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Asia, Pakistani-Afghan Frontier, Ascent of Keshnikhan and Scientific Research

Ascent of Keshnikhan and Scientific Research. The Academic Section, Graz, of the Austrian Alpine Club (ÖAV) was led by Roger S. de Grancy, and further composed of Dr. Herfried Gamerith, Robert Kostka, Dr. Gert Glaser, Fritz Ebster, Dr. Karl Gratzl, Walter Kuschel, Gedeen Kofler, Dr. Rolf Widerhofer, Dave Breslau (USA) and H. Shahir as liaison officer. They explored the Wark, Keshnikhan and Mandaras valleys, where they began a systematic ground-controlled, photogrammetric cartographic project. A 1:25,000 map is to be published of the valleys, glaciers and peaks. At the same time geological and glaciological studies were carried out and a large number of botanic specimens collected. Ethnological studies were made. Working from their base at Wark, they explored the valleys. One team set up camps in the Keshnikhan valley. On the west ridge of Koh-i-Keshnikhan they set up Camp II (18,700 feet) and Camp III (19,850 feet). At the latter they set up a station to survey also the Mandaras basin by photogrammetry. On August 11 from Camp II and not using Camp III, Kostka and Kuschel climbed Keshnikhan (c. 22,000 feet) repeating the 1963 Austrian route of S. Kutschera. Gratzl climbed Kohe Kalat (c. 18,375 feet) on August 9. Because of the inaccuracies of elevations in this part of the high Hindu Kush, the work of this highly scientific expedition is particularly welcomed. Well known from his cartographic work in the Everest region, Fritz Ebster was active here, despite his age of 70. The leader, de Grancy, was in the Keshnikhan valley in 1962. Dr. Gamerith is also an old Hindu Kush explorer (Buni Zom in the Hindu Raj).

Adolf Diemberger, Österreichischer Alpenklub