At 7492m Noshaq is the fourth highest peak of the Hindukush range and the highest in Afghanistan. The mountain has four separate peaks . The main peak was climbed in 1960 along the south east ridge from the Qadzi Deh glacier by a Japanese expedition led by Professor Sakato. Other members of the expedition were G. Iwatsabo and T. Sakai.
The second highest peak in this range is Noshaq East at 7480m climbed in 1963 by Dr Gerald Gruber and Rudolf Pischinger from Austria. The third highest peak of the range Noshaq Central is 7400m . The Austrian expedition of 1963 of Dr Gerald Gruber and Rudolf Pischinger are also credited with climbing the fourth peak of Noshaq range called Noshaq West at 7250m.
The Afghan route follows the west ridge from where it is a relatively straightforward ascent and a polish expedition in 1973 made the first winter ascent successfully. During the Russian war the low Sad Istragah pass was used as a mujahedin supply route and some of the adjoining areas around Qazi Deh was heavily mined which does somewhat make it a risky. The Pakistan route has now considerably eased out permit regulations techinically this is the difficult route.
The peak is accessible through both Pakistan & Afghanistan as it is right on the border.
Logistically the route through Pakistan is more convenient as things are more organized from this end. You follow the Tirich Mir route through the Lower & upper Tirich glaciers to Babu camp From here you branch out from the upper Tirich glacier towards Noshaq base camp. The climb involves crossing a moraine between two icefalls then a scree slope to the south ridge. The two ice falls flowing from Noshaq make it a technically difficult ascent from this side , three camps are established before final ascent is made.
Alternately the other route through Afghanistan is from Badakshan & Wakhan . Though we have been organizing things in this area for the last 12 year but logistically its quite demanding. Approaching the peak through Afghanistan cost wise is more expensive as the area is still in the process of settling down and stabilizing, one has to " constantly relocate connection” over there !.
Getting ThereROAD ROUTE
Across the Lowari pass to Chitral town , take time to see the Kalash valleys. Then the jeep road goes as far as Shahgrom but an alternate route over Zani pass is an excellent way to both acclimatize and get a good perspective of the major peak before you reach Shahgrom.
The porter stage go a day further, aprox 4 hrs beyond Babu camp across an ice field ( that is if you can convince the porters to go that far ). Rates in the Tirich valley is a flat Rs 700 per stage. Avoid hiring at high prices but you can compensate by tipping well if good service is provided. Use your local Pakistani connections to maintain a steady balance of prices and service for those who follow you into these mountains.
Jeep rates to road head were as follows in 2012.
• Chitral to Shahgrom Rs 11000
• Chitral to Zani Rs 9000
1$ = Rs 95 in 2012
There is now thrice a week flight from Islamabad to Chitral
There are two flights daily from Peshawar to Chitral, if there are less pessengers the second flight is cancelled
Chitral is well stocked with essentials for trekking/mountaineering expeditions but avoid purchasing tinned food stuff from the bazaar as they are mostly expired/outdated and liable to cause problems during your expedition . Also there is very little variety while Islamabad bazaars are well stocked. It is best to purchase some of the essential food from Islamabad where expeditions spend a day or two for permit requirements.
Chitral now offers a variety of hotels both in the upper bracket Hindukush Heights, Pamir riverside inn and many for budget travelers, besides local home stays like Ayun Fort.
For good food try a local place at Dainin, after crossing the chew bridge turn right ,near the pump ask for Golani restaurant… no mention in books but what the local flood too. The Afghan restaurants both on Goldoor road or Krubrisht provide good food. The Chapal Kebabs are best near Polo ground. For Chitrali cousine try Ayun Fort.
The area is relatively clean compared to the Baltoro but with Peak royalties reduced there is going to be a influx of visitors. Please ensure that you leave the camps pristine and insist on your programme operator to carry back garbage to road head. A policy is being framed by the locals to check that Pakistani tour operators follow the guide lines.
Red TapeRED TAPE
Expeditions to the Hindukush Mountain have restarted after the area being closed for some time. The Khyber Pakhtunkhawa ( previously NWFP ) provincial government is very helpful in streamlining permit briefings etc. Hindukush Trails has been successful in convincing them to take L.O from Chitral Scouts to easy procedures and related formalities to help expeditions.
Royalty to the peaks in the Hindukush have now been reduced considerably. This is an excellent opportunity to now do mountaineering at lower costs in the Hindukush region. Peak royalty charged by government is as follows.
Height Full Team 7 members Each Additional Member
7501m to 8000m $ 400 $ 50
7001 to 7500m $ 250 $ 30
6501 to 7000m $ 150 $ 20
Below 6500m free
Height Full Team 7 members Each Additional Member
7501m to 8000m $ 200 $ 25
7001 to 7500m $ 120 $ 15
6501 to 7000m $ 75 $ 10
Below 6500m free
While making your arrangements going through a local operator definitely helps you in many ways both to effectively deal with last minute changes, permit requirements as well as porters logistic etc. At Chitral the foreigners registration is essential and hardly takes any time.
When To ClimbDepending on winter snows best time is June, July & August
winter ascents have been made on this peak
Camping rates in the Hindukush are reasonable, per tent you are charged Rs 50 . You are only charged at Shahgrom not on route further. Camps are set at traditional places on route and there is no hassle on this.
Mountain ConditionsLocal info is available from
E mail [email protected]
Tel 0092 51 2222778
Hindukush Trails organizes trekking and Mountaineering in the Hindukush and Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan
EXPEDITIONS PERMITSThe Federal Ministry of Tourism has been devolved giving the provincial governments the regulating authority in deciding on permits. We will now be getting permits for the Hindukush and HinduRaj mountains from the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa provincial government.
- Jasmine Tours - Pakistan
We are one of the experience Mountaineering Expeditions organizer to the Hindu Kush and Hindu Raj mountains.
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