upcoming events & latest news...
First public screening of our Afghanistan Documentary at 17th Bergfilmfestival Gaudlitzberg
Good things take time - so did our Afghanistan Expedition Documentary, but finally, here it is:
The Premiere wil take place at the 17th Bergfilmfestival Gaudlitzberg (near Leipzig) on Saturday, August 29th. Looking forward to the first public screening.
Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks -
Das andere Afghanistan:
a film about the other Afghanistan, a diverse country with different landscapes, people, languages and culture, different to what we know from
general media. We set off on an expedition with the goal to traverse the complete Wakhan Corridor from West to East, past Lake Chaqmaqtin to explore side valleys of the Ak Su range of the Little
Pamir and try to ascend one of those nameless and unclimbed giants of rock and ice.
Wakhan Corridor is one of the most isolated high plateaus of the Pamirs and due to this isolation it remains to be one of the few places on earth that offers a fascinating combination of untouched nature, pristine culture of Wakhi and Kyrgyz Pamir nomads, unexplored valleys and unclimbed peaks.
Bonner newspaper General-Anzeiger reports:
Bonn`s newspaper GENERAL ANZEIGER reports on our expedition last year into the Shaksgam Valley with the tragic loss of our two friends Ales Holc and Peter Meznar -
referring to the charity fund donation account for the families left behind.
The next charity presentation will take place on July 12th for the Culture Club of Bonn-Lessenich, Alte Mühle, Rochusstr. 126 in Bonn. Start 17:00, Entry free!
Charity Concert on 13.06.2015 for the families of Ales&Peter by the B4 Big Band of Bonn
Time has passed since the disappearence of Peter Meznar and Ales Holc on the North Face of Durbin Kangri II on our last Shaksgam Exped - but memories are still fresh and alive. For further support of the families our two friends have left behind, the Big Band of the Beethoven City of Bonn starts a charity concert on Saturday, June 13th in Bonn.
Please come and join the concert, enjoy the great music, have a beer or pivo as Ales&Peter would put it, or a glass of wine at this summer concert keeping memories alive and supporting the families.
Der Kulturverein Lessenich-Meßdorf lädt zum Benefizkonzert der B4 Big Band von Bonn am 13.06 in der alten Mühle Lessenich:
Samstag 13.06.2015, Beginn 19:00
Alte Mühle Lessenich, Bahnhofstr. 126 in 53123 Bonn
(die alte Mühle ist abseits der Bahnhofstraße über einen Privatweg zu erreichen, einfach den Schildern zur Veranstaltung folgen)
Eintritt: 8,-- EUR alle Spenden kommen in gleichen Teilen den hinterbliebenen Familien von Ales Holc & Peter Meznar sowie aus aktuellem Anlass der Nepalhilfe zugute.
Cover story of Touriosity TravelMag, print issue April 2015
Now available, the special mountain print issue April 2015 of Touriosity Travel Magazine with Shaksgam Expedition 2014 report as cover story.
Read more about this magical valley which has been described by Younghusband, the first western explorer to reach Shaksgam as "one of those sights which impress a man forever, and produce a permanent effect upon the mind - a lasting sense of the greatness and grandeur of Nature´s works - which he can never lose or forget....surely no view man has ever seen can excel that. To describe the scene in words would be impossible".
So do we want to keep the memories of our two Slovenian friends and team members Ales Holc and Peter Meznar alive by this report. Our thoughts are with you and your families. May both of you rest in peace in your beloved mountains forever!
Shaksgam presentation at 8. KÖLNER ALPIN TAG on 24th of October 2015
We are totally psyched to be guest at the 8th edition of the KÖLNER ALPIN TAG 2015 (Cologne Alpine Day) on October 24th 2015 - an outdoor festival with more than 5.000 visitors a day and legendary speakers like PETER HABELER, THOMAS HUBER and DIETER GLOGOWSKI this year!
As if these names wouldnt be reason enough to come, there are also plenty of seminars and workshops, a huge outdoor & alpine fair with all the manufacturers and retailers, photo exhibition, climbing walls and much more.... and all this for free, except presentations and seminars - FREE ENTRY for the fair!
- more than 70 events, live reports & presentations, seminars...
- more than 5.000 visitors
- more than 900 qm of outdoor sports fair
Shaksgam China Expedition 2014 Samstag 24.10.2015, Forum Leverkusen - Am Büchelter Weg 9 - 51373 Leverkusen, Raum "Filmstudio", Start 12:00, Eintritt FREI!
Touriosity Travel Magazine reports on Shaksgam Exped
Touriosity Travel Mag reports in their December print issue about Shaksgam Expedition 2014 - more to come soon in the Mountains issue in May 2015!
Our multivision presentation "Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks" at Bergsichten Festival 2014 in Dresden, check it out:
Further dates of speeches, reports & multivisionshows:
15.03.2016 DAV Düren, Multivisionsvortrag: "Das andere Afghanistan - Bergsteigen im Wakhan Korridor", Kolpingstr. 24, 52349 Düren, Start: 19:00
04.12.2015 GLOBETROTTER Dresden, "Das andere Afghanistan - Bergsteigen im Wakhan Korridor", Globetrotter Store,
Prager Str. 10, 01069 Dresden. Start: 20:30.
28.10.2015 DAV Heidelberg, "Das andere Afghanistan - Bergsteigen im Wakhan Korridor", VHS Heidelberg, Bergheimer Str. 76, Start 19:30
Kölner Alpin Tag, "Shaksgam China Expedition 2014 - ein schmaler Grat zwischen Erfolg und Tragödie", Forum Leverkusen, Am Büchelter Hof 9, 51373 Leverkusen, Raum "Filmstudio", Start:
12:00, Eintritt FREI!
12.07.2015 Kulturverein Lessenich, "Das andere Afghanistan - Bergsteigen im Wakhan Korridor", in der wunderschönen Alten Mühle Lessenich, Bahnhofstr. 126 in 53123 Bonn, Start 17:00, (abseits der Hauptstr., über den Privatweg zu erreichen, siehe Ausschilderung), Eintritt FREI!
