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Asia, Pakistani-Afghan Frontier, Koh-e-Kamisktar, Wakhan

Koh-e-Kamisktar, Wakhan. Walter Mejak, Fabio Benedetti, Floriane┬╗ Tarlao, Nicol├▓ Zuffi and I left Trieste on June 16 and traveled overland to Kabul and Faizabad, where we had to transfer to a hired truck to proceed to Qala Panja nearly at the spot where Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia and China come together. There we hired porters to head south up the Qala Panja valley. In three days we were at Base Camp up the branch of the valley which enters to the west just north of the branch that leads to Koh-e-Qala Panja. From a high camp at 17,050 feet Zuffi climbed solo P 5430 (17,815 feet; Wala Peak 394) on July 31. We all climbed Koh-e-Umieh (18,895 feet; Wala Peak 391) on July 19. I soloed Koh-e-Shmar (19,229 feet; Wala Peak 392) on August 30. None was technically difficult aside from crevasses and penitentes. On August 30 Zuffi climbed P 5896 (19,344 feet; Wala Peak 389) solo by a long, airy ridge of rotten rock (UIAA IV); this lies directly north of Koh-e-Qala Panja. Our chief objective, just east of this previous peak, Koh-e-Kamisktar (20,223 feet) was climbed by Mejak and me from July 25 to 27. We first climbed the ice face to the 18,535-foot col between P 5896 and our peak to gain the rock southwest spur of Koh-e-Kamisktar. We put our bivouac tent near the col. The second day we climbed to the summit across delicate traverses, vertical walls and dihedrals of solid granite, struggling against the altitude. On August 2 we descended to Qala Panja after 20 days in the mountains.

BIANCA DI BEACO, Club Alpino Italiano