The South Wall of Tirich Mir East
Tirich Mir, in northern Pakistan, is the name not only of a mountain with two main peaks, but also of a mountain massif. The massif resembles an octopus, the head of which comprises the twin peaks of 25,263 and 25,237 feet, while the tapering tentacles are mountain ridges with peaks of 24,564, 24,076, 23,150, and 22,237 feet and down to 15,000 feet. Like the tentacles of an octopus, these ridges curve from side to side, but unlike tentacles, they divide into lateral ridges. From the town of Chitral three main ridges are visible, but naturally only the very highest: the South Ridge (more correctly, the Southwest Ridge), which we reached at a height of 23,000 feet in 1950 and followed to the summit at 25,263 feet; the Southeast Ridge, which I visited in 1949 at 20,000 feet; and the East Ridge, so far unvisited. The last-named ridge runs in an unbroken line from approximately 18,000 feet to the top, hence the impressive, although not very steep, appearance of the east profile. If we include the long ridges leading up to the twin summits, the Tirich Mir Massif covers about one hundred square miles. Apart from the two highest peaks, the area includes about fifteen other peaks of more than 20,000 feet.
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