13.06.2015 Charity Concert by the B4 Big Band of the Beethoven city of Bonn for the families of Peter Mznar and Ales Holc
Alte Mühle Lessenich, Bahnhofstr. 126 in 53123 Bonn, Start 19:00, Eintritt 8,-- EUR (abseits der Hauptstr., über den Privatweg zu erreichen, siehe Ausschilderung)
powered by Kulturverein Lessenich-Meßdorf
07.05.2015 Kulturverein Lessenich, "Shaksgam China Expedition 2014 - ein schmaler Grat zwischen Erfolg und Tragödie", Dompfaffenweg 8,
Vereinshaus im alten Feuerwehhaus neben Grundschule Lessenich, Start 19:00
23.04.2015 DAV Bonn
"Shaksgam China Expedition 2014 - ein schmaler Grat zwischen Erfolg und Tragödie", Gottfried-Claren-Str. 2, 53225 Bonn-Beuel, Start: 19:30
11.03.2015 DAV Darmstadt
Multivisionsvortrag "Karakorum" im Alpin- und Kletterzentrum, Lichtwiesenweg 15, 64287 Darmstadt. Einlass: 19:00, Beginn: 19:30
10.02.2015 DAV Neu Ulm,
"Shaksgam Expedition 2014 - ein schmaler Grat zwischen Erfolg und Tragödie"
Roncallihaus, Elisabethenstr. 37, 89077 Ulm, Start 20:00
20.01.2015 DAV Düren, Multivisionsvortrag: "Shaksgam China Expedition 2014 - ein schmaler Grat zwischen Erfolg und Tragödie"", Kolpingstr. 24, 52349 Düren, Start: 19:00
16.01.2015 KultimO e.V., "Das andere Afghanistan" Jahresempfang in der Bibliothek Dottendorf, Dottendorfer Str. 41, 53129 Bonn, Start 20:00
16.11.2014 11. BERGSICHTEN Mountain & Outdoor Filmfestival 2014,
"Das andere Afghanistan", TU Dresden, Hörsaalzentrum, Bergstr. 64, 01069 Dresden.
"Das andere Afghanistan" auf dem 11. BERGSICHTEN Festival 2014
Welcome to the 11th BERGSICHTEN Mountain & Outdoor Filmfestival 2014 in November in Dresden, where we will present our Afghanistan Expedition 2012, "Das andere Afghanistan". Main live events are presented by ice climbing goddess INES PAPERT, mountaineer and one of the leading scientist on AMS OSWALD OELZ and HANSJÖRG AUER, who will present his first ascent of Kunyang Chhish East in Pakistan, Im really looking forward to his multivisionshow.
A festival weekend with a full schedule of speeches, presentations and documentaries like "Into the Light", "Velocity", "Frozen Ralley" just to name a few - a festival with a great atmosphere.
A first cut-together as sneak preview of Shaksgam 2014
More to come soon in our multivision presentations in Bonn, Ulm, Dresden, Darmstadt, Düren, Beckum...take a look at our dates in the "Talks&Presentations" section.
Enjoy our detailed film & foto presentations, all revenues go to the families left behind by our dear friends Ales Holc and Peter Meznar, who stayed in the mountains forever on our last Expedition. In memory of Peter & Ales!
Call for support: Friends, Kamnik Alpine Club and Mountain Rescue Team Kamnik opened up an account for donations to support the families of Ales&Peter:
While days are passing by, the members of Alpine Club Kamnik and Mountain Rescue Team Kamnik are still having a difficult time facing the fact that our friends, Aleš Holc and Peter Mežnar, are not coming back from their last expedition to the Chinese Shaksgam valley. Their lives were mostly devoted to the mountains and nature, exploring technically challenging mountain faces, nursing friendly bonds, unselfish help to the others and passing knowledge to the younger generation. They have affected us friends in Kamnik's Alpine Club and Mountain Rescue Team, the people who shared the rope with and everyone else connected to them.
The members of Kamnik's Alpine Club decided to help rasing funds for their families and for covering the expences of the search rescue. For that reason we opened a special purpose bank account, where you can help with your donation.
Account holder: Planinsko društvo Kamnik
Account holder's address: Šutna 42, 1240 Kamnik
IBAN: SI56 0231 1026 1048 689
(in case you need a donation receipt, please write at email@example.com)
The members of Alpine Club Kamnik appreciate keeping memories of Ales and Peter alive. Thank you for caring!
In Memory of Ales Holc and Peter Meznar, Rest in Peace!
I never thought we would have to write something like this…hope dies last we say…but now it happened:
Altogether nine guys, devided on three seperate teams, we entered “Magical” ShaksgamValley, right on the border of China and Pakistan on the north side of the Karakorum range. Nine guys with different targets in the same area – sharing the same love & passion for nature and its mountains, especially the adventure of exploring unclimbed peaks. Everybody knew the risks involved, everybody knew what he was doing….and why.
But now, Aleš Holc und Peter Mežnar, two great guys and experienced climbers stay in the mountains forever.
As members of the Slovenian Alpine Club of Kamnik and the mountain rescue team, they have plenty of experience. They succeeded on some of the hardest climbs worldwide, from Tien Shan to the Indian and Tibetan Himalayas, further to the Andes and much more, earning nomination for the Piolet D`Or for their efforts….they succeeded on inspiring first ascents like Xuelian North East in China, Southface of Nampa or the Northface of Gyachung Kang (7.952m) together with Marko Prezelj in Tibet, just to name a few new routes that leave no doubt of their great skills and experience.
But not only their climbing is unique, they are wonderful people with great character at the same time. We spent a great time together on this tour – their lust for life and joy of living was just contagious, their humour unforgettable…always with a joke on their tip of the tongue and fond of the good things in life. No matter if we enjoyed a cold “pivo” on the road to the mountains or trekking through rivers and high mountain passes on the approach – there was always time for a joke and some laughter, no matter how hard the day was.
In base camp we always lined up in front of their kitchen tarp when Ales and Peter were cooking. Because a lightweight approach idea is worth nothing when Ales and Peter put some fresh prosciutto, fresh veggies and their Slovenian mountain cheese into the pan!
