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Pik Rototaev, Northwest Ridge

In 1995, a Russian-Swiss team made a long exploratory journey through the eastern end of the Western Kokshaal-too. The team was Otto Chkhetiani, Vadimir Nikitin, Dmitry Oborotov, and Felix Weinstein, all from Moscow except for Weinstein, who is Swiss. From July 15 to August 9, in a round trip from the border outpost of Karakoz, the team traveled a distance of 231km, crossed seven passes, and made at least one first ascent.

The meat of this journey took them from the Chonturasu Glacier to the Palgov Glacier (an ascent of Pik Molodezhnyi, 5,330m, first climbed in 1969, was made en route). From the east branch of the upper Palgov Glacier, the team made an attempt on Pik Kosmos (5,940m), climbing the southwest flank of the northwest ridge to reach the crest southeast of Pik 5,681m. From here they continued as far as the western foresummit (5,820m), which they named Pik Rototaev. The ascent was graded 3A. A similar lengthy journey was completed by a different group of Russians in 1997, but no significant peaks appear to have been climbed.

– Lindsay Griffin, from information supplied by Otto Chkhetiani, Russia