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Ak-su valley, various routes

During three weeks in August, Anna Backlund and I visited the Ak-su area. Our main goal was the 800m Perestroika Crack. As a warm-up we climbed an offwidth route on Petit Tour Russe: sevenpitches at 7a. Next we climbed a new line on the lower section of Peak Slesova or Russian Tower. To the left of the established Magic Mountain, we put up LazyLizard (14 pitches, 6b). No bolts were placed. We topped out by the fifth pitch of Perestroika Crack, giving us a good preview of that route. After climbing Perestroika Crack, we turned to Peak 3,850m, where we climbed a new route called Magic Line: 12 pitches, including what we called Black Magic Corner (7b+). For the descent we fixed single anchor points. The route starts 20m right of an Italian route from 1998 which has allfixed belays. On the central pillar of Peak 3,850 we also put up a shorter route (5 pitches, 7b), which we named Leaning Flower Tower. Also single anchors for the rappel. To get to this climb, continue up a couloir left of Petit Tour Russe approximately 200m and head sharp left over some steep terrain. Lookfor the cairns.

When going to this area we strongly recommend to be careful whichlocal tour operator to use. We arranged via Asia Travel, which tookus via Tajikistan on the way back. As this was not planned, we hadno visa and ended up spending two days in custody and were fined in court forentering the country with no permit.

Krister Jonsson, Sweden