Besides the technical and physical achievement of reaching this towering summit, this expedition has three objectives:

Send a Message of Peace
For the first time in history, an Afghan national will have climbed the country’s highest peak. This will be a strong, positive message, illustrating the determination of Afghans to overcome difficulties and bring peace and success to a country torn apart by 30 years of war.

Foster national pride and unity
Like Rohullah Nikpai, who was awarded a bronze medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, these Afghan mountaineers will contribute to the rebirth of an Afghan national pride. By planting an Afghan flag on the top of Noshaq, they’ll bring hope to a nation that suffers from a lack of international respect, and self esteem.

Lay the basis of sustainable development
The “Afghans to the Top” expedition will reduce the isolation and misery afflicting Afghanistan´s mountainous areas for the past 30 years. This project will open the window to the opportunity of more high altitude expeditions, and will reinforce the economic development of the area through fair, locally-driven, and sustainable tourism and conservation activities.

Timeline

2007 - The Birth of the project
Four young Afghans were dreaming of taking part in an expedition to the top of Mount Noshaq. They talked about it with their friends and from there, the «Afghans to the Top» project took shape.

October 2008 - Reconnaissance of the Base Camp
In October 2008, the Afghan mountaineers invited the organizers of the the project for a trek to Noshaq base camp. It was an opportunity to assess and conceptualize the timeline and budget that would be required for the expedition. A short teaser movie was also shot at that time.

April 20th – May 15th 2009 - Mountaineering Course in the Alps
During the spring of 2009, Malang, Afiat Khan, Gurg Ali and Amruddin will spend one month in the Alps to complete their mountaineering skills through a technical training course. The course will be organized under the guidance of the national school of ski and alpinism (ENSA) by Jean Annequin and Simon Destombes, the two guides on the expedition. This training session will take place in Chamonix and will give them a last preparation on rock, snow and ice climbing techniques to make them ready for Noshaq ascent. This session will also enable them to work as professional mountain guides upon their return to Afghanistan. A diploma will confirm this instruction. This training period will also gives us an opportunity to visit our partners and organize meetings and conferences. The four Afghan heroes will be ambassadors of their homeland and thus promote the Wakhan and tourism in the region. These events will take place in Paris, Lyon and Chamonix.

April 20th – May 15th 2009 - Mountaineering Course in the Alps
During the spring of 2009, Malang, Afiat Khan, Gurg Ali and Amruddin will spend one month in the Alps to complete their mountaineering skills through a technical training course. The course will be organized under the guidance of the national school of ski and alpinism (ENSA) by Jean Annequin and Simon Destombes, the two guides on the expedition.
This training session will take place in Chamonix and will give them a last preparation on rock, snow and ice climbing techniques to make them ready for Noshaq ascent. This session will also enable them to work as professional mountain guides upon their return to Afghanistan. A diploma will confirm this instruction.
This training period will also gives us an opportunity to visit our partners and organize meetings and conferences. The four Afghan heroes will be ambassadors of their homeland and thus promote the Wakhan and tourism in the region. These events will take place in Paris, Lyon and Chamonix.

July – August 2009 - Expedition
The expedition will take place in the summer of 2009. The team will arrive through the neighboring state of Tajikistan and enter Afghanistan at Ishkashim, a town located at the entrance of the Wakhan corridor, one hour away from the Noshaq valley. A base camp will be set up at 4 600 meters, a three-day walk up the valley. The route taken will be the western ridge (D quotation, rock parts in IV max, narrow couloir of 200 meters at the top, 40°, 50° max). The expedition will last a total of 40 days. The expedition will be performed in full respect of the natural and cultural heritage of Afghanistan and beyond any religious consideration. All of the expedition’s waste will be collected along the way so that the team will leave no lasting prints on the land. The mountain will remain as it was when the team arrived. The fixed ropes and other traces of our ascent will be removed.
Upon returning, the equipment used for this expedition will be donated to a mountaineering club, which will be created in the Wakhan valley. The four young Afghan guides participating in this adventure will then be able to start their careers as mountain guides and organize more treks and expeditions in the years to come.

Communication

Communication is an integral part of this project in order to tell the whole world about the feat of the first Afghan at the top of Noshaq, and shed some positive light on the Wakhan area.

- The movie " 24,000 feet above the war "
A film documentary will be produced to share the adventure of these four Afghans, from the pastures of their valley to the top of the highest mountain of their country. This movie will reach a large international audience, in Afghanistan as well as abroad.

- Exhibition and conferences will be organized after the expedition

- A book of text and pictures will recount the different steps of the project


© 2009 Afghans to the top - Registered association