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Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), Kyrgyzstan, West Kokshaal-Tau, Kokshaal-Tau, Various Ascents

Kokshaal-Tau, Various Ascents. From July 18-August 26, the united team of Moscow district climbed in the West Kokshaal-Tau. The chief of the expedition was Boris Starostin; the trainers were Fedor Akhmatov, Valerii Boiko, Victor Efimov and Eugeny Monaenkov. The 25 members of the expedition traveled to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, by train. We then traveled to Lake Isykkul by bus, then drove to Base Camp over two days in two light passenger lorries. After the last military checkpoint, we traveled the final 25 kilometers in the wide valley along the Uzen-Gush River. This was only possible in the morning then the water was low. Due to the skillful navigation of our drivers, we were able to place our camp at ca. 3500 meters near the Grivoriev Glacier at the confluence of the Uzen-Gush River and the river from the Palgov Glacier.

We made first ascents on seven summits of this valley during the expedition. The team of F. Akhmatov made perhaps the first ascent (5B) of Peak Chon-Turasu (5780m, a.k.a. Dzholdash) and climbed Peak 5013m from the east. The team of E. Manaenko traversed Peak Kryl’ya Sovetov (5B, 5450m) Peaks 4758m (4A) and 5200m (4B); the only previous attempt was in 1938. The team of V. Efimov made ascents of Peaks 4530m (2A) and 4825m (5A). A new route (5B) to the summit of Dankova (5986m, the highest peak of the region) was made by a team led by V. Boiko. The two previous ascents were made in 1972. Boiko’s team also climbed Peak 4730m.

On August 12, on the first ascent of Peak Cosmos (a.k.a. Schmidta, 5940m) via the north face, Igor Korsun was killed. All the group was covered by ice fall. All but Korsun incurred only bruises. Korsun suffered a fracture at the base of his skull. He did not regain consciousness and died two hours later. We lowered his body over two days to Base Camp. After this, the expedition was called off.

Viktor Efimov, Russia