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Asia, CIS, Fanskiye Gory, Tadzhikistan, 1992

Fanskiye Gory, Tadzhikistan, 1992. On June 16, 1992, Rick and Alison Allen, Sharu Prabhu and our Russian hosts, Sergei Yefimov and Valeri Pershin, drove all day by truck and jeep, along good roads, and finally a rough track, into the Fanski Mountains and to Base Camp at the roadhead, just north of Alaudin Lake. After several days for acclimatization, we climbed to camp at 4020 meters on the glacial moraine below the peak, Zamok (5070 meters, 16,634 feet). On June 22, we walked up the Zamok Glacier, which steepened into a couloir which we climbed. After a long traverse to the north, we reached the southeast ridge which we followed to reach the summit of Zamok in five hours of scrambling. On the 24th, we left Base Camp to attempt the highest peak, Chimtarga (5482 meters, 17,985 feet). We camped at 4000 meters above Mutne Lakes. Yefimov, Sharu Prabhu and I teamed up together, while Rick Allen set off ahead with Pershin in the lead. The latter is one of Russia’s finest rock climbers. The deep covering of snow made difficult rock climbing even harder. Eventually, we arrived at a good bivouac ledge on the east ridge at 5000 meters. On June 26, we continued up the east ridge and after many hard pitches were stopped 50 meters below the summit. On the 27th, we roamed over several summits, including the highest, and made a long descent down the north ridge to a pass and then abseiled down in waist-deep snow over avalanche-threatened cliffs into a gorge. We then glissaded and walked to Mutne Lakes and Base Camp. Rick then reclimbed Zamok with Alison. We packed up and left Base Camp on June 30 for Samarkand.

Douglas Scott, Alpine Climbing Group