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Pik Beletskiy, Southeast Glacier and Face

Tajikistan, Pamir

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Michal Kleslo
  • Climb Year: 2019
  • Publication Year: 2020

After an acclimatization ascent of Kyzyl Alai East in the Pamir Alai (see report here), my team headed for Karakol Lake and the Pamir in July. From the M41 (the Sary Tash to Karakol Lake road) in the Markansu Valley, we walked west up the Uysu Valley for two days to place a base camp at 4,800m on the northern bank of the Uysu Glacier.

Our original plan was to continue up the valley to Piks VFM (Voenno Morskogo Flota, 5,842m) and Korzhenevskiy (6,005m), but we found the glacier ahead impassable. After climbing a rocky pinnacle, which we named Pik Panorama (5,250m, 39°20'15.91"N, 73°8'50.67"E), to the north of our base camp and on the south ridge of Pik Stepanovicha, we saw there was a feasible ascent route to Pik Beletskiy (6,050m, 39°21'51.91"N, 73°8'26.82"E). This summit, on the main ridge of the Northern Pamir, which defines the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan frontier, had never been climbed from the south; the few previous ascents all were made during traverses of the Northern Pamirs. [With 7,134m Pik Lenin just a few dozen kilometers to the west, very few climbers have been interested in these summits of around 6,000m.]

We climbed the broken glacier to the west of Panorama until reaching a large plateau on a hanging glacier, where we set up a high camp at 5,360m. From there we climbed the glaciated and crevassed southeast face to reach the upper south spur, followed that onto the main watershed ridge, and continued over easy but tiring ground to the summit. We named our ascent the Czechoslovak Route (3B). On the summit we found a log recording previous ascents—the last entry was in 1963 by a team from Osh, Kyrgyzstan.

– Michal Kleslo, Czech Republic

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