Home NEWS A New Route in the Tien Shan earns the Russian Piolet d’Or

A New Route in the Tien Shan earns the Russian Piolet d’Or

by thesummiters.com
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A brand-new path up the 6,873m tall Military Topographers Peak just scored the Russian version of the Piolet d’Or award. Alexey Suharev, Ratmir Mukhametzyanov, and Alexandr Parfenov got honored for creating this fresh route along the southwest wall during an event in Moscow over the weekend.

They named this route “The Lost World.” It’s only the fifth route ever made up this mountain, which stands as the fourth highest in the Tien Shan area. This specific path is the first one up the mountain’s southwest side. Parfenov described it as the toughest climb he’s ever faced.
At the ceremony, they marked a special moment—the 100th anniversary since the Russian Mountaineering Federation first began its journey. This significant celebration traces back to 1923 when they conquered Georgia’s towering 5,033m Mt. Kazbek, setting the foundation for their mountaineering endeavors.

Another strong candidate for the Russian award: the Aksai Horseshoe. Topo: Mountain.ru
Another strong candidate for the Russian award: the Aksai Horseshoe. Topo: Mountain.ru

The group known as the Steel Angels

This year, a special award called the Steel Angel was given out to female teams, and it’s only been awarded 15 times before. Galina Terentyeva and Olga Lukashenko won this award for their impressive achievement—they climbed the Perestroika Crack on Slesov Peak (4,240m) in the Pamir-Alai range without using any aid, which is a tough feat. Their climb marks the third time that female climbers have accomplished this free ascent. Previously, American Lynn Hill climbed it with Greg Child in 1991, and in 2016, Nastja Davidova from Slovenia and Iva Bozic from Croatia also achieved this challenging climb.

Terentyeva and Lukashenko planned to finish the climb in a day, but the weather got so bad that they ended up stuck on the wall for two rainy nights. They also ran out of food and water, making it even tougher.

For the awards, a group of judges from around the world picked the winners from lists that had five finalists each. The climbers up for the Steel Angel award were all experienced in big-wall climbs, including winter ones. Nadezhda Oleneva was one of them, known for her incredible climb of a 1,200m route on Peak 4810 in Kyrgyzstan alongside Daria Seryupova and Anastasia Kozlova. Unfortunately, Oleneva passed away some weeks back while climbing Dhaulagiri.

Candidates for Tien Shan Route

  • Yuri Koshelenko and A. Lonchinsky marked history by reaching the top of Rolwaling’s Kang Shar, a lofty peak soaring at 6,645m, making it the first-ever ascent of this mountain.
  • D. Prokofiev and M. Popova achieved an incredible feat by pioneering the northwest face ascent of Peak 4433 in Kyrgyzstan, a significant climb in uncharted territory.
  • E. Murin, I. Penyaev, and O. Lukashenko undertook and succeeded in climbing the South Buttress of Ulun Peak in Kyzyl-Asker, attaining an elevation of 5,588m, setting a precedent for future climbers.
  • Egor Matveenko, Tikhon von Stackelberg, and Roman Abildaev accomplished the demanding Aksai Horseshoe Traverse in the Tien Shan during winter.
Terentyeva and Lukashenko
Terentyeva and Lukashenko

Their achievement as the first to complete this challenging traverse in such harsh conditions is remarkable and noteworthy in the mountaineering world.

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