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Asia, USSR, Soviet Climbing in the Pamir Mountains and the Tien Shan, 1980

Soviet Climbing in the Pamir Mountains and the Tien Shan, 1980. Despite generally bad weather in 1980 in the mountains of the USSR, a number of new big-wall climbs were made on the high peaks by Soviet climbers. The 9000-foot-high south face of Pik Kommunizma was climbed from July 29 to August 11, 1980 by nine Red Army climbers led by K. Valiev. They placed over 300 rock and ice pitons and often had only sitting bivouacs. The new routes were done on 7105-meter (23,310-foot) Pik Korzhenevskoi. A. Putinzev led six Tashkent climbers up the west buttress, 1500 feet of which were of UIAA VI difficulty; A. Bashmakov and his Leningrad team took seven days to make the route up the neighboring west face. A new route was done by climbers led by E. Kondakov on the northwest face of Pik Revolyutsiya (6974 meters, 22,881 feet); two-thirds was of UIAA V and VI. Five instructors from the Pamir climbing camp led by W. Hatukov took five days in July to climb the 5500-foot west face of Pik Akhmada Donisha. The 5500-foot east face of 5959-meter (19,551-foot) Holodnaya Stena had been unsuccessfully attempted numerous times. It yielded three routes in 1980, each of which had 2000 feet of UIAA VI climbing. W. Solonnikov’s Leningrad group climbed the center of the wall; W. Kovtun’s Ukrainians climbed the more difficult left side; the right side fell to climbers led by O. Shumilov, who had to wait out a five-day storm on the wall. Leningrad climbers led by J. Fedotov climbed the 5500-foot- high southeast face of P 5224 (17,139 feet), making the first ascent of the peak. In luly S. Efimov led six climbers from Sverdolovsk on the north face of P 5200 (17,061 feet). (Epimov was one of the hosts of the American Alpine Club group in the Pamir in 1978.) A five-man team from Kharkov led by S. Bershov climbed the 6500-foot north face of P 5730 (18,799 feet) from July 21 to August 1 in bad weather. They claim to have climbed 5500 feet of UIAA VI. In the Tien Shan four Kirghiz climbers led by E. Stelzov climbed the 6500-foot west face of Pik Pogrebezkogo (6487 meters, 21,283 feet) in bad weather from August 1 to 10. All these climbs had climbing of UIAA V and VI difficulty. A fuller report appears in Alpinismus of June, 1981.