Andrej Magajne, Ljubljana, Slovenia (EU)
FIrst climbs in Tien Shan.
Here is a short report of two my recent visits to Kyrgyzstan which resulted in 4 new routes that me and my companions have climbed above Karakol valley in Terskey Ala too range south of Issyk kul lake.
In 2005 me and my climbing partner Simon were faceing suprisingly bad weather which forced us to change our plan. Freshley deposited snow on north faces of Pik Karakolski (5280 m) and Djigit (5170 m) were faceing us with fact that climbing either of them would be too risky and dangerous.
When skies finally cleared, highly motivated with the presence of sun we decided to go for the comforting prize, the north face of Slonienok (4728 m). Classic ice wall, 700 m of good neve, some steeper steps and a long corniced ridge took us nine hours and another four to down climb and abseil the normal route. We named the new route Amor therapeutica and graded it with 5A (V, AI5); 7.8.2005; Andrej Magajne, Simon Slejko.
The next day rain started again and after 13 days we finally abandoned all dreams of climbing a new route on Djigit or Karakolski, packed our packs and headed back to civilization.
Unfinished buissines returned us back this year, in 2006, reinforced with another two friends, Andrej and Dejan. Our persistance was finally awarded with good weather and three beautiful new routes on Karakolski and Djigit.
On 11.8. after midnight Simon and me entered an obvious snake culoir in the north face of Karakolski. We found steep 60 - 75 grade but excellent ice and were climbing unroped except for the last vertical 100 meters. Joining the west ridge and the normal route we turned down and reached base camp the same day in the evening.
Next day Dejan and Andrej entered their route, long icefield intersepted by two vertical ice steps. Around midday they joined the normal route which Dejan followed to the summit of Karakolski. They bivuacked again on On Tor glacier and returned to base camp on 13.8.
Meanwhile Simon and me examined the famous north face of Djigit which was our last objective. We were amazed by incredible line of ice strips in the right part of the central wall.
Day D came on 22.8. when all four of us left relatively comfortable bivuac on On Tor pass and entered the initial culoir which promissed the passage by the huge serac barrier. We found the excit from the ice trap early in the morning and started with very steep headwall. Although the whole route is very steep, major difficulties were presented by a vertical corner in the mid height with unconsolidated snow and poor posibilities for protection.
After almost 17 hours of non stop climbing we in detieriorateing weather reached corniced ridge, dug a small ledge and survived uncomfortable and freezing bivuac. In the morning we climbed final meters to the summit where in excellent weather we were enjoying breathtakeing view to countless peaks, many of them still unconquered. We descended normal route.
Slonienok, north face, new route Amor therapeutica (5A; V/AI5, 700 m) Andrej Magajne, Simon Slejko
Karkolski, north face, new route Espresso (5B; V/AI5, 900 m) Andrej Magajne, Simon Slejko (red arrow)
Karakolski, north face, new route Frappucino Kirgizzo (5B, V/AI5+, 900 m) Andrej Erceg, Dejan Miskovic (yellow arrow)
Djigit, north face, new route Tretje oko (The third eye) (6A ekstra, VI/AI6, 1200 m) Magajne - Slejko, Erceg - Miskovic