CHITRAL: The three-day winter gala-Hindukush Snow Sports Festival – concluded with thrilling snow games and traditional activities in the scenic Madaklasht valley in Chitral district on Monday.
Deputy Commissioner Naveed Ahmad was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony. Assistant Commissioner, Drosh, Abdul Haq, officials of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP), district administration, a large number of foreign tourists, adventurists of snow games and locals were present on the occasion. Jointly organised by the TCKP and the Chitral district administration, the Hindukush Snow Sports Festival featured several snow games including skiing, snow-tubing, trekking, snowboarding, ice skating, ice hockey, making snow statues, cartoons, snow curling and others.
Naveed Ahmad hailed the organisers for successfully holding the mega winter event. He hoped the festival would send a positive message to the world about the people of Pakistan and the marvellous scenic sites in the country. The official said the event would also introduce the Madaklasht Valley as a beautiful tourist resort to the domestic and international tourists alike.
Various snow games and traditional activities were held on the concluding day. In the overall three-day Under-12 ski competitions, Dilshan Aziz stood first, Ayan Ali second and Amanat Ali grabbed the third position. Similarly, Shaheer Azam clinched the first position, Sayyar Hameed second and Uzair Ali stood third in the overall three-day Under-14 ski competitions.
In the Under-16 ski competitions, Ebadur Rahman stood first, Umeed Hussain and Daulat Ziad clinched second and third positions, respectively. Likewise, Mubeenur Rahman, Ashiq Ali and Qurban Nawaz stood first, second and third, respectively, in the overall three-day Under-25 ski competitions. There were also Under-60 ski competitions, which added colours to the snow games when oldies played well on the white snow in the chilling weather condition. Burhanuddin stood first, Hameed Wali second and Zaheeruddin placed in the position in the Under-60 ski competitions. In snowboarding competitions, Ali Hussain, Asif Raza and Abeed Hussain stood first, second and third, respectively. There were also paragliding competitions in which the youth exhibited their skills and mesmerized the spectators and tourists. Traditional foods, barbecue, night music and workshops on the topics of climate change and eco-tourism were also part of the winter gala to raise awareness about the ever-rising environmental pollution. Later, the chief guest gave away awards and prizes to the excelling adventurists of snow games and other competitions. The event attracted a large number of lovers of adventure tourism and foreign tourists, who thronged the valley and participated in various games. The district administration extended them all-out support to make the event a success. Men, women, youth and children also took part in various competitions of snow games, including ice hockey, snow trekking and making snow statues and cartoons during the gala. For the first time, the event was organised at the government level to promote tourism and snow sports in the valley. The Hindukush is an 800 kilometre-long mountain range that stretches through Afghanistan, from its centre to northern Pakistan and into Tajikistan. It forms the western section of the Hindukush Himalayan Region and is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram and the Himalayas.