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Asia, Afghanistan, Noshaq Tragedy

Noshaq Tragedy. Our expedition consisted of Sheldon Moomaw, leader, Bernhard Ehmann, Mark Goebel, Jack Lewis, Mary Omberg, Sam Roberts and Kesler Teter. Since the recent change in government, all land arrangements had to be made through Afghan Tours in Kabul. We traveled 3½ days by truck to Qadzi Deh, where we started our two- day trek to Base Camp (15,500 feet). After several days of acclimatization, we split into two groups. Ehmann and Lewis climbed a new route up the north face of Khorposht-e-Yakhi (18,688 feet) on July 22 while the other five began our ascent of the west ridge of Noshaq. We placed camps at 18,000, 21,000, 22,000 and 23,000 feet on July 18, 21, 23 and 25 respectively. On July 27 we left for the summit; Goebel, Omberg and Roberts successfully climbed the main peak of Noshaq (24,580 feet). We three met Moomaw and Teter about an hour from the middle peak. All five returned to Camp III. On July 28 Goebel and we two descended from our high camp, leaving Moomaw and Teter, who wanted a second chance at the summit, in good shape and with sufficient equipment and food. On July 31, two Germans descended with the news of finding the body of an American, whose description fitted Moomaw. At the time of the Germans’ descent, Ehmann was ascending Noshaq with a young Spaniard. He asked the Austrians for support and Goebel, Lewis and Roberts began reascending to assist. After Ehmann had ascended to Camp III and searched the traditional ridge route for Teter, he found no evidence of the missing climber and concluded that Teter, too, was dead. He descended with his Spanish companion and the search party. We left Base Camp on August 4.

Mary Omberg and Samuel Roberts