Summit push on Khan Tengri

After finishing our acclimatization and 3-day rest we went to camp 1. At night we are surprised by snowfall and go back to BC.

3 days later we try again and unfortunately the same happens – fresh powder forces us to turn back for safety reasons.

Another 2 days pass and once more we report to C1. This time the weather did not play any tricks and at night we started walking to Camp 2, which we reach in the morning. We feel the effects of acclimatization covering this distance faster than last time. Feeling tired we stayed in C2 for the rest of the day and night to recover. On the following day we moved to C3 and go to sleep early – we set up our alarm clock for midnight.

We woke up as planned in the middle of the night for breakfast and to melt snow for thermoses the long way up. Whole camp was full of clutter coming from every tent. We start our climb at 2 AM. Some people started an hour earlier, while most were still busy with preparations in their tents.

In the darkness carefully and slowly we move up the steep rocky ridge. It is hard to see which fix rope is undamaged. I tried not to put too much weight on any trusting more in my skills, ice axe and crampons. Sunrise meets as at around 6300 m – still a long way up ahead. Early afternoon some of the stronger teams caught up with us. We climbed a big rocky couloir and traversed behind huge rocky “tooth” at around 6700 m. Despite our expectations the path was steep all the time. In the afternoon we reached a snowfield 150 m below the summit. For me it was an easier part, however the altitude and wind was slowing us down.  Step by step we trudged up. Finally around 2 PM on August 4th we stand on the summit. Late hour and cold wind did not encourage long rest. We took a few pictures and began our descent.

   

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