FULL SUCCESS IN THE KUN-LUN MOUNTAINS
West Ulugh-Muztagh, 7925 m from the West
Only two expeditions before us could reach Ulugh-Muztagh and summited it. The first was a Sino-American expedition in 1985, the second one was a Japanese expedition in 1989. Both expeditions reached the mountain from the eastern side and climbed it along the South-East Ridge.
The western side of the mountain was unexplored and unclimbed. A few climbing teams tried to reach Ulugh-Muztagh from that side but without any success. The last attempt was done in 2001 by Johan Heersink (ALPEX firm, Holland) but his expedition stuck in quicksands about 90-100 km from the mountain.
We took two very powerful 6WD Russian army trucks (Ural), crossed the Takla-Makan desert and the Kun-Lun mountains, reached Ulugh-Muztagh from the West and summited unclimbed Western Ulugh-Muztagh Peak (6925 m) and six unclimbed 6000-m peaks not far from our BC.
The first ascent of Western Ulugh-Muztagh Peak was done by four young Finnish climbers Marko Aho, Jari Ahtola, Antti Maenpaa and Kimmo Puoskari along the West Ridge on October 12. Andrey Ershov (Russia) and Alexandr Petrov (Kyrgyzstan) did the first ascent of Peak 5986 m on October 06. Finnish expedition doctor Heikki Karinen did the first ascents of Peak 5993 m, Peak 6060 m, Peak 6094 m, Peak 6146 m and Shetou Peak (6285 m) during October 08 - 13.
Our way was about 5200 km from Bishkek to Bishkek. About 1200 km we drove through the mountains without any road, on the altitude about 4000-5000 m, through the passes above 5200 m, rivers and quicksands. All expedition members are very happy because none of climbers has been there and nobody could do such expedition before us!
November 12, 2003
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