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27-Year Old Italian Alpinist Leonardo Comelli Dies While Skiing at Laila Peak

On 9 June 2016, Leonardo Comelli lost his life while attempting the first ever ski decent from Laila Peak in the lap of Karakoram mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. He was accompanied by expedition members Carlo Cosi, Zeno Cecon and Enrico Mosetti who had reached to Pakistan in late May to accomplish an achievement only experienced adventures seekers could attempt.

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Leonardo Comelli death

When Leonardo Comelli, a 27-year old Italian alpinist, left for Pakistan to accomplish a dream that no one has succeeded in achieving so far, he had a clear idea of what he was getting into. Some extreme adventures come at a cost. At times, that cost is of life itself but adventure seekers like Leonardo Comelli would rather risk it all to make their dreams come true.

On 9 June 2016, Leonardo Comelli lost his life while attempting the first ever ski descent from Laila Peak in the lap of Karakoram mountains in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. He was accompanied by expedition members Carlo Cosi, Zeno Cecon and Enrico Mosetti who had reached to Pakistan in late May to accomplish an achievement only experienced adventures seekers could attempt.

Laila Peak 6,096 metres

Laila Peak (6,096 meters)

Confirming the news, Karrar Haideri, spokesman of the Alpine Club of Pakistan has told AFP.“Leonardo Comelli, 27, an Italian alpinist lost his life on Thursday while making a ski descent from the 6,096-metres high Laila Peak,”

“The four members of this small but experienced Italian expedition reached Pakistan’s Karakoram range in late May in order to attempt the first ski descent of the NW Face of Laila Peak, a stunning 1500m ramp previously attempted, unsuccessfully, by other expeditions. After setting up their advanced base camp at 5350m the four made their push towards the 6096m high summit, but turned back circa 150m below the top as snow conditions at altitude weren’t ideal.” reported PlanetMountain.

Telling more about the incident they added:

“According to preliminary reports, during a traverse Comelli crossed his skis, lost his balance and fell circa 400m down steep mixed terrain. The other members of the expedition could do nothing more than retrieve the body, transport it to a safer place and raise the alarm.

Before leaving for Gilgit-Baltistan, Leonardo Comelli had made a post on his Instagram account that says “See you in a month”.

 

Ciao a tutti, ci vediamo fra un mese. #inshallah #caviastyle 😂😂😂😂😂

A photo posted by Leo_com (@romboss) on May 25, 2016 at 3:27am PDT

Laila Peak (6,096 meters) is situated in Hushe Valley near Gondogoro Glacier in the Karakoram range. It’s considered one of the toughest mountains to decent while skiing. This was the first ever such attempt that proved out to be fatal for one of the expedition members.

Leonardo Comelli

Leonardo Comelli

Leonardo Comelli had started rock climbing at the age of 16. Later, he became fond of mountaineering and eventually, he moved to steep mountain skiing and ice climbing.

GBee Staff keeps you updated with the latest happenings in Gilgit, Baltistan and Chitral regions of Pakistan.

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AKAH jointly with AKU-ISMC and KIU working to scale up and transfer rural water systems to urban settings

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) jointly with Aga Khan University- Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations (AKU-ISMC) and Karakoram International University (KIU) are conducting research on Scaling Up and Transferring community-managed Rural Water Systems to Urban Settings

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AKAH Pakistan

On World Water Day, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) Pakistan shared an important new research project led by AKU-ISMC’s Dr. Jeff Tan with Professor Steve Lyon in partnership with Karakoram International University and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat.

Generously funded by the British Academy’s “Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being” programme, the £280,000 research grant is for a project titled “Scaling Up and Transferring community-managed Rural Water Systems to Urban Settings”, Many of the problems around access to clean water in the global south are because of poor maintenance and the deterioration of water infrastructure.

The research looks at an existing Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s Water and Sanitation Extension Programme (WASEP) in Gilgit- Baltistan which uses community-managed maintenance to the water infrastructure to help solve this problem.

The research will examine two projects and assess whether the model could be upscaled to be used in other urban settings. Gilgit-Baltistan is geographically isolated and suffers high levels of poverty.

There are currently 400 community-managed water projects in the scheme which cover over 100,000 households. By working collaboratively and bringing together researchers in economics, anthropology and engineering as well as development practitioners and other experts the project aims to identify how social, economic, cultural and technical factors all affect how community-managed water systems work.

Dr. Tan commented: ‘This is an exciting research project that not only seeks to address the pressing issue of access to water as part of the SDGs, but also brings together researchers and development practitioners from across AKU and AKDN, with capacity building and fieldwork opportunities for university students and graduates from Gilgit-Baltistan.”

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Chitral

7 Photo-stories on World Water Day 2020 from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral (GBC)

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AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
AKAH Pakistan

World Water Day is celebrated every year on 22nd March as an observance day to highlight the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

As part of the World Water Day 2020 celebrations, Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) shares these stories of people from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral whose lives have been deeply impacted by water and sanitation-related projects in the region.

AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Over half of the people across Pakistan lack access to safe and clean water and have no choice but to consume water from whatever source exists in their villages, regardless of quality. Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, aiming to improve quality of life, is implementing water supply schemes across mountain communities in Pakistan.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
In mountainous parts of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, traditional wells are used as water reservoirs collecting the water coming from streams through canals. This water, coming directly from open sources, is unsafe as it is contaminated due to its exposure to both humans and animals. Without access to another source of water, people use this unsafe water for different purposes including drinking, cooking, and other domestic purposes.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Clean drinking water has always been a huge problem for communities living in mountainous areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. Women and children are impacted the most as they must travel long distances to fetch water for cooking, washing, and laundry. AKAH’s work to connect each household to safe and clean with a water tap in their home enables women to keep their children safe from waterborne diseases, spend more quality time with their families, and also reduces time and labor lost to fetching water.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), with the help of communities, identifies water sources in the village, tests the water quality using its technical expertise, develops water infrastructure, constructs water reservoirs, and provides each family with a water tap in their home. More than 500,000 people across Pakistan now have access to safe drinking water in their homes, through AKAH’s efforts.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat’s WASEP model uses a community-based approach to help mountain communities get year-round all-season access to safe water. AKAH’s approach uses deep digging and other techniques to ensure that water does not freeze in the pipes despite the fact that these villages are covered in snow for more than five months of the year.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
“I enjoy taking freshwater from this tap in my home; you would say I am in love with it that’s why I stand here many times a day”.
AKAH Pakistan World Water Day 2020 Stories
Aga Khan Agency for Habitat, with its mandate to improve quality of life, is helping women and young girls across Pakistan enjoy a healthy life, by providing access to safe water in their homes, reducing their exposure to water-borne diseases, allowing them to spend more quality time with families.
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