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Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Pamir Alai – Karavshin, Kara-su Valley, Kirkchilta, Northwest Face

Kara-su Valley, Kirkchilta, northwest face. Pavla

Pavlikova and I climbed a new line (1,000 Years of Russian Christianity, 4,507m) on the northwest face of Kirkchilta. The walls of Kotina, Kirkchilta, and Asan lie an hour and a half above base camp in the Kara-su. Base Camp was in a wonderful spot next to a clear stream and boulders, surrounded by granite towers. However, be prepared to share this idyllic setting with cows and donkeys. Fifteen minutes from camp is a hut, where locals sell lipjoska bread and mut- ton.We chose a line to the right of the 2006 Polish Route, Czarna Wolga, and spent two days getting equipment to the foot of the wall. With no fixed ropes, we hauled our gear at the end of each two-pitch block, which took a lot of time and energy. In addition the weather was poor, so we progressed slowly. It took four days to reach Camp 3 at the end of the seventh pitch. The first three pitches were 6b or 6b+ but the crux fourth was considerably more difficult: 45 meters of 6c+/7a with poor pro. The fifth was reasonable 5a; the sixth (6c Al) involved cracks, slabs, and a 15m tension traverse to a corner.Running short of food, we took bare essentials and climbed fast above Camp 3. Another eight pitches of reasonable climbing (generally 6a, with one pitch of 6b) led to a large broken terrace, where we terminated the route. On pitch 14 we found an old nut, which we presume belonged to the Poles, whose route paralleled ours to the left. From the terrace we made seven rappels back to Camp 3, each from a single bolt anchor. On our sixth day we rappeled to the ground, removing all gear. We named the 900m-long climb Rock Warrior’s Way (6c/7a Al).

Jan Horek, Czech Republic