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Asia, Former USSR, Piramidalny

Piramidalny. In the summer of 1991, five climbers from the United Kingdom visited the Ak-Su massif. After a delay caused by a mud slide on a road, we were finally helicoptered to the Asan Base Camp on August 2 from the Ak-Su International Base Camp. We spent the rest of the day ascending Point Holland, a rock gendarme of perfect granite. The following day, we made a fine climb on the Yellow Wall. After bad weather, time began to run out. We established an advance base in hopes that the clouds would lift. Miraculously, the next morning dawned clear. The first day saw us gain the west ridge at 4500 meters. The next day, we climbed over a subsidiary peak and descended to a 5000-meter col. The final day of the ascent took us to the summit (5507 meters, 18,068 feet) of Piramidalny. The major obstacle was four sustained pitches of ice cliffs. We returned to the col that night. It took a further day to descend to Base Camp via easy slopes at the head of the glacier formed by the west ridge.

Trevor Martin, England