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Author: Odohovsky Vyacheslav, Moscow

Kongur-Tag peak (7719 m), North Face, North-West buttress,
"Moscow express" route, 6A, Kun-Lun Shan Mountains, China Pamir

On August, 18 and 19, 2004 6 climbers from the team of Complex expedition of Moscow Federation of Mountaineering and Rock-climbing (MFMRC) and Sports Club of Moscow Aviation Instbitute (AI) summited Kongur - the highest mountain of Pamir and Kun-Lun via a new route.

The ascent went according planned course with some modifications.

Technical data of ascent

1. Mountain area: Kun-Lun Shan Mountains (China, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region)
Mountain Range: Kongurmuztagh

2. Object: Kongur-Tag (7719 m);
New route: from North Face, via North-West buttress, "Moscow express".

3. Route grade: 6 admittedly.

4. Route Character: combined

5. Altitude Difference: 4100 m (according to an altimeter and GPS)
Route Extent: 7310 m
Extent of route sites: V graded - 510 m, VI graded - 80 m
Average steepness: the basic part of the route - 42 degrees, from them:
Site 4900m - 5200m - 50 degrees, site 5500m - 5700m - 45 degrees, site 6400m - 6800m - 53 degrees.
Steepness of the entire route - 34 degrees.

6. There were left on the route: pitons 15, bolts - 0
There were used on the route:
Rocky pitons - 20, ice screws - 83, including for AID climbing - 8, snow stakes - 14.
Bolts (stationary, demountable) were not used.

7. Total running hours: 64 hours, 7 days

8. Team head: Odohovsky Vyacheslav .

Participants:
Kagan Vladislav
Kulbachenko Victor
Legkikh Vladimir
Medvedev Andrey
Petrov Andrey

Expedition leader: Hohlov Jury

9. Trainer: Hohlov Jury
Senior trainer: Tinin Jury

10. Route start:
1-st group - 8 am (Pekinese time), 12.08.2004
2-nd group - 8 am (Pekinese time), 14.08.2004

Summit:
3 pm (Pekinese time), 18.08.2004 - Kulbachenko Victor
5 pm (Pekinese time), 19.08.2004 - 5 climbers.

Descent to BC: 10 pm (Pekinese time), 22.08.2004

The mountain. Main view


Photo 1 (V.Odohovsky), July, 2004, a view from Karayalak glacier, 3550 m

Mountain's profile from the right


Photo 2 (A.Chkhetiani) August, 2003, a view from the north-east ridge of Aklangam peak, 5400 m (Sports Club MAI expedition led by A. Lebedev)

Mountain's profile from the left


Photo 3 (V.Odohovsky) August, 2002, a view from the north ridge of Mt. Kongur-Tag, 5600 m

Additional photos of Mountain's profile


Photo 4 (P.Rykalov) August 2002, a view from the top of Mt. Aklangam, 6995 m (Sports Club MAI expedition led by A. Lebedev


Photo 5 (A.Lebedev) August 2000, a view from the east ridge of Mt. Yamangar, 7100 m (Sports Club MAI expedition led by A. Lebedev)

Diagrammatic section of the route

 

Photo panorama of the area


Photo 6 (A.Medvedev), August, 2004, a slope upper than a moraine of Dong Karayalak glacier, 4000 m

 

Ascent area map

Ascent area map with marked route

 

The brief review of ascent area

Peak Kongur-Tag (7719 m) is located in China, in Kongurmuztagh range. It's the highest point of the range and a ridge and Kun-Lun Shan Mountains area. East borderland of Pamirskoe upland is edged with a chain of high mountain ranges. This mountain chain begins from the east borderland of Zaalaisky range and, turning southeast, passes in King-Tau range with its highest mountain Chakragil 6670 (on some maps it is named Karabektertag). King-Tau Mountains are separated from extended to the south meridian Kashgar range by the river Gezdaria valley. Tashkurgandaria river head separates Kashgar range on the east from Tashkurgan and Chon-Kyr ridges, which continue this mountain chain up to its merging with Western Kun-Lun.

Highest altitudes of Kashgar, the mountains Muztagh-Ata (7546) and Kongur (7719) lay on crossing of many ranges axial lines. Different researchers consider them either the area of East Pamir or Western Kun-Lun. The range has significant glaciations (about 2258 km2). There are some tens glaciers on Kongur, a few the largest of them reach 15 km in extent. 16 glaciers go down from the ice dome of Muztagh-Ata. Koksel is the largest of them in extent of about 21 km.

