High Camp on the Issik Glacier; Photograph courtesy Dylan Taylor
The last time Dylan Taylor saw his climbing partner, Aiden, they were peering at each other from either side of a razor-wire fence between the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, having set out on a climbing expedition 36 days earlier. At the start, neither one of them imagined that the hardest challenge wouldn’t be a first ascent of a 20,000-foot peak, but navigating in this confusing, foreign land.
Not that attempting to climb little-known peaks in Afghanistan was easy. Far from it. As Dylan’s third team member, Mick, said, once you’re climbing, it becomes familiar. It’s everything leading up to that point that is so foreign, challenging, and exhausting.
This was Dylan’s second trip to the Wakhan Corridor, the northeastern region of Afghanistan that pokes past Tajikistan and Pakistan to brush the western edge of China. Wild and remote, it’s…
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