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New Route on Pik Alpinist in Kyrgyzstan

by thesummiters.com
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Pik Alpinist in Kyrgyzstan

Pik Alpinist, located in the rugged wilderness of Kyrgyzstan, stands as a testament to the raw beauty and formidable challenges of alpine climbing. This majestic mountain, with its awe-inspiring height and sheer rock faces, has become a coveted destination for daring climbers seeking to push the boundaries of their skills and endurance.

Pik Alpinist in Kyrgyzstan
Pik Alpinist in Kyrgyzstan

The icy blue tendrils streaking down its 1,100-meter wall create a mesmerizing yet daunting sight, capturing the attention of climbers like Dane Steadman, Jared Vilhauer, and Seth Timpano.

Its unpredictable weather, steep snow fields, and treacherous ice pillars present formidable obstacles, testing the mettle of those who dare to ascend its heights. Pik Alpinist has earned a reputation as a symbol of adventure, drawing intrepid mountaineers from around the world to explore its challenging routes and experience the thrill of conquering its peaks.

Read More: Ecuadorian and Czech Alpinists: Setting New Triumph

This remote and untamed landscape in Kyrgyzstan continues to inspire climbers, reminding them of the exhilarating blend of beauty and danger that characterizes high-altitude alpine pursuits.

Conquering the Wild

Climbing Team Scales Kyrgyzstan’s Pik Alpinist on New Route ‘Trophy Hunt’ Amidst Icy Challenges and Untamed Landscapes

In late September, climbers Dane Steadman, Jared Vilhauer, and Seth Timpano embarked on a daring expedition to Kyrgyzstan’s Pik Alpinist, an imposing mountain known for its wild ice. The trio’s objective was a new route up the northeast face, a challenging path that spanned 1,100 meters from the base’s bergschrund to the summit.

 They aptly named their route “Trophy Hunt” due to the mountain’s appearance and the difficulty of their climb, grading it as AI5+, M5. This remarkable achievement recently came to light in the climbing community, as their detailed report was published on the American Alpine Club’s website.

 The climbers, recipients of the AAC’s Cutting Edge Grants, initially ventured to Central Asia with a vague goal. Trusting Seth Timpano’s hypothesis about the region’s potential for high-quality alpine ice, they explored various options in the Western Kokshaal-Too Valley in the Tien Shan. However, their search ended when they laid eyes on Pik Alpinist.

The icy blue tendrils adorning the 1,100-meter wall captivated them, and they decided to tackle this challenging ascent. After acclimatizing and setting up an Advanced Base Camp, they eagerly awaited a favorable weather window. With an encouraging forecast on September 23, the climbers set out from the base of the mountain at 3 am, determined to complete the climb non-stop, without the need for bivy gear.

 Their successful and awe-inspiring ascent showcases the beauty and challenges of alpine climbing in remote and untamed landscapes.

Details of the climb

At 4 am, we found ourselves facing the unexpected challenge of the first pitch, a steep and aerated water ice crux. Several hours later, we reached the 300-meter crux ice streak just as the wall above began to glow orange, showcasing the beautiful yet demanding terrain.

 We maneuvered through steep, lovely ice in the sunlight, transitioning to even steeper, iron-hard ice in the shade, eventually reaching the top of the headwall. Continuing our ascent, snow slopes and another lengthy ice pitch brought us to another daunting obstacle a menacing icicled water-ice pillar at 5,200 meters.

 It was Seth Timpano’s turn to lead, a demanding task after 14 hours of continuous climbing. As the sun set, our team skillfully bypassed the pillar by ascending a thin ice gully, navigating the dark terrain illuminated only by the light of our headlamps.

A lengthy traverse beneath an overhang led us to a point where Jared Vilhauer could hack through, and finally, after a grueling day, we triumphantly pulled ourselves onto the summit at 8:30 pm, enduring a biting wind. The descent, retracing our route down the same face we had ascended, consumed the entire night, with the climbers reaching their tents just as dawn broke, bringing an end to their epic adventure.

Read More: The love for Killer Mountain, Nanga Parbat – Tomasz Mackiewicz alias Czapkins

Trophy Hunt

The climbers, Dane Steadman, Jared Vilhauer, and Seth Timpano, undertook a daring new route on Kyrgyzstan’s Pik Alpinist, a challenging ascent up the northeast face. This route, aptly named “Trophy Hunt,” spanned a daunting 1,100 meters from the base’s bergschrund to the summit. The climbers faced numerous obstacles, including steep snow fields, aerated water ice, and a frightening icicled water-ice pillar at 5,200 meters. Despite these challenges, they persevered, successfully navigating the treacherous terrain. Their climb was graded as AI5+ (indicating a high level of technical difficulty on steep ice and mixed terrain) and M5 (indicating a moderate level of difficulty on mixed rock and ice). This remarkable feat, achieved without bivy gear and in a non-stop manner, highlighted their exceptional skills and determination in tackling one of the most formidable routes on Pik Alpinist.

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