American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Kichik-Alai (Little Alai), Gezart Valley: Korly-too, North Ridge; Pik Kamar (a.k.a. Djumas), Southeast Slopes and Upper East Ridge

Kyrgyzstan, Pamir, Alai Range

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Michal Kleslo
  • Climb Year: 2017
  • Publication Year: 2018


In August we visited the Gezart Valley, establishing base camp at 3,550m, not far from the start of the Gezart Glacier
. Our campsite was at least 10 hours’ walk to the south (either one very long day or two days’ trek) from the village of Ak Art, which can be reached by 4WD.

David Brezovjak and I led a team of nine up the standard route on Gezart (4,935m Russian map, 39°51'52.49"N, 72°24'43.52"E Google Earth), which is the northeast ridge via 4,481m Gezart Pass (1B for the crossing of the pass). This mountain is very rarely climbed. In fact, the Kichik-Alai is largely neglected and still has considerable scope for first ascents on 4,000m peaks, despite being relatively accessible from Osh. We have not been able to find any information on the first ascent of Gezart.

Josef Krena and Vaclav Stetina climbed what we believe to be a previously virgin peak, locally called Korly-too (Snowy Peak in Uzbek, 4,913m, 39°54'37.34"N, 72°26'8.48"E Google Earth). From base camp they walked east for around five hours, passing over large scree slopes and around hanging glaciers, to reach the 4,400m pass at the foot of the north ridge. They climbed the snow-ice arête of the north ridge (45°), with cornices on the left and short pitches of rock (UIAA III) that could have been avoided by 60° ice to the right. A final sharp crest led to the rocky summit, which they reached in three hours from the pass. The grade was 3A.

Kamil Bartos and Martin Krena climbed a rocky peak to the west of base camp, which they named Pik Kamar (4,324m Russian map, 39°54'35.56"N, 72°23'10.26"E Google Earth). However, Vladimir Komissarov, in his Mountaineering Regions of Kyrgyzstan, notes this peak as Djumas and the col immediately to its south as Djumas Pass, indicating that this pass has been crossed at 1B. Endless loose scree up to 40° on the southeast flank of Kamar led to the upper east ridge, which was followed easily to the summit. The grade was 1B.

– Michal Kleslo, Czech Republic

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