Dates: July 01 – 28/29, 2014
Openings: 12 climbers
Noshaq, at 7492m, is situated in the far eastern reaches of the Hindu Kush and straddles the Afghan/Pakistan border. It’s possible to climb from the Pakistan side but an approach from the Afghan village of Qazi Deh is more practical with the climb less technical. Indeed, it was by this route that the first ascent was made by Japanese climbers in 1960. The hill and the locations around it have seen an increase in activity by small private groups in the past 5 or so years, with several successful ascents, including the first Afghans on top in 2009. It is believed between 250 – 350 westerners are now visiting the region annually. Noshaq presents no significant technical difficulty, and is almost completely free of objective dangers, being a long and sustained ridge climb on moderately angled slopes.
About the Wakhan Corridor
Afghanistan’s stunning Wakhan Corridor is situated in the far north east of the country between the Greater Pamir and Hindu Kush mountain ranges. Geographically and politically isolated the Wakhan is today, as it’s mainly been for centuries, largely peaceful and unchanged in a country with an otherwise turbulent history. Without exception, reports from those that have travelled the area have spoken of an extra-ordinary display of alpine scenery matched (and some say even eclipsed) by remarkable local hospitality. Our expedition will be the first commercially organised adventure to Noshaq since the area was closed during the Russian invasion, and as such provides a unique opportunity for people to be involved in what will hopefully be a new period of renewed interest in tourism in Afghanistan, that will bring significant benefits to the people of the Wakhan areas.
Field Touring & Noshaq
We have been operating expeditions since 1994 throughout the world including in Nepal, Argentina, Pakistan, India, China, Ecuador and more and are excited to offer for the first time an expedition to Afghanistan. We have a strong record of introducing new and interesting climbs to meet the growing demand for non-traditional adventures in well known regions and Noshaq will be a great addition to our line-up. We have a long and successful record in the far western end of the Karakoram Range, operating more climbs and treks, including on major 8000m peaks, than any other operator in the world.
Suitability for this expedition
Members will need to possess a good level of aerobic fitness, and ideally have climbed to or around the 6000m mark before. A basic understanding of rope-work, jumaring on fixed lines, crevasse travel, using crampons, and exposure to remote expedition style travel is important. This trip is feasible for those who have done basic trekking peaks, Ecuadorean or Mexican volcanos, and remote high altitude treks with pass crossings.
This expedition is not suitable for persons embarking on their first climbing trip to high altitude, however there will be positions open to trekkers to accompany the team to base-camp, please contact us for details. While we are confident there will not be any undue delays involved in reaching the hill, everybody needs to be mindful we are operating in an area with almost zero tourism infrastructure, and we need to maintain an open and flexible mind in that regard.
Getting to Noshaq
The team will meet at a prescribed hotel in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on the 01 July, from there we drive for 2 days along the stunning Pamir Highway to Ishkhashim, on the Afghan border. The following day we have a very bumpy but short 2 hour drive in jeeps to the trailhead village of Qazi Deh. Here we organize our porters, repack any loads as necessary, and the following morning set off for the 2 day approach march to the base of the mountain. Along the way you will see exotic nomadic tribes, pass by (and above!) former Mujahadeen land-mine fields, and all the while be surrounded by sublime mountain scenery.
From Basecamp, after acclimatisation, the route follows the North West ridge and is climbed with typically 3 camps depending on preference. The route is a relatively simple ridge climb, with only one small technical rock step, which is an easy climb for anyone with basic rock experience, and will be fixed by the lead guides. Given the straightforward nature of the ascent line, we expect a large proportion of the team to reach the high camp at just under 7000m – despite the relative easy angles encountered on summit day, the climb to the top will remain very demanding due to the sheer height. Last year several climbers managed summit days C3 – C3 of under 9hrs and reported no major obstacles.
Guides and leaders
Booking this trip
Please book via our on-line form at: http://fieldtouringalpine.com/contactbooking/book-an-fta-trip
1 Arrive Dushanbe, overnight
2-3 Transfer by bus along Pamir Hwy
5 Ishkhashim – Qazi Deh
6 Qazi Deh – Valley Camp
7 Valley Camp – Basecamp
16 Basecamp – Camp 1
17 Camp 1 – Camp 2
18 Camp 2
19 Camp 2 – Camp 3
20 Camp 3 – Camp 4
21 Camp 4 – Summit – Camp 4
22 Camp 4 - Basecamp
24 Basecamp – Valley Camp
25 Valley Camp – Qazi Deh
26-29 Ishkhashim – Dushanbe
Links for general interest reading and viewing
How to find out more?
Drop us note at our contact page and we'll put you on our list for updates and details which will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
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