Where Ales and Peter are, there is always a good mood and a lot of fun – no matter if working as the base campDJ with loudspeaker made out of kitchen material or shared cooking – we tried to create a “salami-garlic-onion” bread which failed brilliantly…but their fresh prosciutto-veggie-wok meals were legendary!
Or a crazy-funny idea of Ales planting a salad field in base camp – a pitty there won´t be any harvest anymore….
We shared everything on this tour, not only our summit celebration Salami or their Slovenian mountain cheese….no, we shared our life in this time.
And this is how we will always remember you, as wonderful guys sharing an unforgettable tour and time together. You are unforgotten!
Our thoughts are with you and your families….
Ich hätte nie gedacht, dass wir so etwas einmal schreiben müssten…die Hoffnung stirbt bekanntlich zuletzt….aber nun ist es passiert.
Wir sind als eine Gruppe von neun Leuten, aufgeteilt in drei Sub-Teams auf Expedition in das „magische“ Shaksgam Tal an der Nordseite des Karakorum in China an der Grenze zu Pakistan gezogen – neun Leute mit unterschiedlichen Plänen im gleichen Gebiet – mit der gleichen Liebe und Leidenschaft für die Natur und Berge, speziell für das Abenteuer der Erstbesteigungen namenloser Gipfel….jeder kannte die damit verbundenen Risiken, jeder wusste was er da macht…und wofür.
Nun sind mit Aleš Holc und Peter Mežnar zwei großartige Menschen für immer in den Bergen geblieben … Erfahrung hatten die beiden Mitglieder des slowenischen Alpenvereins Kamnik als Bergretter genügend, Erstbesteigungen weltweit auf schwierigsten Routen sind Ihnen gelungen: im Himalaya von Indien über Tibet bis ins Tien Shan, über die Anden und vieles mehr…Nominierungen zum Piolet D´Or für die Xuelian North East Erstbesteigung oder die Erstdurchsteigung der Nampa Südwand oder der Gyachung Kang Nordwand mit 7.952m zusammen mit Marko Prezelj lassen keinen Zweifel an den überragenden Fähigkeiten und Erfahrung der beiden!
Wir haben bis dahin eine wunderbare Tour zusammen verbracht – Ihre Lebensfreude, ja Lebenslust war ansteckend und ihr Humor unvergesslich, immer einen Scherz auf den Lippen und den „guten Dingen“ des Lebens zugeneigt….egal ob wir zusammen ein kühles „pivo“ auf der Anfahrt getrunken oder unser Gepäck auf dem Anmarsch durch Flüsse und über Pässe geschleppt haben….Zeit für einen Lacher gab es immer, egal wie hart die Etappen auch waren. Im Basislager bildete sich vor dem Küchen-Tarp von Ales und Peter immer eine lange Schlange, denn was ist ein minimalistischer Lightweight-Ansatz schon wert, wenn Ales und Peter frischen Proscuitto, frisches Gemüse und ihren slowenischen Bergkäse in die Pfanne werfen?
Egal ob als base-camp-DJ mit aus Küchengeräten gebastelten Boxenkreationen, gemeinsame Koch- und Backaktionen im Basislager – unser Versuch „Salami-Knoblauch-Zwiebel-Brot“ zu backen ist kläglich gescheitert, aber eure frischen Proscuitto-Gemüse-Wok-Gerichte waren die besten! Wo Ales und Peter sind, ist immer gute Stimmung!
Oder die verrückte Idee von Ales ein frisches Salatfeld im BC zu sähen – zu dessen Ernte es nun leider nicht mehr kommen wird.
Wir haben nicht einfach nur die Gipfelsalami oder den slowenischen Bergkäse miteinander geteilt – wir haben unser Leben auf dieser Tour geteilt. Für mich bleiben diese Tour und die Zeit mit euch zusammen - vor allem aber ihr als Menschen und Freunde – unvergessen!
Unsere Gedanken sind bei euch und euren Familien.
American Alpine Journal 2014 reports:
The American Alpine Journal AAJ reports on our first ascent in Pakistan 2013 in their latest issue 2014, Vol. 56, Issue 88. We have a sneak preview right here, take a look at the report and the panorama pic on pages 286-287.
The annual American Alpine Journal reports since 1929 on first ascents and new routes world wide - first hand from those who have explored and climbed in most of the world´s mountain ranges, both great and small. The AAJ is a climber´s first stop in researching mountaineering objectives.
Last year´s KARAKORUM Exped 2013 on the cover of Tourisity Travelmag July 2014
Interesting read about SHIMSHAL´s High Altitude Porters and Mountaineers - also about Samina & Mirza:
Verlag Neue Literatur (3. Juni 2014)
A new book from Christiane Fladt about the small village of Shimshal with a deep impact on high altitude mountaineering in Pakistan: Shimshals high altitude porters and mountaineers, the true heros of all Karakorum expeditions!
A BIG thank you to all our friends, supporters and sponsors:
We want to thank all our friends, supporters and sponsors for all the love we receive from you - without your help & support such a sophisticated challenge like this years Expedition could not be realized.
Some of you accompany us since years, share the same spirit and passion for exploratory expeditions into the unknown.
The whole team would like to say a BIG thank you to all of you for trusting in us and our projects!
Exped training continues:
DAV supports our project:
The German Alpine Club (DAV) included our upcoming project in their mountaineering funding program. This expedition will take us into the far south west, close to Pakistan in the south.Our idea of travelling follows the principle "leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures". Our climbing philosophy is purely alpine style, as a small & light expedition with a minimum of gear involved, climbing "by fair means" - without high altitude porters by ourselves. This doesn`t conflict with the involvement of local herdsmen to reach our base, since we want to enable the local people to profit from climbing tourism as an additional income and intercultural exchange, which is of our interest. For us an expedition is not only focused on a summit, it is a journey into far away regions and remote places with interesting people, traditions and culture. This experience is as important to us as the pure climb.
DAV Panorama Magazin reports:
PANORAMA Magazine, the official magazine of the DAV (German Alpine Club) reports about our first ascent in Pakistans Karakorum range, Shimshal area to be exact, in a short note and a decent photo, mentioning our tour in their section "Bergsport Heute".
