Hindukush & Hindu Raj

Hindukush Mountains like the Himalaya are being fashioned before one’s very eyes. The numerous peaks, 200 of them rising above 6000m and a number over 7000m dominated by Tirich Mir at 7708m are ever thrusting upward 4 to 5 inches, each year. Only to be eroded by almost the same measurement and how spectacular this erosion can be, for this is a region of earthquakes, landslides and floods, a perpetual battleground where whole hillsides collapse overnight and fast-flowing rivers are forever carving out new gorges among the massifs. The Hindu Kush range, marks the watershed between the valleys draining the Amu “Oxus river “ in Pamirs at the roof of the world and the “ Indus river “ basin draining into the Arabian sea. This mountain range with its numerous valleys can be divided into three separate regions. The eastern region extends from Wakhjir pass 4,907m in the little Pamir to Dorah pass 4,510m, a distance of about 320 km stretching along the China , Pakistan and Afghan frontier. The second region stretches beyond Dorah pass and lies in Afghanistan with the major peaks in Badkhashan and Nuristan..The third region the Hindu Raj or the Thui range lies entirely in Pakistan stretching 240km along Swat and Kohistan valley. Alexander the Great crossed the range in 328 B.C calling it the mountains over which no eagles can fly, pausing briefly in the high valleys beneath the submit ridges he founded a garrison town which his troops named Alexandria –in – the Caucasus, its theatres and wrestling rings defiantly raising the banner of Greek culture in the most unlikely of the Hindukush valleys. The Hindukush and the Caucasus both boast a legendry eagle. Many of Alexanders troops knew the legend of Prometheus, who because of his theft of fire, was believed to have been chained by Zeus to a rock in the Caucasus, with a great eagle gnawing eternally at his liver. When Alexander’s native guides pointed out a cave in the Hindu Kush where their eagle was said to live, and showed the troops a great slab-sided rock scoured by the marks of its claws, many assumed that it must be the Caucasus they were crossing. Marco Polo calls it ‘ the highest place in the world’. Its present name is of Persian origin. Later explorers of these mountains were the British and the Russian playing the Great Game.

The Hindukush, as a mountain range, is considered to extend from the Wakhjir pass (4,907m) at the junction of the Pamirs and Karakoram to Khawak pass (3,548m) north of Kabul. To the south west, the mountains shrink and losing their glaciers, fan out and spread into central Afghanistan.

Tirich Mir

The Tirich Mir is a chain of about eleven peaks with different routes to their submits Tirich Mir main peak 7,708m is the highest peak of the Hindukush Mountain range and was first climbed in 1950 by a Norwegian expedition which was lead by Arne Naess. the famous Norwegian philosopher, other expedition members were P. Kvern berg and H. Berg. Tirich Mir East with a height of 7,692m was another first Norwegian ascent done later in 1964. Two members, R. Hoibakk and A. Opdal, reached top of Tirich Mir East Tirich Mir West II, 7,500m was climbed in 1974 by Beppe Re and Guido Machetto of an Italian expedition. After establishing base camp, the party set up two additional camps. In order to acclimatize itself with high altitude climbing, the party also climbed an already-climbed Dir gol Zom peak. On July 20 1967 Tirich Mir West I, 7487m was climbed through the North West col by a Czechoslovak expedition led by Engineer Vladimir Sedovy. J. Cervinka, I. Galfy, V. Smida and I. Urbanovic reached the top. The Czech expedition had not a single oxygen flask nor did they fix ropes.

Tirich Mir West III 7,400m was climbed in 1974 by Group Universities de Montaigne ET de Ski of France and was led by Guy Lucazeau and Bernard Amy. The sixth peak of the Tirich Mir range is Tirich Mir West IV – 7,338m. It was climbed in 1967 by Kurt Diemberger and Dietmar Proske through the very difficult north face. Diemberger also made the first circle around the Tirich Mirs. The purpose was to carry-out geological survey of the area. Another interesting peak in the Tirich Mir range is un-named with a height of 7,100m. This peak is situated to the south of Tirich Mir Main peak… The northern spur of Tirich Mir at 7,056m was climbed in 1965 by Kurt Diemberger, Herwig Handler and Fritz Lindner of a German – Austrian expedition. Tirich Mir Little 6,550m was climbed in 1969 by the British-Pak Army Mountaineering expedition which was led by Maj. J. W. Fleming of the British Army. Expedition to the main peak traverse the Lower Tirich Glacier which later branches out into upper and lower Tirich glacier. The jeep road goes as far as Shahgrom 2760m but an alternate route over Zani pass 3840m is an excellent way to do a short trek to Shahgrom both to acclimatize and get a good perspective of the major peak before you reach Shahgrom. While other expedition are attempted through the Norwegians route via Barum village into the upper Barum glaciers

©Hindukush Tops Adventure 2014