EAST PAMIR (CHINA)

Muztag-Ata (7546 m) expedition

Preface

In the autumn of 1996 the expedition to Muztag Ata mountain (7546 m, East Pamir, China, other names- Muztagata, Mustag Ata, Muztagh Ata) was carried out by "Byrevestnik" ("Petrel") Alpine Club of Tomsk city, West Siberia, Russia. The choice of this object for an ascent was dictated by several reasons. Firstly, this expedition appeared the first stage in the new Superproject, planned on spring 1997 - ascent within the framework of the expedition on two Himalaya giants - Cho-Oyu (8201 m) and Shisha Pangma (8013 m) at once. Secondly, the year of 1996 was the special one in the history of Russian mountain climbings on the Muztag Ata, it was the 40th Anniversary of the 1st ascent made by join Soviet-Chinese Expedition. In the far 1956 the team under management of E.A. Beletskiy has made the 1st ascent on the summit of Muztag Ata. The cooperation of the Soviet and Chinese climbers was necessary, because overall objective was an ascent on highest top of the world - Everest - from the Tibetan side. These plans, unfortunately, could not come true. The politics has interfered with last moment, and the brilliant generation of the high-altitude mountaineers of Abalakov and Beletskiy did not manage to carry out The Dream.

Expedition's Staff

Name, 2nd name
Position
Age
1
Stanislav Krilov leader
35
2
Dmitriy Bochkov senior trainer
47
3
Sergey Richkov doctor
51
4
Anna Akinina climber
28
5
Sergey Russkih climber
33
6
Vladimir Khilko climber
37
7
Alexandr Gingazov climber
41
8
Valeriy Neudahin climber
39
9
Mickail Sherstobitov climber
33
10
Evgeniy Karepin climber
30
11
Alexandr Cherniavskiy climber
30
12
Sergey Kolotilo climber
24

Expedition's shedule

Sept., 2 arrival to Bishkek
Sept., 5 acclimatization ascent to Korona ("The Crown") peak, Ala-Archa gorge, Kirgiztan
Sept., 8 departure from Bishkek
Sept., 9 arrival to the city of Kashgar, China
Sept., 11 establishing of BC at 4600 m
Sept., 13 establishing of intermediate camp at 5400 m
Sept., 14 establishing of Camp-1 at 5900 m
Sept., 18 establishing of Camp-2 at 6500 m
Sept., 19 the 1st group reached the summit: S. Krilov, D. Bochkov, V. Khilko, A. Akinina, E. Karepin
Sept., 21 the 2nd group reached the summit: S. Russkih, A. Cherniavskoy, V. Neudahin
Sept., 23 S. Kolotilo reached the summit with the French group
Sept., 25 return to Kashgar
Sept., 27 return to Bishkek
Sept., 30 return to Tomsk

The expedition is carried out in classical style. Because of a high location of the base camp (BC, 4600 m), acclimatization ascents were carried out before departure to China on the tops above 4500 in Tien Shan ranges of Zailiyskiy Alatau (Kazakhstan) and Kirgiz Ala Too (Kirgiztan). Weather during all expedition was sunny and windy. All groups have made ascents from the Camp-2 (6500 m). The plans of expedition included skiing descent from the summit of several members of the expedition. Unfortunately, the skiing descent was not held because of a strong wind and lack of time, owing to a too low location of the BC. Nevertheless, Sergey Russkih descent on September 22 on a ski from assault camp (6500 m) up to height 6100 m. The expedition used a fixed rope (20 m), left by previous groups at the height of 5800 m. Up to height of 5400 m the route passed on scree slopes, up to height of 6200 m on completely or partially iced slopes. For passage of ice sites the crampoons were used. The oxygen was not applied. The porters were not used. To reach the BC site the 10 camels within three hours were used.

Recommendations

For the purpose of skiing descend from the summit, it is recommended to use the 2nd ascent or establish the assault camp higher than at 6500 m.

Expedition's Summary

Nine expedition's members reached the summit of Muztag-Ata (7546 m): Stanislav Krilov, Anna Akinina, Vladimir Khilko, Evgeniy Karepin, Dmitriy Bochkov, Sergey Russkih, Alexandr Cherniavskiy, Valeriy Neudahin, Sergey Kolotilo. Alexandr Gingazov reached altitude of 6500 m, Mickail Sherstobitov - 6100 m.

Pamir. Muztag Ata. 1st ascent, 1956.
On the summit of Muztag-Ata. 1st ascent, 1956.
Pamir. Muztag Ata.
Muztag-Ata (7546 m, right).
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Arrival to BC.
Caravan reached the BC site.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. BC site.
BC, 4600 m.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. BC is open!
The solemn opening of BC.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. The Kmarolja gl.
Muztag-Ata. Kmarolja gl. is visible.
Pamir. Muztag Ata from NW.
Muztag-Ata seen closer from N-W.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Camp-5400.
Establishing of Camp-5400.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Icefall near Camp-5400.
Valley seen from the icefall on the route to Camp-1.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. In the icefall.
In the icefall.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Camp I.
Camp-1 (5900 m).
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Camp II.
The team reached Camp-2 (6500 m).
Pamir. Muztag Ata. Sunset in Camp II.
Sunset. View from Camp-2.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. On the summit (7546 m).
The 1st group on the summit (7546 m) Sept. 19, 1996.
Pamir. Muztag Ata.  The summit.
The summit of Muztag-Ata.
Pamir. Muztag Ata. View to Tibet from the summit.
View from the summit to the Tibetan side..
Area map (b/w, 4, GIF, 300 dpi, 367 k).
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