Women’s Wakhan Corridor
Koh-e-Baba-Tangi (aka Jade Peak, 6516m) is the highest point in the eastern sector of the Afghan Hindu Kush, and was first climbed in 1963 by an Italian team via its West Ridge: all subsequent attempts have failed to reach the summit. In his guidebook ‘Peaks of Silver and Jade’, Pinelli commented that the North West Ridge ‘seems to be particularly attractive……a varied and hard route but probably not too dangerous, alternating sections of rock, mixed and ice’. This was therefore the route chosen by the two New Zealand sisters. Difficult terrain around base camp meant that attempts to acclimatise were limited to spending a couple of nights at a col c5200m. Once on the route itself Deavoll led the steeper pitches with the less experienced Byrch following – sometimes using Jumars. In this way they established camps at 5000m and 6000m and reached the summit on the fifth day. To give a more aesthetic end to the climb, they decided to traverse the mountain and descend by its West Ridge, surprised to find traces of the first ascent nearly half a century ago.