American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, CIS—Kirgizia, P 4810, 1000 Years of Russian Christianity, Piramidalny and Other Peaks, Pamir Alai

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1993

P 4810, 1000 Years of Russian Christianity, Piramidalny and Other Peaks, Pamir Alai, Kirgizia. Tierry Schmitter, Matthijs van Hasselt, Hans Lanters and I climbed many peaks during our five-week stay in the Asan region. Together with our hosts from Minsk, we arrived at Base Camp at 2800 meters in the Kara Su valley on July 1. After an easy acclimatization climb on Duchtar-Cha (3800 meters, 12,467 feet), we climbed the east buttress (5.10a) of Usan (4329 meters, 14,203 feet) on July 4. On July 8, we climbed the probably virgin, 1000-meter- high, east face of Kara Su Peak (5309 meters, 17,419 feet) in five hours. On the summit ridge lay soft snow on unfavorably layered rotten rock. The first 300 meters of the descent along the north ridge were also tricky. We next turned our attention to the fantastic granite spires. On July 11 and 12, we tried unsuccessfully to make the second ascent of the French route on the east face of P 3850 (12,631 feet) in the Ak Su valley, but we could not find the passage over the big roof halfway up the wall. After a period of rain, we turned to the east-southeast pillar (Kritsuk route, 1300-meters, 5.11, third ascent) of 1000 Years of Russian Christianity (4520 meters, 14,830 feet). On July 17, we bivouacked after 800 meters of mainly 5.7 with two pitches of 5.10c. The next day, the sustained most difficult section awaited us. We mastered 14 pitches before bivouacking. We reached the summit the next morning at 10:30 A.M. after six 5.8 pitches. The descent was long and difficult, with 15 diagonal abseils along the south ridge, followed by 600 meters of abseiling and down-climbing the couloir between our peak and P 4810. We arrived at Base Camp at 11:30 P.M. On July 22, we made what was probably the first one-day round-trip on Asan Peak (4204 meters, 13,793 feet), following the popular Alperin route on the southwest buttress (700 meters, 5.10b). On July 25, we completed the climb of Piramidalny (5509 meters, 18,075 feet) in 5½ hours from an intermediate camp at 4200 meters. Only one pitch under a sérac proved difficult. After bad weather, Smitter and I made the second ascent of the Dutch variant, “Slippery People” (5.10c), on the Yellow Wall. The next day, August 1, we joined van Hasselt and Lanters at the foot of the southwest buttress of the Fitz Roy-like peak, P 4810 (15,781 feet). They had already prepared the first two pitches. In a very long day we climbed to reach a good ledge, 20 meters from the summit in the last rays of the sun. Our 800-meter-high ascent was mainly of 5.7 to 5.9 difficulty with a few harder pitches up to 5. l0d. The next day we enjoyed the view from the summit and made 30 rappels down the ascent route. The trip was very well organized by our Belorussian friends.

Roland Bekendam, Koninklijke Nederlandse Alpen Vereniging

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