By Asem Mustafa Awan
ISLAMABAD (10-08-2017) Abdul Jabbar Bhatti (AJB) is the fourth Pakistani and oldest climber in Pakistan at the age of 60 to scale the highest peak Everest in Himalayas and his climb is an epic tale of adventure and human resilience.
The distinguished climber in his exclusive talks with Capital Times said, “My climb also had a fair share of ups and down and I ran out of supplementary oxygen in the summit area even when closing up towards that, as Sanghe Sherpa never carried the two oxygen bottles for me that could have saved me four nights in death zone (8,000 meters and above) and frost bite.” “It had nearly taken lives of the two.”
Abdul Jabbar Bhatti (AJB) reached Everest summit on May 21 at 11:34 am.
He said, “I was full board client with Seven Summits Treks; a well established tour operations company in Nepal.
Normally my High Altitude Sherpa should have joined me in Kathmandu but I was told that he was already up on Everest and I will meet him at the Everest Base camp.”
AJB said, “Most of the climbers had been joined by their High Altitude Sherpas (HAS) at the Base Camp whereas I kept waiting for the one at base camp, the promised one was changed with another HAS who came after 10 days.”
“Purtemba Sherpa was a total disappointment,” said AJB adding, “I was told he is was a good summiting sherpa but on the contrary his pessimism about the climb forced me request another Sherpa. Purtemba was afraid to climb always reminding of death during climb or he deliberately did that to demoralize me.
The new Sherpa that came as replacement of Purtemba had too less experience and Everest is no joke, even I accepted that having no option .”
Answering a query he said, “This replacement of Purtemba Sherpa came with a substitute after a day suggesting that his friend a 20 year old Mr. Sanghe Sherpa had climbed two 8000 meter peaks and he will accompany me to summit and he also had aspirations to be on the top. At that stage I had no choice except to accept that, for, a day after I was set to leave for the final bid.”
Answering a question AJB said, “I have reasons to believe; it was done deliberately and in a way it was a psychological effort to demoralize the climber so that the climber calls it a day and quit climbing and the company could then shifts the blame on the climber, that it was the climber who gave up and not the Sherpa.
AJB told this scribe that he had a good climbing partner from India Daljeer Singh alias DJ who was from Indian Police Service. DJ wrote about me in India and a lot of coverage was in the Indian press as Pakistani doctor climbing Everest.”
Giving chronology of climb and on the way down from Everest Summit AJB said, “ On 15 April I am at Base camp. I have no Sherpa for 10 days. Purtemba Sherpa is provided but I am not happy with him as he has a very pessimistic approach and is very fearful to climb. May 17, I start from Base Camp and reach Camp 2 same
day. Next day May 18 am at Camp 3 and on Camp 4 on May 19. Summit day is May 20 but DJ and I stay at Camp 4 due to a wrong information of upcoming bad weather, fed by DJ’s porter while others moved up. The next day on 21st May I reach the summit and then on the way down from summit, drastically reduced speed due to running out of supplementary oxygen forced me to spend a night at 8600 meters without supplementary oxygen, overall passing four nights in death zone.
AJB said, “ Sanghe Sherpa was supposed to carry two oxygen bottles for me but he took only one.
How I survived is all because of prayers from my well wishers, preparedness and my will to survive and to come down alive.
Luckily, a team of climbers; a German, a Chinese and three Sherpas helped me with supplementary oxygen and I climbed down to lower camps and finally heli lifted to base camp and to Kathmandu.” “I am happy to be home,” he added.