Amir Mehdi

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Amir Mehdi
Amir Mehdi - Hunza Mehdi.jpg
Personal information
Nationality Pakistani
Born 1913
Died 1999
Climbing career
Type of climber Mountaineer
Known for 1954 K2 Ascent
First ascents Nanga Parbat
Major ascents K2 first ascent

Amir Mehdi (refferd sometimes as Hunza Mehdi) was a Pakistani mountaineer and porter known for being part of the team which managed the first successful ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953, and of K2 in 1954 with an Italian expedition. He, along with the Italian mountaineer Walter Bonatti, are also known for having survived a night at the highest open bivouac - 8,100 metres (26,600 ft) - on K2 in 1954.[1][2]

Nanga Parbat (1953)[edit]

Amir Mehdi
Ice Axe used by Amir Mehdi, during 1954's K2 ascent

In July 1953 a German-Austrian team went for expedition to Nanga Parbat. The expedition was organized by the half-brother of Willy Merkl, Karl Herrligkoffer from Munich, while the expedition leader was Peter Aschenbrenner from Innsbruck, who had participated in the 1932 and 1934 attempts. Hermann Buhl, one of team member made it to the top and became first person to reach the summit. He was assisted by two high altitude porters from Hunza, Amir Mehdi and Haji Baig. They later helped Buhl during his descent, when he was caught by frostbite and lost his crampon.[3]

K2 (1954)[edit]

During the Italian expedition, he and Walter Bonatti were stranded by Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli, who wanted to prevent Bonatti from reaching the summit, and were forced to huddle on an ice ledge overnight at 8,100 metres (26,600 ft), the highest ever open bivouac at the time.[1] As Mehdi was wearing standard army boots, he lost all his toes to frostbite and spent 8 months in hospital recovering from the ordeal.

Life and Career[edit]

Amir Mehdi left mountaineering after the K2 attempt. He served briefly as a government servant of Pakistan. Amir Mehdi lived a modest life in his hometown Hassanabad for the rest of his years.

Amir Mehdi died of old-age in 1999, in Hunza.

Awards and Titles[edit]

  • The Italian government awarded him the rank of cavaliere.[1]
  • Amir Mehdi also received Italian civilian medal, Al Valor Civile.
  • Amir Mehdi was given the title of 'Hunza Tiger' for the services rendered during the ascent of Nanga Parbat in 1953.[4]

See Also[edit]

Nazir Sabir

Ashraf Aman

Samina Baig

Hunza Valley


  1. ^ a b c "Amir Mehdi: Left out to freeze on K2 and forgotten". Retrieved 7 August 2014. 
  2. ^ "Bonatti e il K2, la vera storia". Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Nanga Parbat - Rakhiot Flank - East Ridge - 1953". 21 September 2013. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2's Deadliest Da. 2012. ISBN 9780393079883.