American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, CIS—Kirgizia, Peaks Twelve Kilometers West of Pik Pobedy, Tien Shan

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

Peaks Twelve Kilometers West of Pik Pobedy, Tien Shan. Our expedition was composed of Austrians Leo Baumgartner, leader, Dr. Andreas Paul, Gernot Madritsch, Hubert Engl, Heli Ortner, Netherlander Ton Biesemaan and Germans Tom Stöger and me. On September 15, we were flown by helicopter from Alma Ata in 2½ hours to the Khan Tengri Base Camp. From there, Stöger, Engl, Ortner and I were flown further to a glacial valley twelve kilometers to the west of Pik Pobedy, where we set up our Base Camp at 4000 meters on the Proletariatski Turist Glacier. We were the first climbers in the area. (The others stayed in the Khan Tengri area.) On the eastern side of our valley there were five pinnacles shaped like shark’s teeth. On September 16, Stöger and I climbed the First Shark’s Tooth (c.5100 meters, c. 16,733 feet) by its west face and north ridge. The rock was rotten and of UIAA II and III difficulty. The ice was up to 60°. The upper section, where we roped, had loose snow and cornices. Only one of us could stand on the summit at a time. On the 18th, Stöger and I climbed on its east face to a 5200-meter foresummit of what we called “Half Moon.” This lies on the ridge between the Komsomolez and Proletariatski Turist Glaciers. The lower part was of UIAA III+ and 45° ice. We did not attempt the north ridge between the foresummit and the main peak as it was too dangerous because of deep snow, cornices and séracs. On both September 16 and 18, Engl and Ortner also attempted the same peak by its south ridge but they gave up because of bad conditions and technical difficulties.

Edi Birnbacher, Deutscher Alpenverein

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