December 2013, Mag No. 6/2013, p.31. (circulation: 615.787 prints)
Take a look at :
Correction Note: there was not one member from Cologne ;-)
Expedition report now online:
DAV Sektion Neu-Ulm reports:
Mountaineering Club Neu-Ulm reports in their winter magazine on our Karakorum Expedition 2013 on four pages "Der Berg im Blumenland - Koh-e Gulistan" (Mountain of the Land of the Flowers), Winter 2013/14, pp. 140-143.
OSPREY Packs reports on our successful first scent in Pakistan´s Karakorum 2013. We want to thank Osprey for supporting our exped with high end backpacks for the approach as well as ultra light packs for the summit push and especially for their trust in a peaceful Pakistan and its hospitable people. Thank you very much!
PTV World interview with the team of Karakorum Expedition 2013
After our successful expedition Pakistani TV station PTV WORLD invited the team of Karakorum Expedition 2013 for an interview about the latest climb of Koh-e Gulistan (6.224m) and the security situation of Pakistan - we talk about our experience this year and why we think it is safe for tourists and climbers to visit the incredible mountain ranges of Pakistan.
Take a look at the interview in the following video:
Summit Success in Pakistan 2013!
Our KARAKORUM EXPEDITION 2013 succeeded with the first ascent of the now called peak "Koh-e Gulistan", with 6.224m the highest peak of the Shuijerab Group in Shimshal, bordering to the Oprang Valley and the Chinese border.
We want to thank Wolfgang Heichel for supporting our research for unclimbed peaks, the German Alpine Club DAV for funding our project and OSPREY Packs for providing us everlasting packs for the approach as well as light packs for the summit push.
Alltogether we want to thank our supporters not only for trusting in our team but also in the safety of Pakistan - this beautiful country shattered by recent attacks. But especially the most difficult times bring out the best of all the local people we met, who overwhelmed us with their warmhearted hospitality and made us feel safe and enjoy our trip at its best. Thank you very much to all the helpful people we met on the way and especially to the Shimshalis without this expedition would not have been successful. Shukria!
American Alpine Journal 2013 reports on our Afghanistan first ascent 2012:
The American Alpine Journal 2013 - annual magazine by the American Alpine Club collecting reports and articles of the world´s first ascents and new routes all over the mountain ranges year by year - reports on our first ascent in Afghanistan´s Little Pamir range in 2012. Read more about our conquest of Elgha Eli IV in the far eastern end of Wakhan Corridor on pages 161-162 of the magazine, Vol. 55, Issue 87.
Deutscher Alpenverein (DAV) supports "Karakorum Expedition 2013"
The German Alpine Club (DAV) included our upcoming project in their mountaineering funding program and generously supports our "Karakorum Expedition 2013". This expedition will take us into the far north of Pakistans Northern Areas, where we target some first ascents of unclimbed 6.000m peaks in the border area close to China.
We are highly motivated by this professional support! Thank you very much!
Der Deutsche Alpenverein (DAV) hat unser anstehendes Projekt "Karakorum Expedition 2013" in sein Expeditions-Förderprogramm aufgenommen und unterstützt uns auf unserer Expedition auf die namenlosen und unbestiegenen Gipfel tief im Norden von Pakistan.
Wir bedanken uns für die großartige & professionelle Unterstützung durch den DAV!
Our Expedition Report made it on the cover of TT Mag´s May "Mountain Special" Issue 2013
After our cultural report about the Kyrgyz Nomads of Wakhan Corridor (March 2013) now the release of our Expedition Report in the latest MOUNTAIN SPECIAL Issue May 2013 of TOURIOSITY TRAVEL MAG. Read more about the complete expedition from the approach to summit day, from Bahr-e Gul to Yach Bandaan-e Bozorg and up Roh-e Asmaan to the summit of Koh-e Elgha Eli IV in the latest Cover Story! The chosen cover photo shows Mariusz stepping over crevasses made easy with the light backpacks of Osprey - at this point we also want to thank OSPREY Packs as our supplier of the expedition.
Enjoy the read with plenty of photos!
Unsere Afghanistan Expedition wurde mit dem "Globetrotter des Jahres 2012" ausgezeichnet
Seit 19 Jahren kürt Globetrotter Ausrüstung alljährlich den "GLOBETROTTER DES JAHRES"– Personen, die durch außergewöhnliche, individuelle Reisen auf sich aufmerksam gemacht haben und die sich mit Land und Leuten auseinandersetzen, sich mit Kultur und Geschichte beschäftigen. Es werden nicht die sportlichen Höchstleistungen prämiert, sondern das sanfte Reisen soll gefördert werden, das Rücksicht auf die Natur und Kultur des Gastlandes nimmt. Es sollen die Leistungen von Individualisten honoriert werden, die Länder nicht im Schnellgang abhaken, sondern die sich für ein Schwerpunktthema engagieren und abseits ausgetretener Pfade besonders intensiv in fremde Kulturen und Landschaften eintauchen und mehr bewirken, als vor Ort eine Cola zu kaufen. Wir suchen Globetrotter im klassischen Sinne, Menschen, die mit Leidenschaft an ein Gebiet abseits ausgetretener Pfade herangehen, so wie das Team von „Afghanistans Secret Peaks“. Die Jury sagt: »Sie wagten sich in ein geopolitisches Relikt und einen der entlegensten Orte dieser Welt mit ihren ganz eigenen Regeln«, zeigt sich Florian Bosse von Globetrotter, der mit in der Jury saß, beeindruckt. »Ihre Geschichte hat uns besonders fasziniert und den Spirit des Globetrotters toll widergespiegelt. Danke für die tolle Geschichte!«
Vielen Dank an "GLOBETROTTER AUSRÜSTUNG" für diese tolle Unterstützung!
4Seasons Magazine reports:
4SEASONS MAGAZINE , Summer 2013, Edition #38 (p.28), reports on Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks, which has been chosen for the "Globetrotter of the Year 2012" Award for a self organized expedition with a low impact minimal approach, crossing Wakhan Corridor from West to East with it´s untouched side valleys and unspoilt nomadic culture and climbing a previously nameless and unclimbed virgin peak (now called "Koh-e Elgha Eli IV", 5725m).The Jury says:
"Your report fascinated us the most and reflects the spirit of a Globetrotter. Thank you very much for your report."
