Concordia Expeditions - Classic Trips to Pakistan

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Syed Masood Ahmad

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Concordia Expeditions
PO Box 1229
Crestone, Colorado
81131
USA

soodie123@hotmail.com


Treks
Concordia K-2 Trek
Snow Lake Trek
Gondogoro La Trek
Tartary Trek
Nanga Parbat Trek
Shimshal Trek
Rush Lake Walk

Tours
Karakoram Jeep Safari
Silk Road Jeep Safari
Hunza Adventure
Grand Trunk Road Odyssey
Bike Hunza

Maldives
Highlands to the Islands
Dive the Maldives


A Lucky Pilot

Jeep Safari Photos

K2 Trek Photos

Urdu vocabulary


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Media Exposure

Browse through excerpts from recent coverage.

March, 2002
Letters to the Editor:

The Kindness of Strangers:
Grant 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.

The 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.

March, 2001

The 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.

"There's 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

The 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.

Masood 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.

The following articles are two of many to have come from that trip.

Sunday, November 11, 2001
Tribal Afghans skeptical of war
By Bruce Finley
Denver Post International Affairs Writer

Sunday, November 18, 2001
Couple endure cultural clashes - Pakistani, American see both sides of conflict
By Bruce Finley
Denver Post International Affairs Writer

Saturday, July 17, 1999
At home in high places - Guide duo offer treks to Pakistan
By Christine Smith
Special to the Denver Post

TOP

New York Times

Sunday, June 6, 1999

Letters on Travel : On the Silk Road

To the Editor:
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

To K2! Into the heart of the Karakoram

by Masood Ahmad (excerpts from longer article)
""Allah 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.

"Our 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.

"By 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 climb begins.

"One 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

November 18, 1994

Adventure Travel : Nepal, Pakistan, Argentina - Trekking through mountains that dwarf Colorado's Fourteeners.

by Russell Smyth (excerpts from longer article in the Sentinel/Altitudes)
"Masood 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 peaks.

"Concordia 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.

""Last 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."

(About 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

November 14, 1999

Trekking Pakistan : Local adventurers brave shoestring paths cut into cliffs and blinding glaciers to see a beautiful, rugged country.

by Ruth Anne Kocour and Elizabeth White Rassiga
(excerpts from longer article about two separate trips to Pakistan with Concordia Expeditions)

"For 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.

(Concordia-K2 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.

(Hindukush 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.

"These 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.

"One 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

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