American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Afghanistan, Hindu Kush, Mir Samir, Southwest Buttress

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1974

Mir Samir, Southwest Buttress. After a two-week Volkswagen-bus trip from Imst, Austria, we arrived in Kabul and continued on through the Panjshir valley to Dasht-Rewat. We traveled with 12 horses on to Dehe Parian and branched off into the Wuryaj valley. Almost at the head of this valley we climbed up the Canak valley to 13,500 feet. From there to Base Camp at 15,100 feet we had to carry our own loads. We set up a high camp at 16,900 feet. On June 14 Peter Schillfahrt, Arthur Haid and I started up the southwest buttress, climbed to the top of the first bump of the buttress, traversed right to the couloir and descended the couloir to camp. The next morning we climbed the couloir to the top of the bump and continued up the southwest buttress on rock. At 5:30 P.M. we got to the summit (19,059 feet) exhausted and descended the snow and ice couloir west of our buttress during the night. Walter Venier and Dr. Theodor Ljubanovic had acted as support. On June 18 we all five climbed the couloir to the top. The southwest buttress was impressive. The rock was excellent and very exposed. The climb was 2000 feet high. The 19 rope-lengths, mostly UIAA V to VI-, went free except for some direct aid in the upper part. French climbers were said by the natives to have climbed the ridge to the right of our couloir.* Haid and Venier made another new route, the west ridge of 16,995-foot Salkafar, southwest of Mir Samir.

Hans Penz, Österreichischer Alpenverein

*The American climb on the direct south buttress lies on the next buttress to the east of the Austrian route. Steck reports seeing otherwise unidentified climbers in the couloir when they were making their climb in 1972.

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