International skiers take to slopes in Pakistan

Athletes took part in International Skiing competition in Pakistan — home to several peaks higher than 8,000 metres. 

Skiers descending white slopes

Skiers descend in long, rhythmic swoops down pristine white slopes in northern Pakistan, braking in a spray of snow as soldiers carrying semi-automatic weapons watch impassively.

(Photograph:AFP)

Rare international competition

Dozens of athletes took part at a rare international competition in the South Asian country, which boasts some of the world's highest mountains but remains off-piste for most winter sports enthusiasts after years of conflict and a lack of infrastructure.

(Photograph:AFP)

Naltar Ski Resort drawing tourits

Nestled in the Karakoram mountain range, the Naltar Ski Resort has been at the heart of Pakistan's efforts to draw winter sport tourists since the first international competition was held there in 2015. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Pakistan Air Force hosts skiers

Skiers at the Naltar event were hosted by the Pakistan Air Force, who owns the ski resort and facilitated their transport from the capital Islamabad.

(Photograph:AFP)

'Dangerous country — A cliche'

'Pakistan has a lot of things to learn but with every year it's getting better,' said Ukrainian skier Anastasiia Gorbunova, who admitted she used to think it was a 'pretty dangerous country.'

'Now I know it's a cliche because as I saw, people are sweet, they are nice, they try to make you feel like you're at home and I appreciate that.'

(Photograph:AFP)

Resort re-opened in Swat valley

Authorities recently re-opened another resort in the nearby Swat Valley that had been closed for years by insurgent activity, while other ski facilities are being developed elsewhere in the country.
 

(Photograph:AFP)