Amir Mehdi

Amir Mehdi
Personal information
Nationality Pakistani
Born Hunza
Died Hunza, Pakistan
Climbing career
Type of climber Mountaineer
Known for 1954 K2 Ascent, First Pakistani Mountaineer
First ascents Nanga Parbat
Major ascents K2 first ascent

Amir Mehdi (sometimes spelled Amir Mahdi) (1913-1999) was a Pakistani mountaineer known for being part of the Austrian team which managed the 1st ever successful ascents of Nanga Parbat in 1953 and K2 in 1954 with an Italian expedition.[1] He, along with the Italian mountaineer, Walter Bonatti, are also know for having survived a night at the highest open bivouac (8,100m) on K2 in 1954.[2]
He is also referred as Hunza Tiger.[1]

Nanga Parbat (1953)

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 assited by two high altitude porters from Hunza, Amir Mehdi and Haji Baig. They later helped Buhl during his descent, when he was caught by frost bite and lost his crampon.[3]

K2 (1954)

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 8,100m, the highest ever open bivouac at the time. As Mehdi was wearing standard army boots he lost all his toes to frostbite and spent 8 months in hospital recovering from the ordeal. The Italian government awarded him the rank of cavaliere, but he never received an apology for the actions of the expedition.[4]


  1. Amanda Padoan, Peter Zuckerman (2013). Buried in the Sky. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 39, 41, 85, 241. ISBN 0393345416.
  4. Amir Mehdi: Left out to freeze on K2 and forgotten“. Retrieved 7 August 2014.

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