Ski Mountaineering Expedition in the At-Bash Mountain Range Kyrgyzstan, April 2-13, 2017

During the previous 2016 expedition, succeeded in reaching two over-4000 summits, which were named Choku Chichibel (ЧОKУ ЧИЧИБЭЛ, 4159 m, N41.15466 E76.27036) and Choku Kiara (ЧОKУ KИAPA, 4016 m, N41.09064 E76.01932), in the days April 8 and 10, respectively, we realized that these mountains are very suitable for a ski mountaineering approach. However, daily ascents only allowed us to attain the outermost elevations, while an advanced camp is required in order to reach the most prominent summits, which are located far in the heart of the chain. Indeed, for the 2017 campaign we agreed with the logistic agency that a yurt camp was the best choice and it would be erected for five days in one of the most promising valleys, namely the Tuyuk Bogoshti, whose stream flows into the At-Bashi river in proximity of the village of Birinchi May. Due to the abundant snow, much more than we had found in 2016, installing the camp with horses to transport the materials revealed to be harder than expected: therefore, it was placed at the elevation of 2400 m instead of the programmed 2800 m.

At-Bashi skialp exploration in the XXI century

From an early age I have had a fascination for exploring and this has become a permanent feature in my DNA as a mountaineer. In more recent years I have become a great enthusiast of mountain biking trips and ski touring. For me, life is too short to be able to visit all the places I'd like to know and experience. After many backcountry ski trips to snow-covered areas all over the world my friend Roger and I began to look for something different and unusual, a new and refreshing challenge. After bandying around various proposals we finally agreed. At-Bash, a virtually unknown name, as far as we were concerned, would be our chosen destination.

Ski Dans La Vallee D’ak-Suu / Kirghistan

Comment poser des mots sur un voyage dont l’intensité est proche de 100 % à tous moments et en tous lieux ! Certes le Kirghistan est en Asie central, mais les connexions et le décalage horaire permet de ne perdre aucun jour de ski… Un déplacement digne de ce nom, car l’enchaînement de 8 heures de bus après les 9 heures de vols internationaux, entame un peu les machines… Mais que cela tienne, l’après-midi passé sur les pistes de Karacol, 24 heures après avoir quitté la Suisse, est une excellente mise en jambe… Une nuit totalement méritée avant 17 kilomètres de ski tracté par des motos neige, est nécessaire, pour apprécier l’arrivée au “camp de base” des Yourtes.

Mountaineering regions of Kyrgyzstan

Mountains cover 95% of the territory of Kyrgyzstan and 40% of those are above 3,000 meters high. There are many regions where the foot of climber has never stepped. In Kyrgyzstan such regions as high vertical walls or 5,000 meters and over mountains are well explored. Anything besides aforementioned is not of any interest for climbers, especially if it’s lower than 4,000 m. Thousands of accessible and gorgeous summits are still virgin.
 There are 7 well known and explored mountainous regions in Kyrgyzstan. Four of them are located in Tien-Shanand three are in Pamir. But no one knows how many unexplored or not very well studied regions there still are. Easy access and spectacular summits determine interest to a region and its development.

New Peaks Climbed in the Western Kokshaal-Too

The eastern (Dankova) and western (Kizil Asker; see the September 17 NewsWire regarding this peak's recently climbed east face) sectors of the Western Kokshaal-too have been explored by a number of (non-CIS) climbing parties. Since a French-German team traveled to the Dankova region in 1996 and an Anglo-American-German party to the Kizil Asker area in 1997, several recent teams have been investigating the little known central section.

Summary Report The British West Mustabbes Expedition 2013

After an eventful 3 day journey from Bishkek, we finally set up base camp at around 3800m on the right-hand branch of the Mustabbes River. On its return from collecting another team, our truck was lost in the Ak Say River – completely submerged in quicksand – Sergei, our driver only just escaping in time.

Expedition to the Western Kokshaal-Too 2005

In July-August 2005 Paul Knott, Grant Piper, and Graham Rowbotham made an exploratory climbing trip to the remote central part of the Western Kokshaal-Too range on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China.

Pamir Alai Expedition 2013, Oibala Mountain Range, Kyrgyzstan

From July 13 until Augustus 13, 2013 we went to the Oibala Mountain Range in Kyrgyzstan. This is the second Dutch expedition to this region. The people are very hospitable and welcome. It was a sensation to drive in a Kamaz (Russian vehicle) from Osh in to the Oibala Mountains. Basecamp was established in the grassy valley of the Kok Suu (river Suu). We stayed there for more than 3 weeks and have not seen anybody else.

Navlikin 2014 Expedition, Official Report

A group of 9 young British alpinists went to the Western Kok-Shal Too range of Kyrgyzstan to attempt new routes and hoped to summit-unclimbed peaks. The expedition intended to get into the head of the Navlikin basin by crossing a col at the top of the Kotur glacier to the west. At the southern end of the Navlikin glacier there are several unclimbed 5000m peaks, including one that is incorrectly marked on the map as 5611m.

Summary Report Form From an MEF and /or BMC Supportes Expedition

Support for an expedition is offered on condition that you submit detailed reports to the MEF and/or BMC. To assist in fulfilling this commitment, it is requested that you fill in this form and return (preferably by Email) to the secretary (ies) of the organisation(s) within four weeks of return from the expedition. Please expand/contract the spaces in this form as required. Include or attach at least one good digital photo of your main route, with the line of your route marked.

Tortoisebutler Kyrgyzstan Expedition 2016 Report

All climbs were undertaken by Miles Gould and Andy Vine in alpine style; all successful ascents were first ascents, as confirmed by the Kyrgyz Alpine Club. Times given are from our gearing-up point to our high point. Objectives B and D appeared much harder in reality than they had on satellite photos and maps, so we did not attempt them.

