American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Pakistani-Afghan Frontier, Istor-o-Nal, First Ascent of Highest Point, and Other Neighboring Peaks

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1970

Istor-o-Nal, First Ascent of Highest Point, and Other Neighboring Peaks. Juan Cerda, Emilio Civio, Jorge Pons, Gines Roca and I as leader were joined in Rawalpindi by Liaison Officier Captain Amir Hashmat. From that city we drove by lorry a day and a half via Peshawar to Dir and by jeep for another day over the Lowari Pass to Chitral. We continued for four days with 37 mules via Berenis and Kuragh to Drasan. With 82 coolies we went over the 12,730-foot Zani Pass to Shagrom (one day) and via Cerniagh and Nalagut to Babu Kapoun. Base Camp was established on July 19 in Babu Kapoun at 15,500 feet, a flat place on the moraine where the Tirich Mir and Noshaq glaciers meet, a wonderful place with sun, grass and even flowers! We gave full equipment to our high-altitude porters from Shagrom, Hayat-Ud-Din, Durda-Nah-Khan, Aziz-Ul-Ullah-Shah and Muhammad-Parvez. On July 23 we placed a high camp at 17,350 feet in the Ano Gol cirque. From there Civis, Roca, Pons and I on July 26 climbed “Apollo XI Zom” (6010 meters or 19,718 feet; at the eastern end of the Ghul Lasht Zom ridge) and on July 28 Ghul-Lasht-Zom III (6361 meters or 20,869 feet; next peak to the west). From a higher camp at 19,200 feet all five of us on July 31 climbed “Cataluña Zom” (6060 meters or 19,882 feet; next peak west of Asped-e-Safed South (6450 meters or 21,162 feet). Our main objective was Istor-o-Nal (24,271 feet). Its south and southeast summits were still virgin, but its main summit was said to have been climbed by Tim Mutch and Joe Murphy (A.A.J., 1956, 10:1, pp. 66-74). It now seems apparent that instead, in cloudy weather, they mistakenly climbed to the highest summit on the ridge between the Rock Pinnacle and Istor-o-Nal North. (See note below by Tim Mutch — Editor.) From August 4 to 10 we placed camps at 17,900, 20,600, 21,700 and 23,125 feet on the southwest ridge leading to the Rock Pinnacle. On August 11 Cerda, Pons, Civis and I climbed over the Rock Pinnacle (23,625 feet). To climb the main peak we had to leave the ridge, turn right, and descend to a col at 23,300 feet, which separates the ridge from the highest Istor-o-Nal summits. We made camp in the col. On August 12 we four traversed south of the main peak to the South Peak (23,960 feet) and climbed over the Southeast Peak (24,163 feet) to the Main Peak (24,271 feet).

José-Manuel Anglada, Club Montañés Barcelonés (Spain)

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