When I cycled to Shimshal last year to document the stories of high altitude porters, little did I know where this journey would take me? If there is one thing I learnt from this visit, it was how to nurture your dreams despite adverse circumstances, writes blogger, climber Kamran Munawar on Bike on his Facebook page.
“Passion, positivity, and resilience” were no longer merely abstract words yelled out by motivational speakers, but the locals personified them, he shared. Before, I used to think that all mountaineering expeditions were done without any external support. But then, I heard the term High Altitude Porter (HAP) for the first time.
These HAPs assist hundreds of international mountaineers in climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains in Pakistan. While foreigners claim all the glory, those who make it possible by risking their lives remain unsung heroes.
At times, they are not even allowed to summit despite being close to it. Very few realized that these HAPs have dreams too — to climb the tallest mountains and wave the flag of their country atop. All they need is just a little support to lead their own expeditions.
This is about to happen, he writes. For years, those who have carried the weight of others will be now carrying the weight of their own dreams to the top.
This month, a four-member all Pakistani team will leave for Nepal to attempt Mt Annapurna (8,091-m), the 10th highest peak in the world. The team comprises of climbers from Gilgit-Baltistan Sirbaz Khan, Abdul Joshi, Saad Munawar, expedition manager (Saad Munawar – The Mountain Writer) Kamran On Bike – Filmmaker/Photographer (Kamran On Bike).
Through this expedition, we want to honour Muhammad Ali Sadpara, acknowledge our porters, and inspire the younger generation.
We will be publishing stories of this expedition on our pages using the hashtag #PakistanOnAnnapurna2021.
We would like to thank our partners for their support for the welfare of mountaineering in Pakistan: Value of the Life Project Manaky Manaky University of Lahore (University. Lahore) Shama Ijaz Foundation.