The Alpinist continues it’s reputation for excellent writing and reporting on high mountain climbing with this article entitled A Short March to the Hindu Kush. This excellent article discusses the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan, which is known for it’s remote, and rugged peaks, near the Pakistan border, and how it has seen relatively few climbing expeditions in recent years thanks to the unrest in the region. The Soviet invasion of 1979, followed by nine years of occupation, and then rebel clashes, and the rise of the Taliban have all made it difficult, and unsafe, to climb in this region.
Following 9/11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, drove the Taliban into hiding, and now occupy much of the country, including portions of the Hindu Kush. While it’s still not safe for westerners to visit this region, it was possible for the writer of this article to join the Marine Corps at the Mountain Warfare Training Center, and eventually go with them to Afghanistan to visit the region, and to watch operations first hand there.
It’s a shame that this region is not safe to climb in these day, and doesn’t look like it will be for some time. There are a host of remote peaks there, some still unclimbed, that would make for an excellent expedition. It’s too bad we couldn’t get one of those “Peace Climb” expeditions to go there, and bag a few peaks as a show of strength and solidarity. Perhaps someday soon. We’ll see.
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