Thank you very much, "GLOBETROTTER AUSRÜSTUNG", for your great support!
Coverstory of Touriosity Travel Mag reports on our cultural experience with Kyrgyz Nomads of Wakhan Corridor
TOURIOSITY TRAVEL MAG`s tribal issue March 2013 cover story pp.52-57 reports on our tour through Wakhan Corridor and the unique experience with the Kyrgyz Nomads, living with their herds of sheep, goat and yaks constantly above 4.000m in the far east on the Little Pamir high plateau. Despite the hard living conditions in the barren valleys at an extreme altitude and the absence of medical care, the hospitable nomads gave us inside views into their culture and traditions of a free nomadic life according to the traditions of their elders. Read more on the Kyrgyz Nomads of Afghanistan:
Thanks to a very interested audience at our speech for KultimO culture club on Feb. 1st in Bonn, we collected a donation for "KINDERHILFE AFGHANISTAN" (www.aid-for-afghan-children.de ), a privately family run children´s aid organization by the Erös family that completely depends on private donations absolutely independent from any governmental influence. In 1987 Dr. Reinhard Erös left his job as Colonel doctor in the German army without pay for several years to work as a doctor in Afghanistan during Russian invasion. During his time in the war zone he helped to treat several 100.000 people annually even from cave clinics in Tora Bora and founded medical schools for "barefoot doctors" to improve the medical situation and lack of doctors in Afghanistan during the war. In 1998 he founded "Kinderhilfe Afghanistan". In the most unstable eastern tribal regions of Afghanistan such as Khost, Paktia, Nangahar, Laghman and Kunar – the “KINDERHILFE AFGHANISTAN” built and maintains educational and medical projects like orphanages, peace schools such as elementary schools, high schools, colleges, computer schools, mother-child clinics, continuation schools for female teachers and much more such as developing and printing the first medical college book in local language in Afghanistan.
"Tee mit dem Teufel - Als deutscher Militärarzt in Afghanistan", 272 S., ISBN: 3455018017
"Unter Taliban, Warlords und Drogenbaronen - Eine deutsche Familie kämpft für Afghanistan", 365 S., ISBN: 3455500749
Summit Panorama from Koh-e-Elgha Eli
Thanks to the help of Wolfgang Heichel, a renowned chronologist of the Karakorum, who identified main peaks in the background of our panorama – we can present a little sneak preview of our photo material from the expedition. Take a look from our summit over the neighbouring valleys with unclimbed & nameless peaks of the Afghan Little Pamir and further deep into Pakistan. (Summit heights were added by us according to commonly used measurements of the main peaks and can differ)
W. Heichel is the author of the mountaineering chronicles of central and western Karakorum with Jerzy Wala developing the maps. Heichels latest project Nanga Parbat is close to being finished. A future project will be a mountaineering chronicle of Wakhan Corridor and the Pamirs he says. So far available are:
Chronik der Erschliessung des Karakorum: Teil I – Western Karakorum, 342S., München 2003. ISBN 978-3-928777-97-1
Chronik der Erschliessung des Karakorum: Teil II – Central Karakorum I, 460S., München 2010. ISBN 978-3-00-032841-1
Postcard with Love...Touriosity Travel Magazine reports:
Postcards with Love....Touriosity Travel Magazine (media partner of Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks) received our expedition postcard straight from the tour and reports in a news feature with a short summary about our adventure in their latest Nov-Dec. print issue 2012. As a professional print media with love for the details they mention all team members in detail - so we dont have to fire our head of the marketing department ;-)
BEYOND LIMITS at the 9th BERGSICHTEN MOUNTAIN & OUTDOOR FILMFESTIVAL 2012
We were honoured to present our first ascent in Pakistans Karakorum range "BEYOND LIMITS" live in front of an amazing audience of nearly 900 people at the 9th BERGSICHTEN Mountain& Outdoor Filmfestival 2012. Gaining 3rd place in the audience election makes it best mountaineering presentation of the competition. Main events were presented by great mountaineers like GERLINDE KALTENBRUNNER & RALF DUJMOVITS, British mountain and adventure filmer LEO DICKENSON and the living mountaineering legend KURT DIEMBERGER - a man 80 years of age and experience, who has seen it all: he first summited two 8.000er peaks Broad Peak and Dhaulagiri, brought alpine style into the Himalayas with Hermann Buhl and reached many more 1st ascents in the Hindukush, a true adventurer and renowned mountain filmer.
A festival weekend with a full schedule of speeches, presentations and documentaries with a great atmosphere. Dont miss the next Festival with LYNN HILL, STEFAN GLOWACZ and ALEXANDER HUBER in November 2013 in Dresden.
DAV (German Alpine Club) PANORAMA magazine calls our first ascent in Afghanistan "cool stuff"!
PANORAMA Magazine, the official magazine of the DAV (German Alpine Club) reports about our first ascent in Afghanistans Little Pamir range in a short note and a decent photo, mentioning our tour as "cool stuff" in their section "Spitz&Breit" - mountaineering news from around the world.
December 2012, Mag No. 6/2012, p.27. (circulation: 592.794)
Take a look at :
Correction Note: the team consists of all 5 climbers, Sarah Sheridan, Malgorzata Skowronska, Mariusz Hoffmann, Andreas Schnall and Chris.
Polish DRYTOOLING, CENERIA & GORY online magazine report:
"Wyprawa na niezdobyte góry Azji, czyli ekspedycja "Sekretne Szczyty Afganistanu" Szesnastego lipca międzynarodowa wyprawa, składająca się ze wspinaczy z Polski (Mariusz Hoffmann i Małgorzata Skowrońska), Niemiec (Andreas Schnall wraz z Chrisem Nettekovenem) i Australii (Sarah Sheridan), wyruszyła na miesięczną wyprawę do Korytarza Wachańskiego w Afganistanie..." Read more on DRYTOOLING.com.pl.... from Bahr-e Gul to Yach Bandaan-e Bozorg and up Roh-e Asmaan to the summit of Koh-e Elgha Eli IV!
