American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, China, Kun Lun, Muztagh Ata (7,546m), South Ridge

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 2006

Muztagh Ata (7,546m), south ridge. On August 24 Valery Shamalo and I from St. Petersburg reached the main summit of Muztagh Ata via the south ridge. As we were well acclimatized after our ascent of Koskulak and had previous experience on the Kalaxong Glacier, we were able to reach the 6,100m col between Koskulak and Kalaxong in one day from the standard Muztagh Ata base camp. We made our first camp on this col at the head of the Kalaxong Glacier. The next day we climbed the ridge above to ca. 6,800m for our second night and by the following night had reached 7,200m, just below the saddle between Kalaxong and the main summit. The route had involved snow climbing almost throughout, though at two points we climbed rocky sections, as it appeared easier to progress on rock than break trail through difficult snow. Next day we reached the summit of Muztagh Ata, our biggest problem being cold temperatures and a strong wind, giving the feeling that autumn was upon us. From the summit we descended the old Classic (1956) Route. Visibility was far from perfect, but the trail was well marked with red flags and easy to follow.

We passed below Kalaxong (7,277m; sometimes referred to as Muztagh Ata South), but on September 4 three members of another expedition, Dmitry Chijik, Vladimir Kagan, and Petr Yudin from a large Russian expedition led by Andrey Lebedev, repeated our route and also climbed Kalaxong.

Alexey Gorbatenkov, Mountainguides.ru, Russia

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