A local foundation organized a winter sports training camp in the snow-covered Qaqlasht fields in the Chitral valley with aims to encourage winter sports in Pakistan and recognize winter tourism opportunities in the north.
Qaqlasht a flat area about 80 kilometers north of Chitral Town, which means dry land.
The Pakistan Youth Outreach Foundation however organizes the very first ski and mountaineering training camp in the Qaqlasht Valley in collaboration with the Hindukush Mountaineering and Adventure Club.
“The event was organised during the coldest period of the year. The camp featured a total of 50 daring participants from various regions including Lahore, Faisalabad, lower Chitral, Kalash, Mastuj, Booni, Broghil, and Hunza.
“Girls from Shimshal, Chitral, and Punjab actively participated in the event,” said organiser Mirza Ali Baig.
“There were trainers from Shimshal and one ski trainer from Austria. They gave training to the participants in basic ski and mountaineering technique,” added Baig, who is also the brother of Pakistan’s globally acclaimed mountaineer Samina Baig, and one of only two Pakistanis to have climbed the seven highest mountains in the seven continents.
He added that the participants were educated by the Austrian Julian and the Shimshal’s Mansoor Kareem while the participants were trained in fundamental mountain techniques. ArShad Jon, Ahmed Baig, and Samana Rahim, Shimshal.
“The basic mountaineering training included introduction to climbing gears and teaching climbing knots essential in mountaineering.
“The participants climbed up to 400m through a very steep route in deep snow, for the very first time,” he added.
According to the organisers, the purpose of the event was to engage the youth of Chitral in winter sports, promote tourism in the region, and promote cultural interaction and harmony.