through excerpts from recent coverage.
to the Editor:
Kindness of Strangers:
Davis's "Hanging Tough" (Dispatches)
in the December issue caught our attention. We too were
in Pakistan in Rawalpindi and Islamabad on September 11,
but our experiences were remarkably different from those
of Chad McFadden. Westerners, even dressed as we were
in the local Shalwar Kameez, are obvious, and Pakistanis
approached us to express their sadness and horror at the
acts of terrorism. They offered condolences and the hope
that none of our family or friends were involved.
expressions of concern and sympathy continued during the
following week. It seemed that anyone with a few words
of English came up to us: taxi drivers, shopkeepers, fellow
bus passengers. We never felt threatened or saw any sign
of unfriendliness or unrest, other than the oft-repeated
news clips on CNN and the BBC. If anything, after the
attacks, the people of Pakistan became even friendlier.
Brenda and Mark Wiard, Salida, Colorado.
World's 10 Classic Treks : Walks on the Wild Side
Outside magazine featured the Snow Lake Trek, contacted
us for verification of trek details, and listed Concordia
Expeditions as one of the major outfitters for this
trek. Here is an excerpt from their feature.
a place in remote northeastern Pakistan that is so overpowering
in its visual drama that a number of qualified observers
have been willing to declare unequivocally that this is
The Most Beautiful Place in the World. The Place is improbably
remote, a week's trek from the nearest human habitation,
which is itself the last outpost in the hardscrabble frontier
region of Baltistan. Perhaps the difficulty of trekking
to The Place - only about 200 people a year manage to
reach it - and the lack of exygen at its extreme altitude
have colored the aesthetic judgement of those who have
been there. Or perhaps not. TOP
Denver Post has very restrictive rules pertaining to the use
of their materials online. Thus, we cannot even give you a quote
from the following articles. However, we encourage you to retrieve
one or more of these interesting and informative articles from
the Denver Post on-line archive.
The first is a general piece from the trip Masood helped to
arrange, the second is about Masood Ahmad, and the
third is about Concordia Expeditions and trekking in Pakistan.
hosted and guided a group of reporters on a fact-finding trip
around Pakistan after September 11, 2001. They concentrated
their efforts around Peshawar and Chitral, two areas deeply
affected by the current conflict in Afghanistan. He helped the
reporters contact and interview people from both sides of the
conflict and people caught in the middle of it, the Afghan refuges.
following articles are two of many to have come from that trip.
Sunday, November 11, 2001
By Bruce Finley
Denver Post International Affairs Writer
Sunday, November 18, 2001
By Bruce Finley
Denver Post International Affairs Writer
July 17, 1999
By Christine Smith
Special to the Denver Post
June 6, 1999
on Travel : On the Silk Road
The Q & A column of May 9 directed readers to five Silk Road travel
agencies. We would like to offer a sixth, one that we found nurtured
us from the Hunza Valley in Northern Pakistan over the Karakoram
Highway, an old Silk Route, into China, or, if travelers prefer,
just to China. It is Concordia Expeditions, Pakistan with Pakistanis,
Post Office Box 4159, Buena Vista, Colo. 81211, (719) 395-9191.
My husband and I, both in our 70's and he having had a moderate
stroke, had a Jeep, a driver and a superb guide through spectacular
high country, with 14 peaks over 21,000 feet. These people were
knowledgeable and as considerate as a favorite family member.
