Dutch Expedition. Following his senior Rajab Shah both reached at the top to put their names after Ashraf Aman & Nazir Sabir.

Meharban Shah also belongs to Shimshal. He was selected as a member of Pakistan Mount Everest Expedition - 1997.

There are several other seasoned and high quality climbers who have not been mentioned above as the list includes only the persons who have climbed K-2 or with a prominent climbing experience.

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