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Early June
Early Aug

About the Mountain


Afghanistan may not seem like the ideal place for high-altitude mountaineering, but its highest peak – Noshaq (Main Peak, 24,580 ft) – is growing in popularity as a relatively non-technical climb over 23,000 feet. Although Noshaq can be accessed via both Pakistan and Afghanistan, as it is right on the Durand Line, the Standard Route is through Afghanistan, ascending via Noshaq’s West Ridge. While reaching the mountain is easier through Pakistan, the South East Ridge ascent is more technical and has more objective hazards.

“To get to the mountain we first had to fly via private charter...It was an incredible two-hour flight with views of endless unclimbed peaks in the Hindu Kush.”

- Emilie Drinkwater

Noshaq’s Base Camp (15,288 ft) in Afghanistan is worth visiting in its own right. It’s considered one of the best short treks in the Wakhan, requiring just an hour’s drive from Ishkashim and 3 days trekking from the trailhead. From there, you’ll see views of 4 peaks over 23,000 feet. If you’re continuing to the summit, it’s the perfect inspiration for the tough road ahead. One of the key challenges on the Standard Route is a stretch of steep rock from 21,000 feet to 22,000 feet. Fixed ropes make the ascent a bit easier, but even putting one foot in front of the other is difficult at that altitude. If you’re following the South East Ridge, however, the obstacles are altogether different. The route starts up the Lower and Upper Tirich Glaciers to the same base camp used for Tirich Mir (Main Peak, 25,230 ft), Babu Camp. Then it ascends through two icefalls where advanced mountaineering skills are required.

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