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Author: Igor Stepanov, Sankt-Petersburg
39 Ascents to the Peak of Communism Made for the First Time
1979. The team of couches of International Mountaineering Center “Pamir” passed a new route from the glacier of Beliaev along the South-Western wall of the Western shoulder of the Peak of Communism (that route of 6 grade of difficulty). Membership of the team: V. Nevorotin (the leader), V. Bogukov, V. Putrin, V. Puchkov. That route didn't participate in the Championship of the USSR as there had already been a team of International Mountaineering Center “Pamir” that took part in the Championship of the USSR , the members of the team made an ascent along the Southern wall of the Peak of Revolution (6986), the leader of the team was Studenin. I can say now that the second pass of the route was completed in1980 again by the couches of International Mountaineering Center “ Pamir ”. The leader of that team was B. Studenin, members of the team were G. Petrashko, I. Stepanov. And, as for me, that route compared well with the route we pass to the Peak of Revolution .
1980. On the threshold of ion to the national team of the USSR for the first ascent to the Everest an outstanding team passed a new very interesting route along the South-Western wall of the Peak of Communism (of 6B grade of difficulty). Membership of the team: K. Valiev (the leader), V. Hrischaty, V. Smirnov, J. Golodov, G. Luniakov, O. Krutilov, V. Suviga, S. Chepcev, S. Shkarban, the couch of the team was E. Iliinsky. The team won first place at the Championship of the USSR in the high-altitude class. K. Valiev, V. Hrischaty, J. Golodov, S. Chepcev and E. Iliinsky would become the members of the national team of the USSR . The first three alpinists would ascent to the Everest (8848) in 1982. K. Valiev and V. Hrischaty in 1989 would manage to pass the traverse of the third summit in the world – Kanchenjunga (8597). In the eighties that team was one of the strongest in the USSR . And again, unfortunately, Gregory Luniakov would perish at the Himalayan 8000meters high mount Dhaulagiri, Vadim Smirnov would be lost at the Peak of Lenin, near Khan-Tengri Valery Hrischaty would be killed.
1981. All the strongest team of the USSR tested their force on the South-Western wall of the Peak of Communism . The turn of an outstanding sportsman and couch V. Solonnikov ( Leningrad ) came. His team passed a new very difficult route long the South-Western wall (of 6B grade of difficulty). The membership of the team: V. Solonnikov (the leader and couch), V. Baliberdin, V. Vedernikov, B. Orlov, N. Stepanov, A. Tihomirov, V. Chufarin, V. Shopin. The team won gold medals at the Championship of the USSR in the high-altitude class. In 1982 Vladimir Baliberdin would become the first of Soviet alpinists who climbed to the top of the highest summit in the world – Everest. He perished in 1994 in the car crash.
1986. The first winter ascent to the Peak of Communism was made. 24 mountaineers conquered the summit, 17 sportsmen of the team of the USSR and 7 sportsmen – of the team of Uzbekistan . The ascent was made from the glacier of Walter along the route of Borodkin. On the 4 th of February the top was reached by following alpinists: V. Baliberdin, V. Shopin, J. Razumov, (all – from Leningrad ), M.Turkevich ( Donetsk ), A. Moskalcov ( Kharkov ), G. Vasilenko ( Simferopol ), J. Janovich ( Dushanbe ). On the 7 th of February the top was reached by sportsmen: V. Hrischaty, G. Luniakov, J. Moiseev, S. Samoilov, V. Suviga, Z. Halitov (all those alpinists were from Alma-Ata ), V. Elagin (Moscow), E. Vinogradsky and V. Pershin (both from Sverdlovsk), S. Antipin (Krasnoyarsk). At the same day the team of Uzbekistan (couch – E. Elchibekov) consisted of: E. Ivanov, J. Sarafankin, S. Spitsin, S. Filatov, S. Goffard, V. Ankudinov, N. Kalugin, reached the top of the Peak of Communism, too. Unfortunately, N. Kalugin and V. Ankudinov, perished on the descent. But in the team of the USSR not everything went smoothly, too. V. Shopin got hardly frost-bitten. His sport carrier was interrupted early because that event. It is necessary to notice that at the same term the team of Leningrad made the first winter ascent to the near-by Mount higher than 7000 meters , to the Peak of E. Korgenevskaya (7105). The leader of the expedition was G. Chunovkin. The top was reached by: L. Troschinenko (the leader), G. Schedrin, N. Burago, M. Bashmakov, A. Glushkovsky, S. Golubcov, S. Arsentiev, V. Moroz, J. Konovalov, A. Kritsuk, N. Totmianin, J. Beilin, D. Botov, J. Osipov, G. Kotov, N. Shustrov, A. Kaliagin, A. Nosov.
