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Asia, USSR, Pik Kommunizma

Pik Kommunizma. Our 11-member team was composed of Scott Fisher, leader, Wes Krause, Stacey Allison, George Schunk, Brad Udall, Steve Manfredo, Mike Carr, Liz Nichol, Maggie Fox, George Kahrl, and me. Leaving Moscow at midnight, we arrived at the Achik-Tash Base on July 12 after 7 hours of flying and a 4-hour bus ride. After two days at Achik-Tash, acclimatizing, being issued the unique Soviet mountain rations, meeting with the International climbing directors, and overcoming jet lag, we were helicoptered in two loads to the Moskvin Base. Turning our attention to the Borodkin route, we established Camp I (17,000 feet) on July 17, Camp II (19,800 feet) on July 19 on the Pamir Ice Plateau, and sat out an unusual week-long storm before moving to Camp III (21,600 feet) on July 26, and Camp IV (23,100 feet) near the summit of Dushanbe Peak on July 27. The next day Fisher, Krause, Allison, Schunk and I reached the 7,483-meter (24,550-foot) summit; it is worth noting that Stacey Allison may be the first American woman to have climbed Pik Kommunizma. Tragically, Steve Manfredo died two days later on July 30 at 15,500 feet from complications related to the pulmonary edema he contracted at Camp IV the night of July 27.

Mark Udall