Photo by: Abdul Joshi

Abdul Joshi is from Shimshal Valley also known as the valley of mountaineers. His first peak was Manglik Sar (6,050m) at the age of 18. He started his mountaineering career as a helper and progressed to become a high-altitude porter on 8,000-m mountain expeditions. Joshi once went up till Camp 3 (7,400m) of K2 (8,611m) when an avalanche swept their tents away and crushed their summit dreams. He has also been on a G2 (8,034m) expedition. Now marked his name on the top-class climbers of Pakistan and achieving a lot in the field of Mountaineering.

In 2017, Joshi did a winter expedition on the Lupke La Glacier that transitions into Snow Lake. The snow on the track was so deep that they had to crawl. Furthermore, they had to avoid deep crevasses with almost no visibility due to bad weather in -40°C temperature. What is usually a 15-day trek in summers took them 12 days in winters.

The purpose of this expedition was to conduct research on the glacier and collect data for Pakistan Integrated Mountain Conservancy. Joshi and his team took pictures and recorded GPS coordinate to monitor the size and movement of the glacier in response to climate change.

Photo by: Abdul Joshi

“In the past, when I used to do adventures, people would always ask me why? So I started thinking about linking a cause to my expeditions. The winter trek to Lupke La Glacier was for research. The Passu Cones mission was to bring awareness to our youth’s problems. They turn to drugs when suffering from depression due to joblessness. Our expedition slogan was “Say no to drugs!” I want to inspire our youngsters and females, so they can also be sports adventurers. Our women should become independent

The 6,106m tall Passu Cones, known as Tupopdan in the local language, have been Joshi’s dream for long. He did research and consulted the most senior local climber from Passu, Hunar Baig, who told him that nobody had ever scaled these peaks. Twenty years ago, a Korean Group attempted to climb them but had to abandon the expedition right in the beginning. After two years of preparation, Joshi assembled a team of seven climbers from Shimshal and began the ascent.

Just a couple of days before, in June 2019, Abdul Joshi had a completely different goal. He was all set to become the first person to summit the Passu Cones (6,106m) had he continued. But he received a phone call that an avalanche had hit the Italian-Pak expedition on Melvin Jones Peak (5,800m) and his dear friend from Shimshal, Imtiyaz Ahmad, a mountain guide, had lost his life in the accident. The helicopter rescue mission couldn’t retrieve his corpse due to bad weather. Therefore, the Shimshal Community called upon their best climbers to conduct a ground rescue operation.

When Joshi heard the news of the accident, he was at Camp 3 of Passu Cones, only 500m from the summit, with his dream in clear sight, but he decided to cancel his expedition. After a quick descent, he headed to Ishkomen and volunteered to be a part of a four-member rescue team for Melvin Jones Peak.

Photo by: Abdul Joshi

 But he stays determined and again planned to summit Passu cones and finally Joshi and his team on August 2021 created history when they summited the unclimbed Passu Cones of the Karakoram range of mountains in Pakistan.

The group was led by mountaineer Abdul Joshi, and had two female climbers — Sultana Nasab and Shama Baqir — as well. Together, they became the first ever team to climb the main Passu Cone peak.

The team celebrated the summit by hoisting the national flag on top of the Passu Cones.

He became the first Pakistani to scale the Mount Annapurna. Mount Annapurna is the 10th highest of all the 8,000m peaks in China, Nepal, and Pakistan. It is said to be one of the most treacherous mountains to climb.

Photo by: Abdul Joshi

Abdul Joshi made Pakistan proud again as he successfully climbed the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest (8,848 metres) and raised the country’s flag on top of the world.

Known as “pathfinder” among mountaineers due to his extraordinary skills, Joshi was part of the team led by Mingma G.

June 5, 2022

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