And again, unfortunately, my close friends Leonid Troschinenko, George Schedrin, Nikolay Burago would be lost under the ice avalanche under the peak of Lenin on the 13 th of July 1990. In 1998 on the descent from the Everest at the altitude 8600 Sergey Arsentiev would perish together with his wife Frenka.
1987. From the glacier Bivachny a very strong team passed a new route to the Peak of Communism along the left South-Eastern counterfort. The leader of the team was G. Luniakov, members of the team were V. Hrischaty, J. Moiseev, V. Suviga, A. Tselischev, A. Kukushkin. The couch of the team was E. Iliinsky.
1988. The magazine “Messenger of Mountains” №4, 1989 reported about a new route along the South-Western Wall of the Peak of Communism . Membership of the team: V. Bashkirov (the leader), D. Egorov, S. Mikhailov , V. Obihod, N. Petrov, P.Severov, V. Stetsenko, V. Janochkin.
The ascent was made during the period from the 4 th to the 17 th of August 1988. Vladimir Bashkirov, later the best Russian high-altitude alpinist, would perish on the descent from the Lhotse at the altitude 8350 in May 1997.
The team of International Mountaineering Center “ Pamir ” passed a new route along the left part of the North-Western Wall from the glacier f Walter (P. Chochia was the leader of the team, N.Golikov, G. Sokolov, S. Ahonin, A. Tuicin, S. Filatov were other members of the team).
The team of Leningrad made an attempt to pass a new route along the center of the North-Eastern wall of the Peak of Communism from the glacier Bivachny, between the routes of Chunovkin and Putincev (gold and silver medals at the Championship of the USSR 1978). N. Totmianin was the leader of the team members of the team were I. Golubev, S. Dusheiko, S. Ionenkov, D. Kirin. On the third day of ascent, when the team had already passed 14 ropes, because of falling stones S. Dusheiko perished. He was downed, moved to Leningrad and buried on the Northern cemetery.
1991. From the glacier Bivachny the team of Leningrad made traverse Peak of Communism – Peak Izvestia (6840). It was the last ascent (with comparative newness) made within the frameworks of the Championship of Russia and the USSR . The leader of the team was E. Maiorov , members of the team were M. Gavrilov, D. Sergeev, V. Stepanov. The couch of the team was G. Chunovkin. The team got the second place at the Championship of the USSR in the high-altitude class.
Years of “Reconstruction” (1985-1991), disintegration of the USSR (1993) and civil war in Tadzhikistan sharply reduced amount of expeditions to the Peak of Communism . The airport Dzhirgital was closed for helicopters. Flights were made only from neighboring countries (former republics of the USSR : Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Uzbekistan ). “New economic” conditions sharply raised the prices of expeditions. Only commercial groups fly to the region nowadays.
If we want to speak about sport significance of ascents to the Peak of Communism , it is necessary to say that almost all difficult routes have been already passed. Of course, we need to pass the North-Eastern wall along the center (from the glacier Fortambek). It is possible to make several routes from the glacier Fortambek to the left and to the right from the route of Getman and through the Peak of Kirov , to the left from the glacier Tramplinny.
From the glacier of Beliaev it is possible to pass a new route along a sloping ledge, to the left from the main part of the wall and further along the rocky ridge up to the top. There is one more route, from the glacier of Walter, to the right from the route of Bezzubkin and further from the plateau along the center of the north-Western wall.
The main significance of the Peak of Communism nowadays – is to use it as a polygon for young alpinists in order to prepare them for storming Himalayan 8000-meter high mountains.
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