Little Karim: a true climbing hero

In 1978 famous British mountain climber Chris Bonington had to select 200 porters out of 1800 candidates for his group attempting to scale K2. Muhammad Karim from Hushe valley of Baltistan was also a candidate in Skardu polo field and hoping to get a livelihood source from the climbing group as a porter but get rejected as Bonington told him “You are too short and cannot become our team member.” Demoralized but determined Karim hoisted tall Bonington on his shoulders and ran the length of open polo ground, the gathering of potential porters burst into giggling but Bonington was awed by the tryout and Karim was allowed to join the group.

Muhammad Karim, known as little Karim, a renowned Pakistani high altitude porter and climber, his resume is full of numerous climbing accomplishments but he is scarcely known, like a snow leopard he remained elusive but he is well recognized in mountaineering world.

In 1985, Frenchman Jean-Marc Boivin and his team arrived in Pakistan for Boivin’s hang glide from the summit of Gasherbrum II (8,035m). Little Karim was assigned to take the 25-kilo glider to the top of G-II. He carried the heavy glider on his shoulder to the top and everyone was stunned by his strength and skills.


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