|Quick overview - mountains|
|Peak Chapaeva North||6095 m|
|Khan Tengri||7010 m||Attempt up to 6400 m|
|Peak Trehglavnyj ("Triglav")||5500 m||up to 5110 m|
|Peak Pesni Abaja||4901 m|
This yurt is a "travellers' inn" at the road from Almaty to Karakol
The destination of this year's trip to the mountains of the world is
located between China and the CIS republics Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
Here in the Tien Shan, the "Heaven Mountains" the northernmost
7000 m peaks are found - Pik Pobeda ("peak of victory"), 7439 m high,
and Khan Tengri ("ruler of the skies"), a splendid pyramid with
a summit composed of marble, 7010 m high.
Landscape in Kyrgyzstan
Khan Tengri (7010 m)
After the journey by plane, so-called bus, and helicopter we reach the Inylchek
base camp at 4200 m in the beginning of August. It is situated at the huge
southern Inylchek glacier stretching about 60 km long with a width of mostly two
to four kilometers through the mountains, one of the world's longest glaciers.
A few wooden huts are crowded on the side moraine including the toilets with the world's
best view, and a kitchen tent where the Russian cook Nelly takes care of us
very well, when we can not go to the high camps due to bad weather.
Unfortunately that happens quite often here, the weather is enormously
unstable. Almost every day against afternoon, a roll of bad weather is rushing towards
us from the west, and then it roars and torms for an hour, sometimes only for
ten minutes. But this horrible weather is uncomfortable enough, making a
mountain ascent of several days very hard to plan.
Southern Inylchek Glacier, view outside the valley
Shortly after a bad weather front has passed.
After some days we begin the first ascent towards Khan Tengri.
At 5000 m, we have to cross the "mother of all crevasses". The
only passage to the upper glacier basin requires a daring step over a
crevasse surely deeper than a usual rope length. And it becomes a bit wider
every day. Quite a bit beyond that, at 5800 m, we dig snow caves like all our
neighbours and climb the north summit of Peak Chapaev (6095 m) the next day.
The main summit was forbidden by camp leader Sergey; he doesn't like
us to rush down towards the valley together with the summit cornice.
Ascending to our first high camp at Khan Tengri. In the background the Inylchek glacier and Peak of the Military Topographers (6860 m), located directly at the Chinese frontier.
Peak Chapaev, seen from very far below.
Peak Pobeda seen from the base camp. This view is given sitting at the most important location of every basecamp (the loo).
Peak Maxim Gorki (6050 m) is enthroned directly above the basecamp South Inylchek.
Bad weather in the base camp.
So we change destinations to the smaller mountains of the region, so the three-summit
"Triglav"(5500 m) and Peak Abaya (4901 m), carrying a daring summit cornice
which is oviously reserved for the completely crazy as a final ascent. Crossing the Inylchek glacier
turns out to be quite a big adventure, with torrential rivers and deep ice gorges.
Peak Pesni Abaja (4901 m), on the other side of the glacier
After these high alpine adventures, we move to a mountain range near Biskek, the capital of
Kyrgyzstan. Here the mountains are "only" 4800 m high, and all reminds a bit to the
Mont Blanc region. The mountain we climb is, however, an absolutely simple scree slope
from the south, and completely glacier covered from the north - the "teacher" (4527 m).
Probably so-called because one has a nice overview over the range from this mountain.
Tame mountain goat in the "lower" camp Maida Adir at 2500 m, where we change from helicopter to truck (if the truck would arrive...)
Camp site Ak-Saj (3300 m) in the Ala-Archa valley
Shortly before the "Teacher's" summit
Covered market in Almaty