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Asia, USSR, Khan Tengri and Pik Pobedy

Khan Tengri and Pik Pobedy. The 3000-meter-high snow-and-ice north face of Khan Tengri is the highest and most severe wall in the Tien Shan. There are seven routes on the face, but all had been climbed by Soviets in teams of at least six using much material and fixed ropes. Josef Nežerka and I were the first to climb this gigantic wall alpine-style. We were on the climb from July 20 to 27, reaching the summit (6995 meters, 22,950 feet) on July 26 (UIAA V, 80°). We had planned to take four days for the ascent but already on the second day the weather turned unfavorable, which slackened our pace considerably. In the lower part we followed the route of the Studentin team and in the upper part that of the Myslovski team. We descended the west ridge to the 5900-meter pass and then to the south to the International Mountaineering Camp on the South Inylcheck Glacier. Seven days after our descent to the camp, Nežerka, Miloslav Neuman and I climbed Pik Pobedy (7439 meters, 24,407 feet) over the Diki Pass and Pik Vazha Pshavel. Thus Neuman became the first Czechoslovak and the third non-Soviet climber to become a Snow Leopard. (The other two are Americans.) This title is given to mountaineers who have successfully climbed all the four peaks over 7000 meters in the Soviet Union.

ZoltÁn DemjÁn, Slovenský Horolezecký Zvaz, Czechoslovakia