Admiral Peak, Ak Su Valley, Pamir Alai, Kirghizstan. Jerry Hadwin, Clive Davis, Andy Lewington and I flew on July 18 on a new direct seven-hour flight from London to Tashkent, where we were met by our Russian hosts from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute and driven to an old military airfield for a 90-minute helicopter ride to Base Camp in the Ak Su valley. The Russians had already established Base Camp. From July 19 to 21, we ferried loads to a glacier camp below the northeast pillar of Admiral (5090 meters, 16,700 feet).On the 23rd, we moved to this camp and from the 24th to the 30th, Hadwin, Davis and I climbed capsule-style a previously established Russian route on this fine 900-meter pillar of generally good granite. We climbed four or five pitches fixing a static rope, descending to the loads, and jümaring and hauling loads to the new high point before pulling up the rope. The 29 pitches were of a sustained 5.10/5.10+ and A1/A2, entailing big-wall and alpine gear and a haul bag full of ice from the bergschrund for our water supply. We descended to the Ak Su valley on the 31st. Meanwhile, Lewington with our Russian hosts made two single-day routes on “House Peak” (c. 3900 meters, 12,795 feet) and the east pillar of Maly (Little) Iskander (4520 meters, 14,830 feet), a fine 12-pitch 5.9 climb on good granite. Hadwin and I later repeated this climb. The weather was generally excellent and the area offers many steep walls and buttresses with good granite.
Neil McAdie, Alpine Climbing Group