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Shimshal Mountaineering Programme

Overview
Shimshal's visitors' programme is still being planned. It's main purpose will be to facilitate tourist and research activities that will benefit the community financially and educationally, without stressing the cultural and natural environments. In particular, (partly in response to positive experiences with Japanese, American and Canadian researchers) we would like to encourage and assist visitors who have some interest in learning about the community, and sharing their expertise with community members. To that end, we hope to establish a Visitor Resource Center (with an attached hostel for long-term researchers), where visitors can (a) learn what behavior we expect of them, (b) learn what behavior they can expect from us, (c) establish initial local contacts in various areas of interest and expertise, (d) arrange to conduct workshops, seminars, or volunteer work in their own areas of expertise. Emphasis will be placed on small-scale tourism and research that encourages mutual understanding and responsibility. The Visitors' Programme will also work together with the Cultural Programme to arrange cultural events (such as Pamir yak races, or yak polo) for the enjoyment of those short-term trekkers who want to enjoy something of traditional Shimshali culture. We are also in the process of providing campsites with rudimentary facilities throughout Shimshal territory.
Several Shimshalis (e.g. Rajab Shah, Mehrban Shah, Havildar Yusuf) are among Pakistan's (and the world's) top climbers. We plan to take advantage of this core of expertise to establish a Summer Mountaineering Programme, as part of the Tourism Programme. Shimshali climbers will provide training courses of several weeks (including room and board) to Pakistanis and foreigners interested in becoming high altitude guides or mountaineers. Courses will consist of technical and organizational training followed by practice on rock, ice and snow, and finally an ascent of one of Shimshal's many peaks. The Programme will seek accreditation from international climbing associations.

Objectives

equitable distribution of tourism income at the village level
provision of proper facilities for tourists
to ensure that Shimshal's mountains and glaciers are not polluted by tourists
provision of relevant information to visitors regarding Shimshal's treks and trails
provision of formal training in mountaineering, skiing and trekking
to promote and organize rescue services for mountaineers and trekkers
Activities
See overview (3.4.1).

Ten Year Work Plan

Phase I (1994-98):

provide training to tourist guides, porters and Liaison Officers
prepare tourist regulations
Phase II (1999-2003):

prepare a comprehensive system of camp sites
prepare maps, itineraries and trekking routes for Shimshal territory
arrange cultural shows for visitors
organize clean-up expeditions
advertise Shimshal's tourist attractions nationally and internationally
provide training for mountaineers
Phase III (2003-2008):

establish a tourist information center
organize mountaineering teams to scale challenging peaks
select and construct ski sites
establish affiliation with accredited international climbing schools
Sponsorship
Shimshal Nature Trust, individual mountaineers, NGO and governmental organizations.

Monitoring
Adventure Foundation of Pakistan, other related organizations

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