Karakoram HeliSki – World Best Kept Secret
An 11-member team of some of the world’s top skiers flew into Pakistan to take on a daring challenge in the world’s highest mountain range. Their goal was to heli-ski in the 5,000 meter high peaks of the Karakoram Range, that has four of the world’s fourteen peaks with a height of 8,000 meters and above.
In the event, nicknamed “Pakistan Pure Discovery”, the heli-skiers from France, Canada, Russia, Serbia, Ireland and Switzerland, gathered in Skardu from where they were transported to the peaks by helicopter.
The Skardu valley, situated at an altitude of nearly 8,200 ft above sea level, is surrounded by K2, which is the second highest peak in the world.
Among the group was Samyra Rashid, a Pakistani designer who runs a successful women’s fashion business. She became the first Pakistani as well as the first woman to ski in the Karakoram range.
Samyra Rashid, Pakistani Skier:
“Its been the most amazing opportunity in the world to come here and ski in the Karakoram mountain range. We have brought skiers from all over the world, from Russia, from Serbia, from Canada, from Switzerland, and they have skied everywhere in the world you can imagine.”
Yann Gergest, Swiss Skier:
“Its been an amazing trip and we have been so well received by the locals and the army. And skiing among some of the highest peaks in the world has been just incredible. For me, as a Swiss guy, I’ve skied all over the world, but Pakistan is really the highlight of my skiing life.”
Brice Lequetier, French Skier, European Champion:
“We managed to get dropped at an altitude of almost 5,000 meters, with our skis and mountain equipment, and we skied down. So far it’s a great success, because its very exciting to do something new, something that nobody has even done before.”
Cedonir Chadda, Serb Skier:
“We are the first men on this beautiful part of Himalayan Karakoram range, and really my advice is that everybody has to see Pakistan.”
The Karakoram HeliSki event was organised by the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) in collaboration with the Walkabout Films, a Pakistani film production company.
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