Liayliak Valley, Rocky Ak-su, north face, Odessa Route. In July and August Ukrainians V. Cheban, A. Lavrinenko, T. Tsushko, and V. Mogi- la (leader) climbed a new 6A route up the right side of the north face of Rocky Ak-su (a.k.a. Aksu North, 5,217m). The route starts on the steep wall between the original line on Aksu, the 1982 Troshchinen- ko route (6A), and, to the right, the 1988 Pershin route (6B) and its more direct variant, the Klenov route (6B, 1996). After broken ground above the first buttress, the new route cuts through the Pershin route to take a line more toward the right edge of the second pillar. Above, it follows the Pershin and then the Troshchinenko up the long but easier ridge above to the summit.
The Odessa Route is 1,700m long, with technical difficulties up to A4. Eight camps were required on the face. With the exception of a 30m section below Camp 4 (at the top of the first buttress), the first 20 pitches (as far as Camp 6, midway up the second pillar) were new. The remaining 22 pitches to the summit coincided with the Pershin and/or Troshchinenko. The climbers left all pitons in place, and the ascent was awarded second place in the Alpinism category of the CIS championships.
Paul Knott, New Zealand, and Anna Piunova, www.mountain.ru, Russia