Kirghiz Range, Tien Shan. From June 20 to July 18 ten Yugoslav climbers visited the Kirghiz Ala Tau in the Soviet Tien Shan. The Tien Shan stretch deep into China, while westwards they break into several lower parallel ranges. The Kirghiz Ala Tau is the most northwesterly. It rises from extremely arid country. The peaks are jagged, icy and alpine in character. The weather was unstable, most days with rain or snow. There was the ever-present danger of rockfall. [In 1976 this part of the Tien Shan was visited by a combined Soviet-American expedition and several routes of high standard were made. See A.A.J., 1977, pages 45–48.—Editor.] We were based at the Ala Archa camp, accessible by car and 50 kilometers south from the Kirghiz capital, Frunze. The most interesting peaks are those around the Ak Sai Glacier. The highest is Pik Semenova Tienshanski (4875 meters, 15,994 feet). Other notable peaks with difficult faces are Pik Svobodnaya Koreya (Peak of Free Korea, 4740 meters, 15,551 feet), Korona (4860 meters, 15,945 feet) with many pinnacles, Balyan Bashi (4700 meters, 15,420 feet), Boks, 4240 meters, 13,944 feet) and Baichechekay (4620 meters, 15,158 feet). The rock is granite, but it is rotten. We made about 60 climbs, although we had problems. It was early in the year and rock routes had much snow and ice. The ice conditions were bad. The food was of poor quality and we had stomach problems. After July 10 the Russians didn’t let us climb. They were preparing a competition and one week before it nobody was allowed to climb in the region. The most important routes we climbed follow: on Svobodnaya Koreya, the first repeat of Henry Barber’s couloir on the north face by Edo Kororog, Ivan Kotnik, Vid Preložnik, the right buttress by Marija and Slavko Frantar and by Matej Banic, Aco Pepevnik, Lowe’s couloir by Pepvnik solo and by Marija and Slavko Frantar and a new route right of Lowe’s couloir by Cene Bercic, Kozorog, Ivan Rejc; on Balyan Bashi, the left buttress by Marija and Slavko Frantar; on Korona, the sixth pinnacle and buttress by Kotnik, Preložnik; on Boks, a new route by Kozorog and Rejc; on Baichechekey, the third buttress by Kotnik, Preložnik and by Banic, Pepevnik, Bojan Pollak. We also climbed new routes on Baichechekey, the left couloir by Poliak, Bercic; Ak Too, two couloirs by Kozorog, Rejc and by Banic, Pepevnik, Poliak; and on Pik Semenova Tienshanski, two routes one by Mirja and Slavko Frantar and the other by Poliak, Pepevnik.
Marija Frantar, Planinska Zveza Slovenije, Yugoslavia