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Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Pamir Alai, Tien Shan, Khan Tengri, North Face, Ascent

Khan Tengri, north face, ascent. From August 20 to 29 Pavel Shabalin and Ilyas Tukhvatullin made the first two-man ascent of the prestigious north face of Khan Tengri (6,995m) above the northern Inylchek Glacier. The pair climbed the central section of the face, starting up the Studenin Route, climbing the middle part via the Myslovsky Route, and finishing up the chimney of the Zacharov Route. They were forced to spend half a day on the face mending a stove and another full day sitting out bad weather. This is the first time a two-man team has climbed the formidable 2,000m face, previous ascents having involved large teams climbing in expedition style. There are thought to have been six previous attempts by duos to climb the face, the last in 2004 when the well-known Polish climber Grzegorz Skorek was killed while retreating from an attempt on a possible new route (AAJ 2005, p. 341). To date no parties outside the CIS have climbed the face. An article on the Shabalin-Tukhvatullin ascent appears earlier in this Journal.