American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Kindik Valley, Pik Kindik, Northwest Rib; Pik 4,760m, North Flank. Kyzyl Alai Valley, Kyzyl Alai East, North Face

Kyrgyzstan, Pamir Alai

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Lindsay Griffin
  • Climb Year: 2019
  • Publication Year: 2020

In June a team led by Michal Kleslo climbed two peaks east of Kindik Pass in the Central Alai. Jakub Moravik and Michal Sranc climbed the steep, rocky northwest rib of Pik Kindik (4,927m, 39.789907°N, 72.709461°E), which in June was mostly snow and ice, to just below the top section of the southwest ridge. Here, they slanted up left over snow to the summit (Russian 2B). Other members of the team climbed the 45° northern snow slopes of Pik 4,760m (39.781530°N, 72.689783°E) more or less directly to the summit, where they discovered a cairn. They have been unable to find a name for this peak.

Kindik’s northwest rib may have been previously unclimbed.This area of the Alai, immediately north of Pik Lenin, is probably the most popular of the entire range, due to easy access from both south and north, avoiding disputed Uzbek and Tajik enclaves. Trekkers reach or cross passes here every year, but the climbing history is unclear. The two peaks noted above lie approximately 4km east of the highest mountain in this part of the range, Pik Skobelev (5,051m).

Kleslo ventured in July to an area farther east in the Alai, north of Sary Tash and the Pamir Highway (M41). Starting from the small settlement of Kyzyl Alai (ca 2,650m), his team walked northwest up the valley to place a base camp on the highest green terraces. From here it was one hour’s walk to reach the glacier on the north side of a double-summited peak, which they named Kyzyl Alai (Kyzyl Alai East, 4,360m, 39.902629°N, 73.217242°E; Kyzyl Alai West, 4,440m), as it dominates the view from the nearby settlement.

Conditions were icier here than during their June ascents farther west. The team slanted left up the icy north face of the eastern peak and into a couloir that led to the upper section of the north rib. The final stretch of the rib to the east summit was sharp and steep ice. The grade was 2A. Kleslo found no known previous ascents of this peak.

– Lindsay Griffin, from information provided by Michal Kleslo, Czech Republic,and Henri Leveque, France

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