Attempt to ascent the 6,100-meter high mountain Zoui Sar this winter

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Two mountaineers gear up to conquer the un-summited Zoui Sar located on the Malangudi glacier, Pakistan

Namal Siddiqui

There are many unclimbed peaks in Pakistan and as Pakistan opens up itself to travelers, the unexplored mountains become an opportunity for climbers to discover new heights. This march, the team involved is passionate and has the skills and expertise to climb; with unique backgrounds, they represent diversity, inclusivity and love for climbing. Attempting this summit are Qudrat Ali (Climb Leader) and Namal Siddiqui (Expedition Member). 

The lead climber on this expédition is the celebrated mountaineer Qudrat Ali, hailing from Shimshal Valley in Pakistan. Among the many mountains he has summited there are 4×8000m summits: (Broad Peak, G1, G2, Nanga Parbat) and 2 winters ascents of 6000m while also attempting a winter ascent of Broad Peak but had to abandon the climb 200m before the summit. Qudrat has walked barefoot from Gilgit to Shimshal to honor his ancestors who roamed the land barefoot, spending 14 hours outside in -25C using a sleeping bag only and sleeping in a crevasse. He also holds the world record of traversing three mountain ranges. 

“One of the reasons of attempting this climb is to create a positive and inviting image of Pakistan to the world. I have co founded the Shimshal Mountaineering School, so that we can train and groom mountaineers, there are many times I sponsor students because I believe that no one should miss out on their dreams because of financial constraints. We also want to provide equal opportunities for girls and boys both, and build their confidence in this as a vocation.” says, Qudrat Ali

Namal Siddiqui adds, “With great love and respect for the ones we have lost, we continue to keep their legacy alive. Losing Ali Sadpara this winter, has been a wake up call for mountaineers and the country. Ali Sadpara had a dream: to create opportunities for his people and to put Pakistan on the map. This dream is not a one man’s job, it requires faith and support from our country and from people who have a voice – collectively. I am excited to be part of this community while representing female climbers.” 

Namal is a Pakistani, born and raised in the UAE. She recently gave up her corporate life of 14 years to exclusively pursue her love of mountaineering by moving her base to Islamabad, Pakistan. She has summited 2 of the 7 highest summits of the continents: Mount Elbrus and Mount Kilimanjaro along with Mount Toubkal, highest in North Africa. Besides this she has attempted Mount Kazbegi. She has been on a winter survival training camp, ice climbing and rock climbing training to fine-tune her technical skills. 

Qudrat is an expert world record holder climber, Namal is experienced and learning the ropes. Their objective for this climb is to promote Pakistan and stand for inclusivity, Namal is aiming to represent and inspire more female mountaineers in the region. This 10-day expedition begins from 10th till 20th of March, a first time attempt to summit the magnificent Zoui Sar. If they are able to climb before 21st March, it will be a winter ascent and if weather conditions don’t allow them before, it will be the first ascent of Zoui Sar.