A. Rae Price, Fairway, Kan. TOP
November 21, 1996
K2! Into the heart of the Karakoram
Masood Ahmad (excerpts
from longer article)
Akbar!" God is Great! The Balti porters cry out in unison
as they move out in a single file onto the Vigne Glacier. It is
2 a.m. and a moonless night. We are at 17,000 feet in the heart
of the mighty Karakoram Range of Northern Pakistan.
goal is the 19,000 foot Gondogoro La (pass). This pass connects
the most imposing mountain site in the world, Concordia, with
another valley south of the second highest mountain in the world,
K-2. We are in a wonderland of lofty pinnacles, jagged mountains
and the longest glaciers outside the polar regions of our planet.
the time the crystal clear sky turns crimson, we have made it
to the base of the formidable Gondogoro La. We find ourselves
surrounded by immense ice walls not unlike a white fluted gown
of a young bride. Our guide has fixed ropes with ice screws on
the steep sections and we proceed to put our crampons on. The
by one we emerge into the bright morning sunlight, finally finding
ourselves on the crest of Gondogoro La. What a view! "This
has to be the greatest mountain spectacle on our planet!"
exclaims one of our clients." TOP
Travel : Nepal, Pakistan, Argentina - Trekking
through mountains that dwarf Colorado's Fourteeners.
Russell Smyth (excerpts
from longer article in the Sentinel/Altitudes)
Ahmad, owner of Concordia Expeditions, Inc., an adventure
travel service, run trekking and jeep expeditions into Northern
Pakistan's Pamir Knot, an area where the Himalaya, Karakoram,
Pamir and Hindukush ranges gather into five of the world's highest
Expeditions leads a trek to K2, the world's second-highest peak
at 28,250 feet. The journey begins in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
A flight or, in bad weather, a jeep ride, leads to Skardu along
the old silk route. "It's a very unique area," Masood
says. "It's an area Marco Polo traveled into China. It has
the river Indus that gives India its name, and the river has its
birthplace in glaciers. This area has the second biggest glaciers
next to the polar regions. It still contains untraversed glaciers
and untrodden summits. You can still find maps with blank patches.
year, we had a 72 year-old doctor from California who went to
the base of K2," Ahmad says. "Physical shape is important,
but mental shape is more important. Pakistan is not a place like
Colorado, where you have Interstate 70 going to a McDonalds. You're
going to a Third World country."
the food on a trek) "They wake up at 5 to 6 am and have
bed-tea and breakfast. Then the camps are packed up, and by 6
or 7 they start to walk. They finish walking around 1 to 2 pm;
in between they have a short lunch. When they stop walking, tents
are set up and the cook starts. They have a three- to four-course
dinner, with dishes such as Pakistani beef stew or lentils. We
will even serve them - you can imagine this at the base of K2
- custard or cake, then tea."" TOP
Pakistan : Local adventurers brave shoestring
paths cut into cliffs and blinding glaciers to see a beautiful,
Ruth Anne Kocour and Elizabeth White Rassiga
(excerpts from longer article about two separate trips to Pakistan
with Concordia Expeditions)
us, however, the reason (for traveling to Pakistan) is
perhaps tied to Webster's definition of wanderlust : an impulse,
longing or urge to wander or travel. For us, two well-traveled,
professional women in our 50s, Pakistan offered the challenges
we have come to yearn.
trek) "For one entire afternoon cameras snapped as we
reveled in the wonder of having reached this awesome viewpoint
- the vertical Hall of Fame. When we woke the next morning, a
storm obscured everything but the nearest objects. By 7 am we
began the trek out, only this time in inclement weather. Was it
worth an afternoon of sunny splendor spent in the company of the
true giants of the world? Absolutely.
trek) "Even more striking than the eye-popping scenery
or its perils was the warmth and courage of the people we met.
A highlight came in one of the last villages we visited, where
a family invited us into their home. The house was made of saplings
covered with uniper branches and canvas. Inside, hand-woven carpets
covered the ground, a fire pit was in the center, with a hole
in the roof for the smoke to escape. Hanging from the saplings
were guns, water bottles, clothing and a goat carcass, which had
been dried and inflated for carrying water.
people were some of the most generous souls on Earth. Set against
the hostile world they occupy, they had little or nothing to give
except their hearts. Their example alone offers many lessons that
we in the Western world have forgotten.
of the great benefits of pursuing such extraordinary itineraries
is exposure to remote cultures. Here the real odyssey begins -
where all roads end, at the threshold of microcosms with horizons
that reach only as far as the next valley." TOP