American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Hindu Kush, Afghanistan, Koh-i-Tundy Shagai Sha, Shkurigal Valley, Bashgal, Central Hindu Kush

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973

Koh-i-Tundy Shagai Sha, Shkurigal Valley, Bashgal, Central Hindu Kush. Our expedition, M. Hore, K.J. MacDermott, R.C. Pelly, G.C. Taylor, P.S. Wesson and I, drove from England to Afghanistan in 13 days. After spending a week in Kabul, getting final permission to visit Nuristan and obtaining the services of an interpreter, we took an Afghan lorry to Jalalabad. From there we travelled over the extremely rough road up the Kunar valley in two Soviet-built “jeeps”. Flooding of the Bashgal River made the road beyond Barikot impassible for motor vehicles. The equipment and stores were loaded onto donkeys for the last 70 miles to Base Camp at the head of the Shkurigal valley. We spent five weeks mountaineering and carrying out investigations into earth tremors in the area. We climbed twelve peaks, ten of which were first ascents. These were P 5048 (16,562 feet) on July 21 by Danby, Hore; P 5010 (16,437 feet) on July 20 and 21 by Pelly, Taylor; P 5412 (17,756 feet) on July 25 by Danby, Pelly; N.F. 13 or P 5881 (19,295 feet) on July 27 by Hore, Taylor, second ascent; P 5228 (17,153 feet) on August 1 by Pelly; P 5216 (17,113 feet) on August 3 by Pelly, Wesson; P 5070 (16,634 feet) on August 3 by Taylor; P 4998 (16,401 feet) and P 5070 (16,634 feet; “Koh-i-Molar”) on August 7 by Danby, Pelly, Taylor; P 5380 (17,651 feet) on August 8 by Danby, Pelly, Taylor; P 5585 (18,323 feet) on August 12 by Danby, Pelly and Koh-i-Tundy Shagai Sha (20,082 feet) on August 14 by Danby, Pelly, fourth ascent. The latter was climbed by the previously unclimbed northwest face. Our first attempt was abandoned because of excessive cold. On the second attempt Pelly and I climbed to the summit from a bivouac at 16,125 feet in five hours. Of particular interest was a cirque of granite towers we called the “Shark’s Teeth,” 8 kms east of Koh-i-Parshui. The faces of the teeth were absolutely smooth except for overhangs every hundred feet or so and looked unclimbable. However P 5070 (Koh-i-Molar) was climbed by a traverse leading up and across the face, hardly discernable when looking at the mountain front-on. P 5380 (Koh-i-Ca- nine) was climbed after ten hours in a steep ice couloir, which separated it from the neighboring peak. From the top of the couloir we climbed to the summit along a rock ridge. We abseiled down in starlight.

C. John Danby, Cambridge University Mountaineering Club

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.