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Asia, Afghanistan, Kohe Sakht

Kohe Sakht. Our expedition made the first ascent of Kohe Sakht (18,964 feet; Wala Zebak Peak 57) by the northwest spur. We were Mesdames J. Gaillard and A. Sandoval and Messieurs J. Lacouture, C. Macouin, D. Métayer, J.M. Poirier, Y. Racault, Dr. C. Sandoval and I. We approached from Khashpak and headed southeast up the valley of the same name. Where the valley forks, we took the left fork, the Shyorpalas valley. Base Camp was established below the Shyorpalas Glacier at 13,125 feet. We ascended the glacier and turned east up a tributary glacier toward Kohe Sakht, where we placed Camp I at 15,100 feet on July 31. Above, the route followed the prominent northwest ridge. This ridge has four main parts: first a large, smooth, overhanging gendarme separated from the mountain by a horizontal ridge of rotten rock, then the rock section with three vertical steps and finally the summit snow slopes. We avoided the gendarme by climbing an ice couloir on the north side of the ridge. We thus got to the horizontal part of the ridge. We fixed ropes to 16,400 feet. The summit was reached alpine-style at two-day intervals with one or two bivouacs: Jackie Lacouture, Christian Macouin, Jean-Marc Poirier on August 10; Daniel Métayer, Yvon Racault on August 12; and Joëlle and Jean Gaillard on August 14.

Jean Gaillard, Club Alpin Français