By Asem Mustafa
ISLAMABAD : Abdul Jabbar Bhatti defied the Mount Everest death zone for four nights and owes his survival to the blessings from Allah Almighty and logistics of prayers during his epic battle for survival in the late last month.
Addressing a press conference at a local hotel the daring mountaineer made it to the summit of world highest mountain standing at 8848 meters on May 21 at 11:34 am.
“My rescue is a miracle in itself,” said the climber who is medical doctor by profession and represented the Army Medical Corps of Pakistan Army as Colonel.
“My will to survive was very strong and nobody in the world has spent four nights in the death zone which is 8000 meters and above and chances to stay alive are next to nothing.”
Abdul Jabbar Bhatti or simply AJB his initials started his quest for the world highest peak summit on May 19 starting from Camp 4 at 8000 meters in early hours but bad weather forced him to stay Camp 4 for another day, the next day AJB started again and reached the summit at 11:34 am but on the way back he ran out of oxygen and was stuck at 8600 meters.
This particular time of the month in Everest is the ‘summit season’. The summit season is the weather window of two weeks in which Everest weather is not having high winds and in that time period maximum of climbers go for the summit bid.
“Many of the climbers went passed me on their way to summit,” said AJB adding,” I lay exhausted at South Summit of the Everest which is at 8600 meters which is almost as high as the altitude of K-2.”
“The climbers on the way back gave me oxygen and pushed me to get down with them, I gather the reserves that I must get down from here and followed them to Camp 4 but my condition was getting worse.”
ABJ said, “A dedicated team of porters was sent up to rescue me as I was then helped and lowered down Camp 3 at 7300 meters where a helicopter rescue was made and I was taken to Base Camp of Everest and later to the hospital.”
“I am thankful to the nation and all well wishers who prayed for me and it is great to be home.”
AJB has been on the summit of Broad Peak 8047 meters and Gasherbrum II 8035 meters besides leading a successful expedition on Spantik 7027 meters. He is a recipient of Pride of Performance in mountaineering and Tamgha-e-Basalat.
Also present on the occasion was President Alpine Club of Pakistan Col (Retd) Manzoor Hussain, President Adventure Foundation of Pakistan Brig (Retd) Muhammad Akram. The two recalled the days coming across AJB as a young officer who pursued his passion of climbing since early 80’s.
The chief guest on the occasion was Her Excellency Ms Sewa Lamsal Adhikari, ambassador of Democratic Republic of Nepal. She lauded AJB on Everest summit and expressed the need to promote tourism between Pakistan and Nepal.
She also gave shields to the guest on the occasion.