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    Mountaineering in the Hindu Kush : 2

    Mountaineering in the Hindu Kush : 2

    An article had been published on the topic given above as first part of the same title. The word mountaineering is a part of  adventure tourism that was a matter of great  attraction for the men and women of advanced countries but not known to the poorer nations with internal issues of various nature. The men of the developed countries had successfully saved surplus amount of money and spent it in recreational activities including travelling to neighbouring countries of Europe or overseas such as they travelled to south America, Africa, Far East and middle east as well as to Siberia and the Poles such as Arctic and Antarctic region. All as a result of surplus money and curiosity to know  or explore different regions of the globe.

    Beside explorations  of hitherto unknown parts of our earth, the curiosity to see the cultural aspects and diversity of different indigenous communities in the cold parts of the globe or the hot regions such as the equatorial  countries where weather and geographic conditions are quite unbelievable. The cultural aspects of the ethnic groups living in different parts of the world also had its attractions and many explorers reached distant parts of the earth and brought back to Europe a great volume of knowledge that whetted the curiosity of other people. This flair for travelling brought great information to Europe but in different languages which then needed to be translated  to be available to the people of other countries.

    The wanderlust led to numerous fields of interest and one of them was the adventure-both trekking, hiking and climbing high peaks. The climbing to higher altitudes  turned into competitions and men and women from various countries vied but shared their experience of high altitude destinations and many things and gadgets had to be designed to be used at height for safe negotiating rocks and steep cliffs. This human pursuit  widened and took almost two hundred years to understand the great demand of climbing  peaks over 6000m peaks. This was a basic standard at that stage.

    In Chitral the same 6000m ( 20000 ft.) standard was the  goal of the mountaineers in after 1885. The men from the British Indian Army, almost all of them Britons, were assigned various destinations in the Hindu Kush chain of mountains. Where the word Hindu Kush is used it also includes Hindu Raj chain as well which branches of from the main chain atChiantar glacier- parallel to the main chain down to Lowari pass and beyond. There is also a sub group in the vicinity of Buni Zom section called MOSHABAR section that includes the smaller peaks around Shandur pass. At the early stage the officers from the Indian Army focused on Terich Mir  and all the peaks around it which seem quite distinguishable from Chitral town but when you go closer they begin to hide each other till they hide the highest one also and the change of the route and the angles make things confusing so the early climbers climbed other neighbouring but smaller peaks of Terich Mir in the Terich valley but from Oveer valley the main peak was clear and distinguishable as from Chitral town so this route was popular in the early stage of  mountaineering history. In Terich valley most of the climbers had attempted to ascend Istor O Nal that stands exactly to the north of Terich Mir but at 10 km away with another wall of high peaks in between. The dilemma did not open till 1950.

    Prof. Rahmat Karim Baig


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