AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, Former USSR, Khan Tengri and Pik Pobedy

Khan Tengri and Pik Pobedy. Our expedition was composed of Roger Payne, Iain Peter and Allen Fyffe from the UK and me from New Zealand. Our trip was arranged through the International Mountaineering Camp Khan Tengri based in Alma Ata. We were flown from Moscow to Alma Ata and transported by van to Camp Karkara in the foothills. We were flown by helicopter to Base Camp on the South Inylichek Glacier at 4100 meters. After a week of acclimatization, we left on July 23 for an attempt on Khan Tengri. The first afternoon, we traveled to an Advance Base on the glacier at 4300 meters. After a night there, we continued up the avalanche-prone Semenovsky Glacier to camp at 5400 meters. On July 25, we ascended to snow caves beneath the west col at 5800 meters and rested a few hours before going onto the west ridge itself. Payne and I bivouacked at 6200 meters while the other two continued on to 6400 meters. There are few campsites on the ridge and they are small and exposed. On the 26th, Peter and Fyffe climbed to the summit but Payne and I, feeling the altitude, descended to Base Camp. We two set out again on July 28 and reached the summit of Khan Tengri on the 30th. Peter and Fyffe headed for Pik Pobedy but were turned back by bad weather. All four of us moved to Advance Base on the Zvezdozhka Glacier at the foot of Pik Pobedy on August 5. On the 6th, we climbed up to the Dickey Pass and up the north ridge of the west peak to snow caves at 5800 meters. Two nights were spent there due to bad weather. On August 8, it dawned clear and in a very long day we climbed the west peak (6918 meters, 22,698 feet) and traversed a short distance along the west ridge of Pik Pobedy to snow caves at 6900 meters. The next day, Fyffe and Peter climbed to the summit (7439 meters, 24,276 feet). Payne and I followed a day later on August 10. These were the first New Zealand ascents of both peaks and the first UK ascent of Pik Pobedy and the second of Khan Tengri. Prior to our arrival, another British team (Rick Allen, Simon Yates and Shaun Smith) had made the first British ascent of Khan Tengri, also by the normal west ridge. Their attempt on Pik Pobedy was turned back by illness and bad weather.

Julie-Ann Clyma, New Zealand Alpine Club