American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Pik Prezhevalskogo (6,240m), North Face

Asia, Kyrgyzstan, Tengri Tag

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Denis Urubko
  • Climb Year: 2011
  • Publication Year: 2012

Boris Dedeshko and I reached the North Inylchek Glacier on foot from Bayancol with all our gear. Our goal was the north face of Pik Prezhevalskogo, which lies up a side branch of the main glacier. The peak was climbed twice in 1974 but never since, while the north face, a noted objective, had been attempted at least once. Using snowshoes it took 15 hours from the standard base camp to the foot of the 1,480m wall.

At 3 a.m. on July 23 we started up the face following the central couloir and climbed 21 pitches by the end of the day. Next morning was misty and, after climbing two more ice pitches, we reached the foot of the large triangular rocky headwall, where we started to work right, following a prominent mixed ramp through the triangle. The rock was shattered with only superficial cracks, but the day was warm, and we often climbed bare-handed. By the second night we had climbed a further five and a half pitches, with difficulties of 5b-6a and M4. There was no platform big enough to pitch the tent on, so we had to sit. Fortunately the night was warm.

We began the third day with the technical crux, directly above our bivouac site. We free-climbed for 15m to a large bulge and used aid for another 15m in a reasonable crack. Difficulties were 6b M5 A2. We then traversed right, at around M4, and by the days end had completed six pitches when we spotted a good place to pitch the tent. Boris, seeing I was tired, excavated the site and collected ice for melting.

Next morning the weather was still fine. We climbed three pitches and exited the triangular headwall onto the ridge, where we left our packs and climbed 400m of easy snow to the summit, arriving at midday. There were clouds in the west but not the threatening sort. We descended west and reached a saddle, where we camped for the night. We then went down to the north and, unable to locate a possible ice couloir, made 14 rappels of 30m on rock. We reached our cached supply of food and fuel that evening and on the 27th regained the standard North Inylchek base camp.

Denis Urubko, Kazakhstan, supplied by Anna Piunova,

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