SWAT PROJECT*, Phase 2
On September 1st, after exploring various challenging and partially unexplored routes in the fascinating region of Swat Kohistan a group of mountaineers and mountain hikers returned to Saidu Sharif (Capital City of Swat District).
Organized by the Asian Desk of the NGO Mountain Wilderness International based in Biella (Italy), as a Phase 2 of the 3-Phase SWAT PROJECT*. this exploration was a step toward completing an extensive survey in view of the creation of a National Park in that wonderful and fragile mountain area.
Led by Italian Professor Carlo Alberto Pinelli, (Sitara-i-Imtiaz), Honorary President of Mountain Wilderness International and in charge of the Asian Desk of the NGO, 12 expert hikers and mountaineers, coming from Italy, Germany and Catalonia, achieved their demanding tasks with the help of six local guides from Mountain Wilderness’s first “Environmentally Friendly Mountaineering” course organized last year along the Falak Sar Peak Glacier. Another group of hikers is scheduled to travel to the mountains of upper Swat during summer 2020 to carry out further explorations with the aim to finalize the project. This will be Phase 3: it will include the publishing of a reliable guide book, in English and Urdu, describing the main trekking and climbing routes of that region and providing guidelines to preserve those landscapes against the increasing waves of inconsiderate tourists disrespectful of the environment and of its natural beauty.
During the same period Mountain Wilderness organized a light climbing expedition aimed at summiting Thalo Zom, the last unclimbed 6000 meters peak, towering over the Swat-Chitral border. The challenging final pyramid of Thalo Zom was summited on the 26th of August by two Italian mountaineering instructors, a Catalan climber and 3 young local mountaineers previously trained by the Asian Desk of the Association together with the Pakistani chapter of Mountain Wilderness.
Jordi Quera, President of Mountain Wilderness International took part in this expedition”.
Mountain Wilderness International wishes to thanks especially ISMEO (International Institute for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies), the staff of Adventure Tours of Pakistan for their precious assistance and the Italian Ambassy of Islamabad for their support.
With this very positive accomplishment of Phase 2 and we are confident that the coming Phase 3 will be even more successful.
- *The SWAT PROJECT aims to provide a potential source of income for the local population of the Swat Valley by providing professional eco-friendly training for mountaineering and trekking guides, to explore and define a wilderness area that can ultimately be proposed as a natural park and to document this work with the publication of a trekking/mountaineering guide book.