SLAMABAD: A four-member squad of Pakistani mountaineers left the country for Nepal to climb Mount Everest, aiming to summit it successfully. Talking to APP on Thursday, Secretary Alpine Club of Pakistan (ACP) Abu Zafar Sadiq said, “The ‘Pakistan Everest Expedition – 2011′ had been organised with funds provided by the government. The squad comprises Vice President ACP

Muhammad Ali Changezi, who is also the expedition leader, along with Assistant Manager and support member Ghulam Muhammad Faisal and climbers Hassan Sadpara and Muhammad Sadiq. The squad will leave for the Mount Everest base camp on April 3 and is expected to return on June 3 after completing the mission.” The administrative facilities in Nepal will be provided by a local Nepalese tour operator M/S Seven Summits, who will also be providing an expert Sherpa for assistance to the expedition, he informed. “The charm and challenge of Pakistan’s spectacular and lofty ranges of Karakoram, Hindukush and Western Himalayas, lured our local mountaineers and did not allow them to think of climbing outside Pakistan,” Zafar said. Situated in the Himalayan Range in Nepal, Mount Everest’s official height is 8,848 metres, but is also reckoned as 8,850 metres. It was first climbed on May 29, 1953 by a British Expedition led by Lord John Hunt. Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay Sherpa reached the summit. Since then it has been climbed by over 3,000 climbers of all age groups and gender on one or more occasions. In 1997, an ACP team first attempted to climb Mount Everest from its north side situated in China in collaboration with the China Tibet Mountaineering Association. However the expedition, in spite of its two brave attempts, had to return about 300 metres short of the Everest summit. Later, renowned Pakistani mountaineer and former president of ACP Nazir Sabir once again climbed Mount Everest as part of an international expedition on May 17, 2000 successfully, thus becoming the first Pakistani to reach the Everest summit.