Sabir Saab on Sagarmatha

On the morning of 17 May, Nazir Sabir became the first Pakistani to stand on top of the world. In the bargain, the Hunza native also clinched for himself a lifetime of complimentary cuisine at Rum Doodle Restaurant and Bar, the unofficial hangout of the international climbing community in Kathmandu. Back in the Nepali capital after the climb, a sun- and snow-burned Nazirsaab, as his Sherpa friends also call him, is enjoying his conquest and his Rum Doodle Everest Summitter's ID.ra

"The highest point on earth and I think the highest moment in my life, too, for which I have been planning for many years," he is recorded speaking into the camera, breathing heavily in summit footage captured on a digital videocam. He then does what most mountaineers do up there on top of Everest/Chomolongma/Sagarmatha — poses with his country's flag. There's a sparkling suspicion of tears. After the frustration of a failed attempt at Everest from the north side in 1997 and the barrage of press flak that followed in the Pakistani press, success for Sabir, a former advisor on sports and tourism to the Pakistani government, couldn't have tasted better.

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Himal Southasian