Good Times: Trekking and Playing Music

UPDATE: The site has been taken offline so the photos embedded and linked-to from this blog post are no longer available. I am trying to find other versions to put here instead...but don't hold your breath. [Ameel; 25 August 2009]

A couple of friends recently posted some photographs of treks that I've been on and gigs that I've participated in over the past decade and it got me feeling all nostalgic. Since those photos were posted on Facebook, I figured I'd post some of them here while linking to other, public ones as well.

Trekking in the Karakorams

First off are some trekking photos. I did a lot of trekking and travelling while I was in college -- there's nothing quite like travelling with lots of friends while on a tight budget -- and most of those treks are nicely documented on (which I helped develop, by the way). Here are photos from my three favourite treks.

My first real trek was to Fairy Meadows, which is a camp on the north side of Nagna Parbat. You can find many photos from that trip on but this one is my favourites (click for a larger version):

Saad, Amir, Ameel, and Yasir at Fairy Meadows

This was taken bright and early on the second day of our trek. Alefia, who'd been feeling really cold and had woken up a couple of hours earlier, got tired of our laziness and came to wake us up. You can't quite see me in there but I'm the hint of a face in the darkness of the tent. Yasir wrote an article about this trip and even he mentions this photo :)

Our second trip was to one of the Rakaposhi base camps and, for this one, both Yasir and I wrote articles -- though mine is more of diary-type recounting of events which, when I read now, I'm itching to edit! I like two photos from this trek. This one is of me, Saqib (one of the two friends whose posting in Facebook prompted me to write this), and Alefia with the Rakaposhi peaks in the background:

Ameel, Saqib, Alefia

And this one, which shows the ridge we had to climb across to get to our camp:

Crossing the Ridge

The path across this ridge was broken in four places and that photo is of one of the easiest crossings! You can find the rest of the Rakaposhi photos on as well.

My third trip was to the Deosai Plains, which is one of the highest plateaus in the world. There are lots of really good photos from this trek but this one of Hasan as he positions his tripod to take a photo is my favourite:

Hasan Karrar on Deosai

Deosai really is a stunning place and I urge you to take a look at the rest of the photos as well.

Playing Music

Moving away from trekking: Back in 2005 a bunch of us in Islamabad got together and performed a couple of really fun gigs at Civil Junction.

What was possibly more fun than the gigs themselves were the jam sessions that we had at my house in the weeks leading up to the events. Sheharyar posted some of the photos from those sessions on Facebook and here are a couple.

This one is of me and Nadia -- we did most of the drumming and "percussing" for the band and, no, Nadia isn't normally surrounded by a motion blur:

Nadia and Ameel drumming for the F-10 1/2 Acoustic Band

The second one is a wider shot of the room -- the drawing room of our old house in Islamabad -- which had awesome acoustics. Sheharyar is the one with the guitar and mic:

F-10 1/2 Acoustic Band - Jam Session

Ah, good times. Here's to many, many more in the future...