The foot of the ranges in the west and southwest are located at altitudes of 3800-4000 m, the slopes have rather gentle outlines though they are rather abrupt. Glacier's tongues are located at about 4500m. To the east and northeast Kongur and Muztagh-Ata massifs present more than three-kilometer ice-covered rocky mountain scarp. The highland that is rather seldom visited because of its full absence of roads is located there. The valleys have deeper downcutting, than in the west, the rivers flow in canyons in places and some glacier tongues go down up to 3000-3200 m. On northern slopes of the ranges fir, archa and tien-shan fur-tree woods have been saved here and there. The basic population of Kashgar mountains is Kirghiz. On the southern slopes of Tashkurgan area Badakhanians (sarygoltsy) live.

Approach to BC: from the city of Kashgar (1300 m), Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of People's Republic of China, 3-4 hours up to Gez frontier outpost (2300 m) on a rather good road. After the frontier outpost on the bridge through the river Gezdaria we got to the settlement of Shang Gez. It is possible to have lodging for the night in a small house near the road or on the stadium in the settlement. Further the Base camp for an ascent Kongur from the north face along Karayalak glacier (on its right side) a caravan of camels or donkeys reaches for 7-8 hours. BC (3600 m) is located on a grass at the foot of Kongur-Tag northern ridge near to a Kirghiz kosh. There is a creek near (but it dries up in August) and some sources on the slope.

Approach to the route beginning: from the North, on the north-west buttress from BC via the gorge along the glacier trekking on grassy pocket about 30 minutes. Descent from the moraine on a torn glacier, crossing it from the right and getting under the wall. Further ascent along the khor on a glacier upwards over the crevasses to a narrow throat between the ice-falls at the left and the wall on the right (1 hour) bypassing the breaks. The route begins with an ice wall of 10 m and further traverse on an ice wall with overhang (AID-climb) - 60 m of fixed ropes heading to the trough. Here is the beginning of a huge ice slope rising along the ice-fall. General extent of the way from BC is 2-3 km.

Ascent schedule and weather conditions

UIAA Route Scheme

 

Technical photo of the route (the bottom part)


Photo 7 (A.Chkhetiani) August, 2003, a moraine of Dong Karayalak glacier, 3550 m. (Sports Club MAI expedition led by A. Lebedev)

Technical photo of the route (the top part)


Photo 8 (A.Chkhetiani) August, 2003, a view form the North-East ridge of Peak Aklangam, 5400 m (Sports Club MAI expedition led by A. Lebedev)

 

Notes from the control cairns and summit

In connection with that fact that the top represents a snow ridge without rocky sites we did not find at the summit notes left by previous expeditions. The team left two bamboo landmarks at the top with a note about our ascent Kongur-Tag Peak (7719 m) from the north via a new route.

Ascent Photo illustrations

Photo 10 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, R1, 3800 m

Photo 11 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, R2-R3, 3800 - 4000 m

Photo 12 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R14-R18, 4900 - 5200 m

Photo 13 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R24, 5950 m

Photo 14 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R27, 6500 m

Photo 15 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R27 - R31, 6400 - 6800 m

Photo 16 (V.Kulbachenko) August, 2004, R29, 6600 m

Photo 17 (V.Kulbachenko) August, 2004, R30, 6650 m

Photo 18 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R36, 7100 m

Photo 19 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R42, 7400 m

Photo 20 (V.Odohovsky) August, 2004, R45, 7700 m

Photo 21 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, at the top of Kongur, 7719 m

Photo 22 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, at the top of Kongur, 7719 m

Photo 23 (V.Odohovsky) August, 2004, at the top of Kongur, 7719 m


Photo 10 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, R1, 3800 m


Photo 11 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, R2-R3, 3800 - 4000 m

Photo 12 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R14-R18, 4900 - 5200 m

Photo 13 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R24, 5950 m

Photo 14 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R27, 6500 m

Photo 15 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R27 - R31, 6400 - 6800 m

Photo 16 (V.Kulbachenko) August, 2004, R29, 6600 m

Photo 17 (V.Kulbachenko) August, 2004, R30, 6650 m

Photo 18 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R36, 7100 m

Photo 19 (V.Odohovsky) August 2004, R42, 7400 m

Photo 20 (V.Odohovsky) August, 2004, R45, 7700 m

Photo 21 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004, at the top of Kongur, 7719 m


Photo 22 (A.Medvedev) August, 2004,
at the top of Kongur, 7719 m


Photo 23 (V.Odohovsky) August, 2004,
at the top of Kongur, 7719 m

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