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14 routes by the Northern face of Free Korea Peak

Prepared by Maxim Kostrov (Mountain.RU)

Before publication of Free Korea Peak Northern wall ascent we suggest a list of routes on this mountains.

Free Korea Peak is an adornment of Askai gorge ( Kirghiz ridge. Tien Shan ). About 14 routes go along its Northern face. Many of them can compete with the most difficult technical routes of Tien Shan, Alps and the Caucasus .

Map of the region is attached to Alexey Albramov's "Aksai diary " .

The routes:

1. Along the left "triangle" the Northern wall 5 Б ( к ), V. Balezin, 1991.

2. Along the left buttress of the Northern wall 5 Б ( к ), А. Shvab, 1982.

3. Along The Northern face of the Eastern ridge 6 А ( к ), B. Studenin, 1966.

4. Along The Northern face of the Eastern ridge 6 А ( к ), А. Kaustovsky, 1969.

5. Along The Northern face 6 А ( к ), S. Semiletkin, 1988.
To 1999 the route was in list as 6 Б. Technically this route is considered to be the most difficult on Free Korea face.

6. Along the center of the Northern wall 6 А ( к ), Yu. Popenko, 1975.
The route is considered to be “the easiest” 6-grade on Free Korea face.
Route deion:
height of the wall: ~ 1020m.
Length of V-VI grade sections: ~ 600m.
Average slope: ~ 72 degrees.
Average ascent time: two days.
Examples of ascent time:
1986. САВО team: 27.5 working hours (with a night)
1986 г. Karaganda team: 33 working hours (with a night)
1987 г. the team МВО: 29 working hours (with a night)
A standard night on the ledge in the middle of the wall under the cornice. After the ledge the crux pitch starts. In summer this route, as well as most of other 6 grade routes on Free Korea Peak is dangerous because of falling stones.

7. Along the center of the Northern wall 6 А ( к ), V. Bezzubkin, 1969.

8. Along the right part of the Northern wall 6 А ( к ), А . Ruchkin, 1997.

9. Along the right lip of the Northern wall 5 Б ( к ), L. Mushlyaev, 1961.
The team of famous Soviet Alpinist L.Mushlyaev was the first to "break the seal" on The northern face of Free Korea Peak. Technically it is a very strong 5 Б.

10. Along the "triangle" on the Northern wall 5 Б ( к ), B. Bagaev, 1974.

11. Along the couloir on the Northern wall 5 Б ( лс ), G . Barber, 1976.
Americans G . Barber and D. Lou solo ascended their routes.

12. Along the center of the north-Western wall 5 Б ( к ), В. Balezin, 1994 г .

13. Along the north-Western face 5 А ( к ), Г. Андреев, 1959 г.

14. Along the couloir the north-Western wall 5 А ( лс ), D. Lou, 1976.

Danger on the route:
Rockslide sections in the first third and along the center of ice couloir. Rockslide intensity isn't high, but they are quick on the ice. In the first third of the couloir а we would recommend moving to the left (under the rocks), in spite of the fact that it is more inclined in the center. Bergshrund can be passed there as well. Sections of friable ice are sometimes found, where it is difficult to make belay on ice screws.
Technical deion:
The crux section of the route are first three pitches from bergshrund. Unreliable ice structures occur. Then the couloir becomes more inclined (up to 40 degrees) and remains like this till the ridge. Then move along the ridge, bypassing the gendarmes till the pre-peak tower. On the first gendarme pin belay is needed. Rock degree is approximately II-III. The gendarmeshappening on the way are mainly pypassed on the right. The pre-peak tower is a rocky monolith, cut by many cracks. There are many ledges and holds. Climbing isn't intensive. Degree is about III. The summit is well seen.
This is the easiest route along Free Korea face. The route is frequently used for descent.

On the left of Free Korea Peak there is Simagin Peak. On photo there is route
С - Along the right lip of The north buttress 5 Б ( к ), I.Polevoy, 1969.

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