MINGORA: Trekkers and hikers said here on Saturday that Pakistan was the paradise of adventure tourism and it was collective responsibility of every Pakistani to protect and preserve the scenic and cultural sites of the country.

They were speaking at the National Trekkers Meetup 2019 held under the slogan ‘explore Pakistan and go high to get high’. The event was organised by SPS Trekking Club.

Trekkers, hikers and professional guides from across the country, including Dr Shahid Iqbal, Abdul Manan, Baqa Shaikh, Munawwar Shah, Abid Zaidi, Hamza Anis, Asif Bahtti, Mohammad Ashaq, Farah Mehmood, Nasir Mehmood, Ashad Khan, Mobeen Mazhar, Abdul Joshi, Nemat Karim, Shehroz Kashif, Aziz Ahmad Jamali, Prof Rehmat Karim, Umair Hassan, Fida Ali and Mehmboob Ali, participated in the event.

The trekkers shared their trekking expeditions and explorations of the various peaks and passes conducted in 2019.

They said that Pakistan was the wonderland of the world’s highest peaks. It has five of the 14 highest peaks in the world.

National Trekkers Meetup held in Swat

“I am fortunate enough to summit the Khusar Gang peak. I also cleaned part of the peak during my expedition,” said Hamza Anis who made it to the peak alone.

Women trekker Farah Mehmood, who along with her husband Nasir Mehmood explored a new pass in Shimshal valley in Hunza district, said she was excited to have explored an unnamed pass along with her team.

“Last year, we attempted an unexplored pass and successfully achieved the goal. Though we faced many challenges during our trek, we experienced unique feelings which I cannot express because the experience of touching the untouched passes or peaks is something different and its excitement is beyond expression,” she said and praised the stunning views and hospitality of the people of Shimshal valley.

Naveed, another professional trekker, shared his expedition to Suaki Sar in Allai valley while Mohammad Ashfaq shared his experience of exploring about 15 lakes in Darel valley.

Shaukat Ali Khan, a trekker from Swat, said that Swat had a combination of scenic and cultural heritage sites and suggested that every trekker and hiker must visit them. Arshad Khan shared the experience of Haramosh La pass and Mobeen Mahzar spoke about Vargerav pass.

Another professional trekker, Aziz Ahmad Jamali, said that Balochistan was unique as it was home to different ranges, passes, rocks and terrains. He invited trekkers and hikers to visit Baluchistan to experience its unique landscape.

Pakistan’s youngest mountaineer Shehroz Kashif, who had set a world record of the youngest trekker to summit the Broad Peak, said that climbing mountains was a tough task, but scaling a peak gave a sense of achievement.

Asif Bhatti, a renowned trekker, said that such events should be held regularly to encourage the young and emerging trekkers and climbers.

Published in Dawn, February 2nd, 2020