Kosmos 2015 Expedition MEF ref 15/24 Written by Emily Ward

Previously, a month long expedition has been enough time to get into the mountains of the Western Kok-Shal Too and climb some new routes. However for this particular objective more time would be needed to give the mountain a good shot. Not only are the mountain faces in this area of the Kok-Shal Too much larger than those on the Kyzyl Asker side of the range, the walk in is significantly longer too. Unfortunately the old soviet road was swept away several years ago and the closest vehicle drop off point is near the Kotur basin.

Grigoriev Valley, First Ascents and Peak Dankova Variation

On August 30, thanks to the logistics of our excellent agency ITMC, Maarten Altena and I were dropped off just 10km from base camp. Over two days we ferried loads to a site at 3,500m at the confluence of the Grigoriev and Palgov rivers. We made an advanced camp on the Grigoriev at 4,100m and on September 5 set off for Peak 5,081m, a border peak at the southern head of the glacier.


The British Sousthern Fergana Expedition 2015

We were originally planning on exploring glaciers at hte extreme South eastern end of the range, approaching via Kokbel valley. After a 2 day journey from Bishkek, we were blocked from entering thr Kokbel valley by a very organised hunting team. After some discussion and translation via satellite phone to ITMC's office, it became clear that it was going to be impossible for us to go any further up the valley.

First Ascents in the Djangart Region Kokshaal-Too, Tien Shan, Kyrgyzstan

Four of the five team members (Royer, Traver, Parenteau, and Maddison) arrived in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on July 1, 2010 excited and eager to begin the expedition. The team members spent two days sorting logistics before spending the weekend climbing with kids from the Alpine Fund at nearby Chon-Kurchak, in Ala-Archa National Park. The final team member, Clark, arrived on July 5. All together, we finished sorting logistics and purchasing food and departed for the Djangart in a 6WD Comanche truck on July 6. Accompanying the team was Bishkek native Abdybek, an intern at the Alpine Fund who we intended to employ as a translator and expedition cook.

Djangart Valley near Ak Shirak

Our route climbed from the Djangart valley, ascending a wide couloir on the west flank of Pt4561, though we never went to the summit of this mountain. We then followed the ridge line south, over Pt4760 and on to 4783 (Pik Emma, proposed). We descended down a gully on the west face. This was extremely difficult and dangerous due to the poor quality of the rock and we would not recommend this route to other climbers. Whilst the ridge line was beautiful, both our ascent and descent lines were on poor rock and did not make for enjoyable climbing. Our entire route would be graded Alpine D, but the ridge gives AD climbing due to some rock obstacles and a heavy cornice.

Emili Ward on the approach to the mountauns.

last season there was plenty of action in the Western Kokshaal-Too, a range jf largely granitic, often soectacular, spiky alpine peaks that straddles the Kyrgyzstan-China border well south of the Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. One of the first teams imto the range comprised Paul Knott(UK/NZ) and Vaudhan Snowdon(NZ), who made first ascent of Pik 5,190m and Pik Pakgov(5,602m), as reported in an earlier Climber.

ISM Tien Shan Expedition Report 2013

Guides: Pat Littlejohn, Adrian Nelhams
Members: Stephen Taylor, Jason Sheldrake, Jerry Gale, Julia Tizard, Carlo Bezoari, Andrew Ramsay, Susanne Galler, Paolo Capozzi.

Expedition to Komorova Glacier of Western Kokshaal-Too 2012

When: August 23rd to September 10th We established our base camp on August 23rd within a half hour's hike from the foot of the Komorova Glacier (N 41deg 07'54.0, E 077deg 23'36.4). Advanced Base Camp was established on August 24th on the Eastern Flank of the central glacier below point 4863 (N 41deg 05'33.9, E077deg 23'47.9, 4144m). Over the following 2.5 weeks we successfully climbed three peaks from five attempts.

Edinburgh University Torugart-Too Expesition 2110

The expedition was inspired by a report on Alpinist magazine’s online newswire1 about an expedition in 2007 to the Torugart-Too mountains in Kyrgyzstan, organised by the International School of Mountaineering and Pat Littlejohn. The article described the Torugart-Too mountains as an area of glaciated 5000m peaks 35km long on the border between Kyrgyzstan and China, and described the first ascent of the highest peak in the Torugart-Too mountains, Mustyr (5108m).

Little Poobah 2014 MEF – 14/13

Expedition Objectives To explore the Fersmana valley area on the east side of the Western Kokshal Too, Kyrgyzstan. Focusing on the climbing of; New alpine rock routes on the faces either side of the Fersmana valley. Point 4,870m This appears to have an attractive snow/ice gully on the W face directly below the unclimbed summit (4,780m) according to the KCLAMC 2011 Fersmana/Sarychat glacier expedition report and photos. This may be possible if snow conditions permit.

En Route with legends...

As I walk down the aisle of the recently renamed O.R. Tambo airport, I realize that I will be spending the next month with some of the best and most influential high altitude climbers of South Africa, heading off to Kyrgyzstan in an attempt to explore and climb some of the most remote and wild mountains central Asia has to offer, namely The Western Kokshaal – Too Mountain range. As we gather together and the last equipment is bundled up and shared out amongst us, the excitement starts to grow inside me, this is the once in a life time opportunity everyone dreams about and might never realize in his whole life.


Tien Shan Expedition by Pat Littlejohn 2007

Access was easy compared to most previous trips. Base camp was just one hours drive from the main road and ABC 3 hrs walk above this. From here there were 3 glaciers we could reach easily, and plenty of superb objectives to keep us busy. Helen, Max and I made a first recce to Mustyr, at 5108m the highest peak in the range. We climbed a long snow/ice couloir for 400m before the altitude started to make us gasp a bit and forced a retreat.