Eastern Zaalayskiy Range, Pik Alexander Gybaev. On July 24, 2008, a group of climbers associated with the Moscow Aviation Institute made the first ascent of Pik 5,368m in the Eastern Zaalayskiy Range. This peak is the highest point of a sub-range branching north from Zarya Vostoka (6,349m, first ascent 2000, see AAJ2001), and is situated between the Nura and East Kyzylsu (Kyzilsy) glaciers. From the summit there is a fine view, particularly toward the Alay Valley. Despite the feeling of visiting a relatively remote location, almost every night we could see a stream of lights in the Alay: trucks carrying goods from China and returning with scrap metal.
After acclimatizing on straightforward Pik 4,713m, situated above the true left bank of the East Kyzylsu, our team approached Pik 5,368m from the northwest, following the first left (eastern) fork of the East Kyzylsu Glacier. It took us two days to get to the base of the steep, icy, northwest face of Pik 5,368m, from where only four hours were needed to reach the summit. From our top camp we snowshoed to the bergshrund, and then climbed five pitches of 50° ice straight to the snowy summit ridge. Eight of us reached the summit: D. Komarov, A. Lebedev (leader), Y. Maximovich, A. Timoshenkov, O. Yanchevskiy, A. Zharov, I. Zhdanov, and I. We rappeled the ascent route. With agreement from his family and Kyrgyz authorities, we named the peak after Alexander Gybaev, the first ascensionist of nearby Kurumdy Sharqi I (6,235m), II (6,192m), and III (6,086m), all in 2001, who disappeared in July 2004 on K2.
Dmitry Shapovalov, AAC