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General Climbing Discussion

Topic Date User
Noshaq Ascent 18-Aug-2011 At 7:48:46 PM Damien Gildea
I don't know any details of this Noshaq trip, but in the last few years a group has been trying to promote climbing there:

They've been going in through Tajikstan as it's safer than coming up through Afghanistan itself, but there have still been a few issues. Obviously the country is far from safe, and there is a chance that people from other areas may try to take advantage of this new foreign presence in this region, but I think the Wakhan locals are against that and want peace and prosperity via some tourism.

During the 60s and 70s Afghanistan was a very popular mountaineering destination, so although it's a bit unknown to our generation(s) in fact all the major peaks have been climbed and lots of big hard alpine routes (ie. N face of Koh-e-Bandaka) also done. Noshaq and Istor-o-Nal were considered easy ticks for a 7000m peak. Tirich Mir, which is on the border and higher, but now all in Pakistan (Chitral), was very popular too.

The Soviet invasion in '79 stopped all that, but by then Pakistan was opening up and the Poles and Austrians etc moved east. It was a popular place for young Brit climbers, as it was cheaper and easier than Nepal or India - some drove there - and the weather was generally better than the Himalaya or Karakoram.

Noshaq is at the very western end, the 'start', of the Wakhan Corridor - the finger reaching up to join China - and was visited lots in the 60s-70s. But the Corridor itself was not, it is still relatively unvisited, though you could look into it, and maybe foray into it, from the Pakistan side until relatively recently (from the Chapursan Valley etc). A few people visited illegally in the last decade or so, but now the Corridor itself is opening up, which is great.

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