This year the Asian Desk of Mountain Wilderness International and Mountain Wilderness Pakistan intend to conclude the exploration part of the SWAT PROJECT in which our NGO has been actively involved for over six years, with the collaboration of the International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies (ISMEO, link: https://www.ismeo.eu/home-english/ ) and the Italian Academic Alpine Club (CAAI, link: https://www.clubalpinoaccademico.it/ ), under the aegis of Mountain Partnership (the UN voluntary alliance of partners dedicated to mountain peoples and environments, link: https://www.fao.org/mountain-partnership/en/ ).
The mountains of Upper Swat appear to be a middle ground between the Alps, as they presented themselves to visitors in the early 1800s, and the more properly Himalayan landscapes. Here you find valleys, passes, peaks and glaciers, breathtaking landscapes marked by 5000ers and 6000ers and dense coniferous forests, lakes, crystal-clear streams, as well as high-altitude pastures inhabited by small groups of nomadic shepherds. Unfortunately, today Swat is starting to become a destination for a particularly disrespectful and disorderly tourism.
Mountain Wilderness believes that the only way to preserve those valleys lies in the development of a viable alternative, based on respect and strict regulations and geared towards the establishment of a National Park.
The decisive step will be the publication of a hiking and mountaineering guidebook of the high valleys and mountains of Swat, based on the reports compiled by the trekkers and mountaineers involved in the project in previous years (2019, 2021, 2022, 2023) and with a strong focus on environmental protection. This guidebook is meant to spur the Pakistani government to initiate the creation of the National Park.
We are once again inviting all hiking and mountaineering enthusiasts to participate in the exploration of Swat’s last, still partly unknown hiking routes. An exciting experience, which carries no risk from political instability or fundamentalist regurgitations. Some of the routes may require the crossing of glaciers and snow passes, implying the use of crampons, ice axe and rope.
Hiking the trails will require seven to eight consecutive days. You may also have an extra day to visit the ruins of the ancient Buddhist monuments in the southern hills of Swat. Departure date has not been decided so far, but will be between August 20 and 30. Overall, the trip will last a couple of weeks.
Please remember that Mountain Wilderness is an NGO, not a travel agency. Neither are the Italian Academic Alpine Club and ISMEO. The ultimate aim of this project is a greater and better protection of a still intact but particularly threatened mountain environment. With your help.
For further details, please follow the link below: