There is a tentative sense of security on the streets of Kabul as the Taliban engage with US diplomats in peace talks in Doha, Qatar. The conflict here has cost billions of dollars for many countries and claimed the lives of many on all sides – but there is still adventure to be had in this, the most unlikeliest of places.
After topping up our flasks with hot green tea from a friendly street vendor, we set off towards the mountain. Research tells me it’s around 3000m high and judging by the profile of the slopes; would need safety gear to mitigate the avalanche risk of the last section. For now, we’re going to hike up through the snow to a bivvy spot around 2500m.
We’re led by Shoaib, a charismatic thirty-year old Hazara man that trains in these hills almost every week. He knows the route like the back of his hand and makes the perfect guide for showing us the way. Shoaib speaks a little English however it’s miles better than my Dari / Farsi and we get by just fine. We only met a few days prior in a café after talking online for a couple of months. Being regularly in touch with the sports community in Afghanistan means