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Asia, USSR, Pik Kommunizma and Pik Korzhenevskoi Winter Ascents

Pik Kommunizma and Pik Korzhenevskoi Winter Ascents, 1986. Serious winter mountaineering in the USSR has only comparatively recently begun. Until the beginning of 1986, no notable peaks in the Pamir Mountains had been climbed in winter. In January 1985 a reconnaissance was made to the foot of Pik Kommunizma. Weather and climbing conditions were studied. From their findings, three strong expeditions decided to make tries in early 1986. One was a national team led by Valeri Putrin, set up as a training program for future Soviet Himalayan expeditions. They were joined by Uzbeks led by Vadim Elchibekov on Pik Kommunizma. The Borodkin Buttress, covered with hard winter ice, took much preparation. They set up camps above their Moskvin Base Camp at 5100, 5800 and 6200 meters. On February 1, two groups climbed to the plateau and placed in snow caves a high camp at 6900 meters on Pik Dushanbe. On February 4, 1986, seven men reached the summit (7483 meters, 24,551 feet). They were Vladimir Balyberdin, Vladimir Shopin, Yuri Rasumov, Mikhail Turkevitch, Gennadi Vailenko, Aleksei Moskalkov and Yuri Yanovitch. They had to bivouac on the descent and suffered frostbite. Helped by stable weather, on February 7, seventeen more climbers got to the top. Meanwhile the third team, from Leningrad, attacked Pik Korzhenevskoi (7105 meters ,23,310 feet). They decided on the difficult but less windy south face. On February 7, 1986, eighteen men, including 1982 Everest climber, Leonid Troshchinenko, got to the summit. During their acclimatization, the Uzbeks made the first winter ascent of Musdzhilga (6376 meters, 20,919 feet).

Józef Nyka, Editor, Taternik, Poland