Money Heist at Himalaya: The Unethical Business of Nepali Companies in K2’s Hybrid Climbing Expeditions

A group of students from a junior class in the city were on a study trip to a new chicken Hatchery, and the class teacher was explaining in detail the process of hatching eggs in an incubator, how a specific temperature is maintained and after completion of the process of hatching chicks.

At that moment, a child questioned a perplexing question that left the teacher speechless.

The child asked, “Teacher, you just gave us a lecture on maternal care and told us that every creature on this earth has the instinct to care for their young and that all newborn babies love their mother very much.

So, can you also tell us whether the babies that come out of this machine (incubator) will also love their mother, and will this machine be their mother?”

The teacher had no answer to this question, so she considered calling the child a naughty baby and brushed it off.

Hybrid Climbing – Friend or Foe of Mountains?

Last year in July 2022, I had given up writing about the topic of mountain climbing due to the international “Roller Coaster Yllgar” sponsored by the international ‘Mountain Tourists’ on the Pakistani Emperor Mountain K2.

One reason for this was that in the manner in which Nepalese companies, led by other international and local tour operators, mercilessly attacked this great natural treasure of nature with all the latest climbing equipment and tools only to perpetuate their publicity and business, and cut the snowy bosom of the mountain to conquer its summit by artificial means.

It broke my heart. I had decided that I, who had been promoting the real art of mountain climbing and the fruitful promotion of tourism in Pakistan like an enthusiast for many years, would not have any effect on ordinary Pakistanis or the true guardians of nature in Gilgit-Baltistan. Criminal silence is prevalent everywhere.

so what disaster would befall me if I kept writing on this subject?

Ali Akbar Sakhai’s Death

But sometimes my heart also trembled, especially when I remembered the death of Afghan mountaineer Ali Akbar Sakhai on the upper slopes of Camp 3 of K2, how a Pakistani tour company left him alone to die without even artificial oxygen, just because six porters of that company were required by the sister of the owner of that company to climb K2.

The tourism department of Gilgit-Baltistan has not yet initiated any fact-finding inquiry into this incident, and nor has the Alpine Club of Pakistan, responsible for mountain climbing expeditions, issued any condolences to Karima Ali Akbar, the widow of the deceased. The available details of this tragic event affected me so deeply that I developed an intense aversion towards the entire high-altitude mountaineering industry and its companies for several days.

Whose responsibility is the Nepali trash..Sherpas?

This aversion intensified when a video surfaced showing an international female mountaineer leaving her garbage on K2, which provoked a strong response from the international climbing community.

To remedy the situation, a company responsible for keeping the Karakoram National Park clean used a stereotypical and cosmetic cleaning action, releasing images for public display that were nothing more than eye wash.

But what difference does that make?

In a country where foreign mountaineering companies have established and enforced their business models on mountains that belong to locals, while local regulatory authorities remain silent bystanders, where will my writing and voice be heard?

This thought not only discouraged me from writing about mountaineering but also made me resentful of the sport. During this time, my health issues related to my liver and kidneys also worsened, and I had to seek medical treatment, which I, fortunately, received in March. Spring brought new energy to me.

Time to wake up

It is up to the tourism and mountaineering community of Pakistan and the local stakeholders living in these mountains to decide whether they accept Nepali hybrid climbers and fraud companies disbursing funds under the guise of a clean-up operation on Emperor mountain K2 or other Pakistani mountains.

It is like someone sitting in Pakistan and starting marketing to sell the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Similarly, since 2021, a Nepali fraud climber K2 clean-up operation has paid dollars from all over the world.

The government of Pakistan should investigate this matter when they bring their commercial team to Pakistan this season.

“Nepali’s are installing incubator of dollars with no love to nature and the Emperor Mount K2″

Simply, the one who wants to visit the mountains of Pakistan should first guarantee that according to international standards, he will either clean the mountain himself or else all the duties and expenses of the clean-up operation will be paid by the government.

Pakistan or the government of Gilgit-Baltistan will collect and return from here as much as is paid for the Mt. Everest clean-up in Nepal.

It is high time that not only the permit fees should be made equal to that of Nepal but also the wages of Pakistani porters should be made equal to that of Nepalese sherpas and with every permit a Pakistani porter should be paid at least Hiring with 1:1 ratio should be banned.

That is, a foreign commercial climber must hire at least one Pakistani porter.

To save the young generation from the fake heroism of the hybrid climbers who have climbed all eight thousand mountains of Pakistan, it is necessary to activate the announced “Muhammad Ali Sadpara School of Mountaineering” for the technical training of this sport in the Lower Himalayas i.e. Wadi Kaghan.

Training courses for trekking guides and low-altitude porters should also be conducted in Swat and Chitral etc.

Wall climbing training should be given in schools and colleges at the district level.

At the level of universities, a series of awards should also be started for climbing any 5 or 6 thousand mountains after receiving formal training so that the trend of the young generation towards this healthy sport increases.

These are small steps through which the tourism sector of Gilgit-Baltistan can earn a lot of foreign exchange without any big investment.

Two years ago, I had requested the Hon’ble Minister of Tourism of Gilgit-Baltistan to formulate comprehensive rules related to tourism and technical mountaineering and also offered my services free of charge, to which the said minister called only once. contacted through WhatsApp message, but later neither restored the contact nor has he yet made any legislation which is urgently needed so that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan can promote their tourism business in a professional manner and unemployment. can bring prosperity to this region by ending it.

However, personally, I along with some of my serious senior friends in the tourism and mountaineering community have started working on a comprehensive and integrated plan for the promotion of tourism and mountaineering.

It is expected to be launched very soon. We all have to work together to resist the onslaught of hybrid climbers and introduce mountain lovers to real climbing. Loving the mountains is also an addiction that keeps our souls supple by saving us from otherworldly addictions.

For its promotion, the young generation has to come down in this field to demolish the rotten and dysfunctional institutions like the Alpine Club and the personal idols sitting in them.

It’s just too late to take the first step. You will see that these wrong numbers will run away by themselves.

Let’s take the first step together.

About Author

Imran Haider Thaeem, a renowned mountaineer and adept tracker, has traversed the perilous terrain of numerous expeditions and scaled the towering heights of multiple peaks. With a watchful gaze affixed to the goings-on of the rarefied air at the staggering altitude of 8000 meters, he is attuned to the minutiae of the mountain. Not content to merely observe, Imran has authored several scholarly works, detailing his observations and experiences on these vertiginous journeys. A paragon of philanthropy, Imran is also a dedicated social worker, using his hard-won knowledge to improve the lives of those around him.

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