In June and July of 2000,
Murray Macpherson (Canada) and Martin Nielson (Denmark) from a five member
multi-national team made what is probably the first serious attempt on Noshaq
At 7,492m Noshaq, which lies
on the Pakistan / Afghan border north of Tirich Mir, is both the second
highest mountain in the Hindu Kush and the highest peak in Afghanistan. The
Normal Route climbs the long and gentle West Ridge, which, were it not for the
fact that it lies entirely in Afghanistan, would now almost certainly be one
of the most popular objectives for commercially organized expeditions aiming
to climb a high but non-technical peak. Up to its last ascent in 1998, before
the Russian invasion the following year, Noshaq had been climbed around 32
times and was the first 7,000m peak to receive a winter ascent.
The first ascent took place
in 1960 when a Japanese expedition made a surprisingly circuitous ascent from
Afghanistan, reaching a pass to the southwest of the mountain and between it
and Aspe Safed, then continued up to meet the South Ridge leading towards
Noshaq's 7,250m West Summit. From high on this ridge Goro Iwatsubo and
Toshiaki Sakai slanted right across a large snowfield to reach the Main Summit
In July 1971, Wolfgang
Stefan's Austrian expedition climbed the South Ridge from Pakistan's Upper
Tirich Glacier and this was more or less the same route attempted by last
year's multi-national team. The three climbers first followed a medial moraine
between two unstable icefalls, and then climbed scree slopes to reach a rib on
the South East Flank of the South Ridge. Camp 1 was placed on the rib at
5,850m and Camp 2 close to the crest of the South Ridge at 6,450m. There the
three had a lucky escape. They decided to position their camp in the lee of a
large serac but during the night the region experienced a significant
earthquake (a common occurrence in this part of the Hindu Kush and
subsequently found to register 5+ on the Richter Scale). It was possibly the
same earthquake that cracked buildings as far away from the epicentre as
Srinagar and killed at least two people in Peshawar when a house collapsed.
The next morning the serac was discovered to have several large and ominous
cracks. The tents were hurriedly moved and during the following day the serac
collapsed. The three climbers continued up the South Ridge to approximately
6,500m but a combination of altitude and the apparent length and difficulty of
the mixed section above led to a retreat.
After the Noshaq Peak
Expedition unsuccessful attempt in year 2000. Now Norwegian climbers are plan
to climb Noshaq Peak in June - July 2005 to make another serious attempt after
They are the small team of 3
or 5 climbers, some might join them later.
1. Glenn Arne Seljasen - leader
2. Steinar Strat Haldorsen
3. David Andreas Baum
They are likely to follow the
normal route. They are planning to climb Noshaq Peak without Oxygen.
Jasmine Tours is organizing
all their arrangements in Pakistan.
Asghar Ali Porik
M/s Jasmine Tours
GPO Box 859, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Tel: 0092-51-5586823 Fax:
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