Alpine Skiing and the two Pakistanis who made a new record!
It took 3 hours to summit the 6,000 meter peak and only 15 minutes to descend it via alpine skiing. Scary? Definitely!
Imagine yourself clipped into a pair of 216cm downhill skis, pushing out of the start and flying at 145km/h down a steep, icy slope. Imagine the snow conditions ranging from bulletproof ice to slushy ruts and the terrain ranging from a near cliff to flat ground all in the same breadth.
It’s not an easy task to confront a tsunami of challenges that Alpine skiing throws at you. Alpine skiing, also known as downhill skiing, is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings.
Well, it is!
It requires very high levels of strength, agility, stamina, flexibility and last but not the least, fine motor skills. There are many dare devils out there that are hell bent on not only facing all the challenges of the sport but also setting new records.
Recently, two Pakistani brothers, from Shimshal Gojal, Hunza, made a new record. Niamat Karim, who is just 27-years-old, along with his younger brother Mansoor Karim, aged 15, completed the first ever Pakistani Alpine Skiing expedition.
Niamat Karim - the elder brother - is a mountaineer by profession and has been scaling adventurous peaks since the past 13 years. He also runs a travel agency by the name of PATE (Pakistan Adventures Tours and Expeditions).
Mansoor who is only 15, started his career as a professional skier in 2008. He also set a new record by becoming the youngest Pakistani to attempt Alpine skiing and that too successfully.
The 6000m Ski Expedition 2013, that kicked off on July, 10 2013, was the first of its kind in Pakistan organised by the Pakistan Adventures Tours and Expeditions. The first challenge was to attempt Quz Sar (6000 meters). The summit was accomplished in about three hours amidst the worst kind of weather conditions and then the skiing started from the top to the advance base camp.
This hefty descend was accomplished in a mere 15 minutes!
On the very same day, both the brothers attempted Qol Sar (6,000 meters) too. In their initial plan they had planned to climb only three peaks (Quz Sar, Manglik Sar and one unnamed peak ), but during the expedition they found that the advance base camps of Qol Sar and Quz Sar were situated quite close to each other and so they decided, on the spot, to attempt Qol Sar too.
On July 12, 2013, they set their goals to summit Manglik Sar (6,050 meters). The Manglik Sar summit was covered in six hours and the descent took just 17 minutes via skiing!
After two days, on July 15, the remaining part of the expedition started. The challenge was to summit an unclimbed peak (6,000 meters). This peak was conquered in three hours and its descent was finished in only 10 minutes of skiing downhill to the advance base camp.
After setting this amazing record, Niamat and Mansoor have set their eyes on many other record breaking events. They are also very keen about promoting Alpine Skiing as a sport.
Alpine Skiing is popular wherever there is a combo of mountain slopes, snow and sufficient tourist infrastructure. In this regard, they want support from the Government of Pakistan to provide safe and reliable tourist infrastructure to help promote tourism and mountain adventure sports even more in the country.
I congratulate both our brave skiers and pray that their dreams of promoting Alpine Skiing come true! Wishing them all the very best for such future endeavours.
May they earn many more heights, Amen!