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Asia, Afghanistan, Noshaq and Peaks above the Wakhan Corridor

Noshaq and peaks above the Wakhan Corridor. The fourth Polish Hindu Kush Expedition was made up of Dr. Roman Sledziewski, leader, and his wife Ewa, Marian Bala, Maciej Baranowski and his wife Danuta, Andrzej Heinrich, Maciej Kozlowski, Andrzej Mróz, Adam Pachalski, Jacek Poreba, Jerzy Potocki, Lucjan Sadus, Ryszard Zawadzki, Poles; Henri Agresti and his wife Isabelle, French; and Jean Bourgeois, Belgian. The only expedition to be allowed into the Wakhan, they operated in the Qazi-Deh valley at the beginning of the Wakhan Corridor. A Japanese expedition and the first Polish Hindu Kush expedition made the first two ascents of Noshaq (24,580 feet) in 1960 by the south col and south ridge from the Qazi-Deh valley. In 1963 two Austrian expeditions climbed together to made the third ascent by a new route, the west ridge; they also reached the east and west summits. On August 30 Bourgeois, Heinrich, Kozlowski, Mróz, Poreba and Potocki made Noshaq’s fourth ascent, via the west ridge, and also reached the east and west peaks, while the next day Bala and Sadus repeated the climb. On September 1 the Agrestis climbed only the c. 24,280-foot west summit. Previously they had reconnoitered a side valley of the Qazi-Deh, the Wakhan Gol, to the Sadh Ishtragh Pass (16,950 feet), which connects the Wakhan in Afghanistan with the Arkari valley in Chitral, Pakistan. Above the pass rises Sadh Ishtragh (19,223 feet), climbed on August 17 by Bourgeois, Potocki and Kozlowski. On August 16 and 17 the Agrestis climbed two 5000-meter peaks (over 16,400 feet) near the pass. On August 13 Bala, Heinrich, and Sadus climbed P 5417 (17,772 feet) at the mouth of the Qazi-Deh valley. On the 15th Mróz, Poreba and Zawadski climbed M-10 (c. 18,700 feet) from the Mandaras valley to the north, while on the 17th Mmes Baranowska and Sledziewska with Baranowski and Pachalski climbed P 5243 (17,202 feet), which rises above a side glacier of the Qazi-Deh. A most noteworthy climb was completed on August 23 when Heinrich and Sadus finished a three-day second ascent of Gunbaz-e-Safed (22,310 feet) by a new and difficult route, the 6500-foot west ice face. On August 30 Sledziewski and his wife made the third ascent of Khorpusht-e-Yakhi (c. 18,700 feet), while Baranowski and his wife were climbing Q-23 (c. 17,060 feet). The expedition hoped to make the ascent of P 7291 (Shingeik Zom, 23,920 feet), not knowing it had just been climbed from the Darban Glacier on the Chitral side. (See account in Pakistani section.) This rises in the ridge which runs east from Noshaq. Bourgeois, Heinrich and Potocki traversed from their Camp III on Noshaq at 22,650 feet to the col between Gunbaz-e-Safed and the Noshaq west ridge and then onto the Darban Glacier past the north face of Noshaq to the col between P 7291 and its northerly neighbor, Darban Zom. A two-day snowstorm prevented advance and so they decided to return. On September 4, as they traversed under Noshaq’s north flank, they were overwhelmed by an avalanche. Potocki was killed and Heinrich injured. From the col Bourgeois made an extremely difficult descent directly to the Qazi-Deh valley while Heinrich climbed to Camp III, whence he was rescued.

Adolf Diemberger, Österreichischer Alpenklub