KÖLNER STADT-ANZEIGER reports:
German newspaper KÖLNER STADT-ANZEIGER published a big article about our expedition:
An interview with team member Chris gives inside views of our expedition crossing Wakhan Korridor from West to East, from warmhearted encounters with the most hospitable Afghan people, from Wakhi to Kyrgyz Nomads in their yurt settlements to private concerts of the legendary Mir Maftoon, from old Russian trenches with barbed wire to newly built boys & girls schools, from tiny mosquitos and fat marmots to huge yak bulls, from fresh naan with salty yak butter tea to kebab and goat brain, from getting totally wasted on a lovely Tajik wedding (all halal style – except the vodka) to local turmoil and closed borders in Tajikistan, from beautiful sunsets & sunrises and sunburns to the worst diarrhea, from crossing icecold glacier rivers and trekking up&down high mountain passes during rain, sun and snow into the unknown side valleys to climbing the unclimbed and nameless peaks of the Afghan Little Pamir - this tour had all the possible ups and downs you could think of….and much more!
FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU reports:
One of the leading German daily newspapers FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU reports on our expedition "Afghanistans Secret Peaks 2012"! Get your print issue and follow us on our tour deep into the Afghan Pamir of Wakhan Corridor. Our goal was to explore the hidden side valleys of Elgha Eli and Terghen Qorum and try to ascend a nameless and unclimbed giant of rock and ice. Read more...
BERLINER ZEITUNG reports:
Berlin´s major newspaper BERLINER ZEITUNG reports on Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks 2012.
In July our international team of five climbers started from Dushanbe (Tajikistan) on a nine day approach to unexplored valleys in the eastern end of Wakhan Corridor, south-east of Lake Chaqmaqtin, Afghan Little Pamir. The team consisted of Sarah Sheridan, Malgorzata Skowronska, Mariusz Hoffmann, Andreas Schnall and Chris Nettekoven. It took us two days by jeep from Dushanbe to the Tajik-Afghan border at Ishkashim and two more days to reach the end of the jeep track at Sarhad-e-Boroghil. From there we trekked for five days with yak and horse caravans past Kyrgyz nomad settlements and Lake Chaqmaqtin into the hidden side valley of Elgha Eli, which is named after a kind of willow bush that grows in the lower part of the valley. Our goal was to ascend an unclimbed and nameless giant of rock and ice....
The American Alpine Journal reports on our first ascent of Koh-e-Brobar in the Karakorum of Shimshal/Pakistan
The upcoming American Alpine Journal 2012 (Vol. 54, Issue 86), the annual journal for first ascents worldwide by the American Alpine Club, reports on our last years climb of virgin summit of Koh-e-Brobar in Shimshal/ Pakistan, deep in the Karakorum, border area to China.
Team members Malgosia and Chris of Afghanistans Secret Peaks took part in the expedition that supported a first Pakistani
female mountaineer Samina Baig. We wish the best of luck to Samina on her future climbs!!
Read more about our first ascent of last year:
The American Alpine Journal provides Feature Articles on many of the most important climbs of the year, from Alaska to Nepal. But the heart of every AAJ is the Reports section, which covers all the big new mountain routes in the world.
GORY magazine reports on our first ascent of Koh-e-Brobar
GORY magazine´s lates print issue (Sept. 2012, pp58-64) reports about our first ascent in Pakistan´s Karakorum mountain range in Shimshal. Team members Malgosia and Chris supported Samina Baig, Pakistans first female mountaineer, scaling the unclimbed and nameless virgin peak, now named Koh-e-Brobar (Mt. Equality), according to Samina´s gender equality mission.
Click on the pics below to enlarge & read!
Cały projekt skupiał się wokół dwudziestoletniej Saminy Baig, alpinistki pochodzącej z pakistańskiej wioski Shimshal, która podczas każdej ze swoich podróży chce zbliżać się do dziewiczego piękna natury. Jej pasją jest również zdobywanie szczytów i wchodzenie na wysokości, na które żadna z Pakistanek nie śmiała się poważyć. Check out GORY ONLINE on Facebook
Coverstory of Touriosity Travel Mag reports on our first ascent of virgin peak Koh-e-Brobar in Pakistan
Read about our last years successful first ascent of Koh-e-Brobar in Pakistan´s Karakorum Range in the latest print issue of TOURIOSITY TRAVELMAG´s 10 pages cover story (June-July/2012) !
Team members Malgosia and Chris report about their climb to support SAMINA BAIG´s Gender Equality Mission as Pakistan´s first female climber scaling virgin peaks. Their adventure took them to Pakistan´s Northern Areas, Shimshal - border area to China. Get your print version and check out the colourful report with plenty of pics presented by Touriosity Travelmag!
Click on the following pages to enlarge the pics for reading:
STEFAN GLOWACZ supports our Exped:
In more than 30 years of rock climbing, that led him to the steepest walls, the deepest valleys, wether he was climbing competitively, building his company, speaking to the public or discovering new territories, STEFAN GLOWACZ has never chosen the simple path. Accomplishing more first ascents than we have space to mention on this page – just to name a few:
Rock Master 1987, 1988, 1992, Winner of the Olympic Games' demonstration challenge in Albertville, 1993 Vice World Champion, 1994 "Des Kaisers neue Kleider" (X+/8b+/5.14a), hardest route in the Alps for at least 9 years. Expeditions to remote places in Canada, Patagonia, Antarctica, Brazil, Venezuela. First ascents of big walls at the "Renard Tower", Antarktis, "Tupilak" and "Ulamartorsuaq" in Eastern resp. Southern Greenland, and "Mount Harrison Smith" in Canada, 2006 nominated for the Piolet d'Or for establishing a 27 pitch route (IX+/7c+/5.13a, A2, M4) up the north wall of the Mullaron, Patagonia.
