Pik Ostryi, Southeast Face, and Other Routes

Kyrgyzstan, Pamir Alai, Karavshin, Orto-Chashma Gorge
Author: Dougald MacDonald. Climb Year: 2022. Publication Year: 2023.

Pik Ostryi from the southeast, showing (1) the 2022 route and (2) the 2021 first ascent route. The summit is near the triangle. Photo: Nadya Oleneva Collection.

In the summer of 2022, Russian climbers Anar Demirov, Oksana Kochubey, and Ilia Zhdanov visited the Orto-Chashma Gorge and climbed several new routes, most notably the southeast face of Pik Ostryi (“Sharp Peak,” 4,818m). This area, which lies between the better-known Laylak to the west and Kara-su to the east, was explored in 2021 by Russians Maria Dupina, Nadya Oleneva, and Marina Popova, who completed the first ascent of Ostryi by its east ridge (AAJ 2022).

The 2022 trio acclimatized by hiking to Tro-Block Pass (ca 4,600m) and climbing a 230m rock route on the eastern tip of Pik Alexander Blok (5,239m). Their route, graded TD+ 7a A1, topped the initial wall; the team estimated a day and a half would be needed to continue up the ridge to the summit.

Poor weather scuttled plans to attempt a route on the south side of Alexander Blok. Instead, the three moved back down the glacier and decided to climb the southeast side of Pik Ostryi. They completed this route over three days, bivvying once midway up the wall and once on the ridgeline, before traversing over the top and descending to Tro-Block Pass. The route covered 895m of climbing and was graded ED- 6c A2+.

The team then made their way to the south side of Alexander Blok and climbed a prominent granite pyramid with an elevation of 5,057m (39.588207, 70.115509, 420m of climbing, ED 6c A3). After returning to base camp, they climbed one last route: a 435m line (TD- 6b A2) up a pyramidal wall at the head of the Dukenek Valley.

— Dougald MacDonald, AAJ, with information from Oksana Kochubey and Mountain.ru

Editor's Note: Many photos from this area and these climbs can be seen in two articles at Mountain.ru: 1) article by Anar Demirov, and 2) article by Oksana Kochubey.

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