Ak-Su North Peak, First Winter Ascents. The winter season of 1998-’99 saw the first two winter ascents of the enormous north face of Ak-Su North Peak. Pavel Chabaline (Kirov) led the first team to summit; in typical Russian style, he led all the pitches on the route, Cold Corner (6A, 1860m), while the other two members, Alexander Abramov (Moscow) and Ilias Tukhvatulin (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), took other roles (belaying, hauling, etc.) for the duration of the climb. The team spent 11 days on the wall, topping out on the night of December 21-22.
The second team comprised two men from Ekaterinburg, Mikhail Pershin and Igor Nefyedov. After two days spent preparing the route, they started climbing the 1988 Chaplinsky route (6B, 1825m) on December 13. The two spent about seven of the 18 days they were on the route waiting for good weather. They made the top of the wall late on December 31 in a complete whiteout with terrible wind and reached the summit in time for the new year. Four rappels into the descent on January 1, they were stopped again by a terrible storm that forced them to wait another two days for “reasonably bad weather.” An account of both ascents appears earlier in this journal.
Vladimir Shataev, Russian Mountaineering Federation