As an expression of his expedition style & philosophy, he says:
“All well known mountains have already been conquered on their different routes. We mountaineers and climbers have to become explorers again and discover the last white spots on the world map. This expedition to the SECRET PEAKS OF AFGHANISTAN is a thrilling venture with a deep content of information and experience, of which many future mountaineers and climbers will profit. At the same time, this tour is a trip into the past for Mariusz Hoffmann and his team – for which I wish the best of luck to all team members!” Stefan Glowacz
Thank you very much Stefan, we are honoured to receive a message of support from a true idol of this sport like you!
Check out STEFAN GLOWACZ on Facebook
OSPREY supports our Exped!
OSPREY Packs Inc. supports our exped with their innovative high end gear like backpacks, light summit packs and drinking systems. On challenging expeditions into the wild and unknown for first ascents in the Afghan Pamir, only the highest quality products can take this challenge and lead to success. Osprey stands behind their quality craftmanship by offering All Mighty Guarantee to their customers.
We, the team of Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks 2012, fully trust in Osprey´s high quality gear.
Further does Osprey´s commitment as an outdoor industry leader in sustainability, environmental and social concerns perfectly fit into our exped´s philosophy.
INES PAPERT supports our Exped!
4 times winner of the UIAA Ice Climbing Worldcup, INES PAPERT, doing the wildest climbs all over the world - from Bavaria to Kirgistan - no matter if on rock, ice or mixed, supports our expedition.
"What a great idea! Im looking forward to your documentary and wish you an adventurous and amazing time! This country deserves much more attention! Im sure you will succeed"
German original text:
Take a look at her HOMEPAGE for the lates M11+ climb or first ascents in Kirgistan or check out INES on FACEBOOK
FERNSUCHT recommends our Blog
SIDETRACKED MAGAZINE reports on Will´s recent adventure in Pakistan
LYO Expedition Food supports our Exped:
LYO FOOD supports Afghanistan`s Secret Peaks 2012 with freeze-dried food, saving weight and energy not only for the transport but also for preparation.
The nutrition is having a key role on a mountaineering expedition. Only while maintaining a well-balanced and high-calorie diet it is possible to generate maximum performance under extreme conditions.
The LYO EXPEDITION meals fulfill this demand.
LYO EXPEDITION meals are perfect for all kind of activities. It does not matter if you are an extreme sportsman or if you just want to spend an exciting outdoor weekend with your familiy. LYO EXPEDITION will help you to reach your goals and enjoy your time!
Check out LYO FOOD on Facebook and take a look at all those great expeditions they support!
WWW.SONNEN-SCHMIEDE.DE supports our Exped:
Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks 2012 is electrified to announce WWW.SONNEN-SCHMIEDE.DE as our official supporter. The solar engineering company SONNEN-SCHMIEDE and Dipl.Ing. Peter Baumeister bring more power into the expedition with their solar panels and batteries, making sure that we never run low on energy.
All in line with our environmental awareness, avoiding all old school gasoline driven emergency power units that would pester the peaceful valleys with noise and fumes.
SONNEN-SCHMIEDE expertise is not only restricted to supplying expeditions all over the world, but are experts in counselling, planning and installing photovoltaic systems in every sector....at your private home, your industrial buildings or your private island, too. Go green, go solar!
Welcome our team member: Mariusz Hoffmann
Mountains are his life - no matter if at home, the rock climbing paradise of Frankenjura or in the far distant places on this planet, he is passion driven on the constant lookout for new challenges. His experience in climbing as well as filming are a big asset to our expedition. He worked on the Baffin Island Expedition film "Ausgesetzt" - a huge success on international outdoor filmtours and festivals.His experience of more than 30 years of climbing and expeditions are way too much to ad it on one sheet - just to mention a few highlights he participated:
2001 - EL GIGANTE - “La Conjura de Los Necios ”
Stefan Glowacz and Kurt Albert´s new route through the highest rock cliff of Mexico. With Hans-Martin Götz, Holger Heuber, Gunda Frühwald.
2002 - Kurt Albert´s "Cirque of Unclimbables" Expedition:
Canada, NW Territories, „Cirque of Unclimbables“ with more than 1000m high granit fangs of „Lotus Flower Tower“.With Holger Heuber, Jens Reinhold.
2005 - Patagonia
Crossed the Continental Ice Field of Patagonia with Kurt Albert
2008 - The Bastions - Buchan Gulf, Baffin Island, Kanada
Stefan Glowacz & Robert Jasper`s first ascent of “Take the long way home” (X-, 700m) , with Holger Heuber, Klaus Fengler http://www.baffinexpedition.com/
NAZIR SABIR, Pakistan´s mountaineering legend, supports our expedition:
Pakistan´s famous mountaineer, NAZIR SABIR , born in Gojal, who has climbed K2 (1981), Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak (with Messner within just one week in 1982), Gasherbrum I (1992) and Mount Everest (2000) sent us a message of support, saying:
"Best of luck guys...my best wishes are also with our Afghan brothers and sisters for permanent peace and a prosperous future ahead!"
Thank you very much Nazir, we all share your wishes for Afghanistan!
Besides his work as an environmentalist, politician, for Pakistan Alpine Club and promoting Pakistan as a unique tourism destination since decades, he also runs his expedition and adventure travel agency, offering expeditions, trekking and cultural tours even in Afghanistan. Interested? Get in touch with the Pro: NAZIR SABIR EXPEDITIONS
JOHN SILVESTER, a.k.a. "the Birdman of the Karakoram", pioneer of paragliding in Pakistan supports our Exped:
The "Birdman of the Karakoram" himself, pioneer of paragliding in Pakistan´s mountain ranges - JOHN SILVESTER - supports our expedition and especially Will´s high flying objective over Wakhan Corridor:
"What a dream trip! Exploring doesnt get much better than the Wakhan, one of the few remaining mountain regions that are !off the map' ".
Thanks John, and thanks to Mansoor "the Mountain Tiger" of Hunza!
Ed Stafford´s message of support:
We are happy to receive an encouraging message of support by ED STAFFORD - European Adventurer of the Year 2011, who became the first man to walk the length of the Amazon River in South America from the source to the sea in 2010, a journey that took 860 days of walking.
"Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks expedition is a fascinating venture exploring an area we know for war and devastation. I look forward to following this expedition and watching the final
documentary. Best of luck to the team I admire the whole idea."
Sir Ranulph Fiennes message of support:
Sir Ranulph Fiennes , described by The Guinness Book of Records as “the world’s greatest living explorer”. That was back in 1984 since when he has broken many more world records and led many more expeditions to remote regions:
"Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks expedition captures it all - desire for adventure, love for mountains and quest for discovery. A fascinating venture that take us to the most remote corners of our planet".
Benedict Allen´s message of support:
A message of support from Benedict Allen, explorer & adventurer, author, TV filmmaker, presenter and international motivational speaker:
"The Afghanistan's Secret Peaks expedition is a wonderfully inspiring enterprise, taking a team deep into the heart of a challenging and fascinating environment of extreme beauty and hardship. I wish them luck - and only wish I could join them on this stirring venture."
HK MOUNTAIN PROJECTS supports our Exped
Expedition- and Sciencemarketing company HK MOUNTAIN PROJECTS from Göttingen (GER) supports Afghanistans Secret Peaks Exped with satellite communication devices and solar technology equipment as well as postproduction and online newsreport support from the tour.
Take a look at their projects, individual expeditions or their latest mapping project and get to know who stands behind the latest Khumbu map update:
Poland´s climbing mag No.1 - GORY - supports our Exped
We are happy to announce GORY print and online magazine as our Polish media partner! GORY is Polands biggest climbing magazine! Take a look and read about latest details of Adam Bielecki und Janusz Golab winter summit victory at Gasherbrum I and many more news, as well as our Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks Exped....
CENERIA.pl outdoor website supports our Exped
Poland´s leading outdoor website CENERIA supports our Afghanistans Secret Peaks Expedition 2012. CENERIA is a unique source of knowledge about hardware and provides professional tests about outdoor equipment and information about the technologies used. Furthermore they are Poland´s first price comparison site in focusing only on shops offering equipment for active recreation. It is the largest base of outdoor products in the Polish Internet! Take a look:
DRYTOOLING.com.pl supports our Exped:
We are pleased to announce Drytooling.com.pl as our supporter:
Drytooling.com.pl is an outdoor website devoted to ice and mix climbing and mountaineering. If you love winter and you can not wait to get out your ice axe from the cabinet and hit the Tatras, the Alps, or perhaps the Himalayas have a look on their web for an inspiration for your climbs.
Polish newspaper EXPRESS reports on our expedition
For our Polish readers: London based Polish newspaper POLISH EXPRESS interviews team member Malgorzata Skowronska about our Afghanistan project.
Click on the pics to read fullsize and to take a close look at Gosia´s new hair colour:
Team member & Forester by profession - Andreas reports on his trip to Tajikistans reforestation projects:
In the latest print issue of ForestFinest (01/2012), team member Andreas reports on his adventurous tour through Tajikistan as well as the ongoing sustainable reforestation programs like the "Joint Forest Management" JMF project in the Tajik Pamir.
Read more about the ecological change and awareness in Tajikistan: ForestFinest Magazine
eBook or free download version available!!!!
TOURIOSITY TRAVELMAG supports our expedition
We are happy to announce TOURIOSITY TRAVELMAG as a media partner of "Afghanistans Secret Peaks 2012".
Touriosity Travelmag aspires to give you wings by bringing to you inspiring stories of courage, confidence and great achievements from across the globe from people who achieved those feats and realized their dreams because they believed they could do it.
CO2OL presents our Exped Interview (German)
CO2OL - Natural Carbon Collection - presents our Expedition "Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks" in an interview introducing our team, goals and philosophy behind this project. CO2OL strongly supports our philosophy of environmetally friendly, low impact and light travel style - making the idea of a CO2-neutral mountaineering expedition come true.
WALK ON THE WILD SIDE supports our Expedition
Our our new partner and specialist for ultralight tent, backpack and snowshoes in Bonn.
A wide selection of high quality and innovative outdoor products from renowned manufacturers. Here you will find everything you need for your outdoor pleasure: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, stove, proper clothing, and much more!
"Walk on the wild side" - Best advice from super guys!
NOVA Paragliders support Team member Will Palmer
Our team member Will Palmer is very happy to announce his partnership with Austrian NOVA paragliders and he looks forward to his new position on it's Pilots team. His previous experience cross country flying in the Karakorum and Hindu Kush showcase his skill, bringing much to the Afghanistan Secret Peaks expedition. He would like to thank NOVA for their generous support and especially looks forward to this summers expedition.
Polish Newspaper "Gazeta.pl" reports on our Expedition
Further coverage of Malgorzata´s recent Afghanistan trip as well as a report of our upcoming expedition "Afghanistan´s Secret Peaks 2012" can be read on Polish Newspaper "Gazeta.pl".
Read more: Gazeta.pl
Trek&Mountain reports about us in their latest print issue
Trek & Mountain, UK´s leading trekking and mountaineering magazine, reports on our expedition project in their latest print issue! Check it out at the newspaper shop around the corner!
We proudly present ELLIS BRIGHAM MOUNTAIN SPORTS on board of Wakhan Expedition 2012 as our official supporter
We proudly announce ELLIS BRIGHAM MOUNTAIN SPORTS - as our new supporter and specialist for mountaineering equipment.
Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports is UK's premier retail stores and online shop for ski hardware, mountaineering equipment and outdoor clothing - with an experience of more than 75 Years in outdoor sports.
Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports Ltd
PO Box 491, Salford, M5 0AE, UK
Company No. 06836989
VAT REG No. 971006343
Official cooperation agreement signed between CO2OL and Wakhan Expedition 2012.
Today we are happy to announce the official agreement signed by Julia Daniel, head of the CO2OL department of Forest Finance GmbH and Team member Andreas Schnall (photo). CO2OL calculates the complete CO2 emissions created during our expedition and compensates all carbon emissions through the CO2OL Tropical Mix reforestation project - supporting our philosophy of environmetally friendly, low impact and light travel style - making the idea of a CO2-neutral mountaineering expedition come true.
Follow CO2OL to make a change - go green!