AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Afghanistan, Mir Samir Attempt and Ascent of P 5000

Mir Samir Attempt and Ascent of P 5000. After years when it was too dangerous to enter the mountains of Afghanistan, New Zealander Bob McKerrow and Englishmen Ian Clarke and Jon Tinker headed in 1994 for Mir Samir in the Hindu Kush. McKerrow is Head of Delegation for the International Red Cross in Afghanistan. Clarke is a former Royal Marine, now head of the Halo Trust mine clearance organization in Afghanistan. Tinker has worked in that country a number of times in the past seven years. The three climbers set off from Kabul on September 23, first acclimatizing near the Salang Pass before driving to Patian in the upper Panjchir valley. There four horses were hired to carry food and equipment up the Chamar valley to Base Camp at 3400 meters. Clarke’s skill was put to test when they saw air-dropped scatterable antipersonnel mines. They established a higher camp at 4300 meters on September 29. Because of deep snow, the two Englishmen made slow progress the next day to bivouac at 4900 meters on an unclimbed snow route on the southwest face of Mir Samir. On October 1, they made a summit attempt, but unseasonably deep snow turned them back at 5200 meters, some 600 meters from the summit. On September 29, McKerrow soloed a 5000-meter peak above the Chamar valley. [More details appear in The New Zealand Climber, Summer, 1994, N° 12.]