‘K2 is King of Mountains’ he would constantly tell me. Ali had the deepest respect for the crown jewel of Pakistan’s Karakoram. Every time he spoke of his vast experience on 8000m peaks in winter, I listened intently and absorbed every word.

Pasang Kaji and I were only with Ali, John and Sajid for 3 weeks, but what was evident was the respect and love these men had for one another. There was no employer / employee relationship – they were a team. They were equal. They cared deeply for one another and respected each other tremendously.

Winter K2 was a common dream that belonged to Ali, John and Sajid. As John constantly put it: it’s Iceland working in partnership with Pakistan – to celebrate Pakistan.

Ali knew everyone at basecamp and was adored by so many.

As Sajid put it: ‘My father is like a Snow Leopard. He moves incredibly fast in the mountains.’ He commanded your respect for his incredible talent and won over your heart with his charm and beautiful soul.

Whether dancing at basecamp, joking around with John and the kitchen staff – his smile, charm, warm heart, sense of humor and one of a kind spirit will always be what defines this great man.

Ali is one of Pakistan’s greatest heroes and his pioneering accomplishments in the throne-room of the heavens will always be remembered.


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