The Swiss go wild camping

Four jolly Helvetian skiers in a red VW bus reach the Afghan border on a quest to scale Afghanistan’s highest peak.

It all started with the trials and tribulations of Loïs Robatel and Arnaud Cottet who set off from Nyon on the 29th April in their cherry-red VW with expedition gear on-board including their monochromatic neon yellow black crows. The two sidekicks made the most of the journey by stopping off to ski Mount Olympus (2984m) in Greece, Mount Süphan (4058m) in Turkey and Iran’s Mount Damavand (5610m). With this merry warm up done and dusted they whizzed through Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to reach Tajikistan. Having been joined by the other members of the expedition team, guide Sege Thélin and director Nicolas Bossard, they now find themselves on Afghanistan’s threshold aiming to head to the Wakhan valley and arrive at the base of Noshaq.

The sole previous attempt to climb Noshaq was by an Austrian-led team in 1970. The 2015 endeavour will share this legacy with the production of a documentary based on archive images which will draw parallels between the two trips. During the first expedition you could smoke hash in the streets of Kabul and ride a motorbike topless all the way to Delhi. Things have changed a bit since then but the mountain is still just as beautiful.

They’re on the web: www.skiingnoshaq.com

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