Late mountaineer Muhammad Ali Sadpara (1976-2021) has been honoured with a monument at MP Chowk in Gilgit’s Sonikot. The roundabout has been renamed Sadpara Chowk, his son Sajid Ali Sadpara shared on Twitter.
The monument features Sadpara in climbing gear, complete with oxygen apparatus, prompting some to say on Twitter that it should be removed since the mountaineer was not using any during his last climb.
Sajid was part of Sadpara’s last expedition but had to turn back after he started feeling sick and the mask regulator on the oxygen tank sprung a leak.
According to an interview Sajid gave to BBC, Sadpara wanted Sajid to keep climbing as a week ago the Nepalese had ascended the mountain and he wanted to as well since it was “our mountain”.
Sadpara senior was a high-altitude mountaineer, who was part of the world’s only team to ascent Nanga Parbat in the winter in 2016.
He also climbed eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, four of which he ascended in the same year.
Sadpara went missing on February 5, 2021 while trying to ascend K2 in the winter, with two other mountaineers Iceland’s John Snorri and Chile’s Juan Pablo Mohr - while trying to climb K2, the world’s second highest peak at 8,611m or 28,251 feet.
He was officially declared dead on February 18 but his body was not found till the summer of 2021.
In March 2021, the then Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief secretary, Dr Kazim, had also inaugurated a climbing wall in the legendry mountaineer’s honour in March 2021 at the Qayyumabad Stadium in Peshawar.
Besides the climbing wall, Paani Project, a USA-based NGO, dug and named a well after Sadpara as well.
The national carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, renamed their air safari services after Sadpara in June 2021, a month before his body was formed. Interested folks can still book a PIA Sadpara Air Safari flight.