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Asia, Afghanistan, High Hindu Kush – Wakhan Corridor, Qala-e-Voust (Qala-e-Hurst or Ust) Glacier Exploration; Peak 5,049m; Peak 5,880m Attempt

Wakhan Corridor, Qala-e-Voust (Qala-e-Hurst or Ust) Glacier exploration; Peak 5,049m; Peak 5,880m attempt. In August Elisabetta Galli, Lucia Foppoli, Angelo Quattrini, and I finished exploring the Qala-e-Voust Glacier in a side valley of the Wakhan Corridor. It is two main valleys west of the Kezget. Two years earlier a group, including Galli and me, visited this valley, but we were blocked by exceptional snowfall (one meter in one night). This year we completed the exploration and found that the area’s seven peaks of 5,500-5,900m are suitable for mountaineering. We climbed a virgin peak of 5,049m, and then Galli, Afiat Khan, and I attempted a difficult summit of 5,880m but had to give up after 600m because ice conditions were impossible.

Galli and I have been active in the Afghan Wakhan Corridor for several years now. The area offers extremely good climbs on difficult unclimbed peaks. These mountains recall an earlier era, when adventure and isolation were important aspects of an expedition’s experience. The people of the valley, who belong to the Ismaelite faith, are friendly and kind. The valley is safe, with no danger of war-like actions, attacks, or kidnapping. For further details, reach Galli and me at oxus.pamir@gmail.com. Since 2003 we have been promoting sustainable tourism in northeast Afghanistan through the Mountain Wilderness association.

Giorgio Mallucci, Mountain Wilderness, Italy