Kashmir is delight for mountaineers: Mahmood Shah

Shah is currently posted as Director Industries and also holds charge of Handicrafts and Handloom department Kashmir.
Kashmir is delight for mountaineers: Mahmood Shah
GK Photo

Srinagar, Dec 10: It has been a long walk in the mountains of Kashmir for Mahmood Ahmad Shah - an avid mountain lover and a bureaucrat.

Shah, who is popular among the Kashmir youth for his passion for trekking, and love of mountains, the journey that started two decades back.

Shah is currently posted as Director Industries and also holds charge of Handicrafts and Handloom department Kashmir.

He is an avid trekker from Kashmir, who completed his 100th Alpine lake journey in 2015 thus becoming the first person in the history of Kashmir to achieve that feat.

Among many of his achievements, he has also undertaken famous Trans Himalayan treks.

Shah is a passionate trekker, climber and a mountain lover who is always looking for unexplored destinations.

Speaking to this correspondent, Shah said that he was attracted to mountains since his childhood and his passion is to mentor young people for adventure.

" As a child, I’d gaze at the mountains from my window endlessly, watching clouds sail over them. I always wanted to know what lay beyond them and how the World looked from these towering peaks," Shah said.

"I began trekking in 2002, when I climbed Mt. Mahadev, the highest peak in Srinagar. Earlier that year, I trekked to Dagwan, a high-altitude meadow in Dachigam. These twin treks brought about an ultimate transformation in me as a trekker (and as a person). From that moment onwards, mountains became my second home," Shah said.

He said that it was during his posting in the Tourism department that he got the opportunity to trek, travel and document the outdoors.

“It has been a story of sweat, sweat and more sweat and I have lost count of the blisters and damaged toenails," he said. "Now, when I stand on the century mark (Exploring Alpine Lakes) I yearn to add up to this score. Having achieved this three-figure mark, I challenge my aging body to brace for more wanderings to pile up the lake figure which presently is 112".

Shah who is currently President of Jammu and Kashmir Mountaineering and Hiking Club is seen as a role model by the adventure loving youngsters of Kashmir, owing to his vast knowledge and field experience.

"Kashmir is a blessed land. For an avid mountain lover like me, I could not have asked for a better homeland. There is absolutely no dearth of trekking trails in Kashmir. Having wandered over the mountains of Kashmir for over two decades, I have witnessed the emergence of more and more trails. However, there is a dire need to document these trails. As a rule of thumb, I never venture out into the mountains without a Global Positioning System (GPS) device and a professional camera. As a result, my stock of trek logs and pictures has grown richer," he said.

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