In July - August 2002 we did two expeditions to Muztagh-Ata (7546 m) in the Western Kun-Lun, China. The first expedition included nine Finnish and five Russian climbers. The Finnish team was organized by Mr. Jorma Alanen, the Russian team was collected by Mr. Andrey Ershov.
The second expedition was sent to Muztagh-Ata by Focus World Expeditions (Italy). It included ten climbers from Italy, Norway, South Africa and Russia. Mrs. Manuela Di Centa, the famous Italian cross-country skier and Olympic champion, took part in this expedition.
The weather in the second half of July was very bad and unstable with strong wind and frequent snowfalls, very often the mountain was covered by clouds. All this did not allow the Finnish climbers to reach the summit of Muztagh-Ata and on the altitude about 7000 m they were forced to turn down. Two Russians tried to climb Muztagh-Ata on July 31 and one of them reached the summit. Unfortunately, he did not come back to Camp 3. It is very likely that because of the terrible weather conditions and very bad visibility he lost the right way, fell into crevasse or was frosted somewhere between the summit and Camp 3.
In August the weather was a little better and three Italian climbers - Aldo Garioni, Sergio Luani with their mountain guide Fabio Meraldi - successfully summited Muztagh-Ata on August 19.
along the Gez River
Finnish climbers at Base Camp
overcoming fresh snow on 6300 m
western slopes of Muztagh-Ata
Manuela Di Centa and Fabio Meraldi
icefall between Camp 1 and Camp 2
on the way between Camp1 and Camp 2
Base Camp after snowfall
Aldo Garioni and Sergio Luani after ascent of Muztagh-Ata
photos: Andrey Ershov
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