British first ascents in the Djangart

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 15/08/2011
Pik Alexandra and first ascent route. Kristoffer Szilas

A primarily Danish party, but with one British mountaineer, Jim Broomhead, have recently made four first ascents in the previously unclimbed eastern sector of the Djangart Range in southern Kyrgyzstan.

In 2010 Dan Clark and Matt Traver visited the Djangart with the support of BMC, MEF and WSA grants. In the western sector they made three fine first ascents of alpine peaks up to TD- in standard.

Inspired by their report, the Anglo-Danish team decided to visit the eastern part of the range, which is referred to as Sauktor. While this area had been inspected in 2008 by a Russian expedition, they did no climbing here.

However, the Russians did visit Djangart's Djangartynbashi Glacier, much further west, where they climbed Pik Leteveta (5,291m), making the first known ascent of any summit in this entire group of mountains.

The Anglo-Danish team used a helicopter to reach a base camp below the Kichik Sauktor Glacier. However, once established, they realized that none of their gas cylinders, essential for climbing in the mountains, had been loaded on the flight. Then they discovered their satellite phone was not functioning.

This remote region on the Chinese border has been visited less than a handful of times, yet amazingly, the very next day a family from Moscow, who had decided to take a holiday trek through the valley, arrived at base camp.

The family had a working satellite phone and was able to call the helicopter company to deliver the missing gas. Game on.

The expedition split into three teams and explored four different glacier systems.

Broomhead and Kristoffer Szilas made the first ascent of Pik Alexandra (5,290m) via a ridge they named Bivouac - French for Mistake. The 700m
route was climbed over two days with a night out at 5,000m.

The lower section featured sound granite with climbing to UIAA IV+, while the upper gave snow and ice up to 70°, and an overall grade of D.

They next made a 15km trek west to the N2 Glacier, to attempt the East Face of Pik 5,318m, the highest summit in the range and still unclimbed. They discovered that this peak presents a serious technical challenge, with a 500m quasi-vertical wall of good granite, leading to 1,000m of ice and mixed. They had neither the gear, nor low enough temperatures for this sort of climb.

Instead, they returned to base camp and climbed a 4,950m peak visible well to the east, naming it Pik Lea. The 500m route, named Mermaid, gave tricky Scottish-style climbing in mostly white-out conditions (D, M4 and 70°).
On the descent, the sun came out, setting off avalanches. Fortunately, the two were on an icefield, where they could place good ice screws. Although hit, they were able to get down safely.

Meanwhile Carsten Cooper-Jensen and Simon Lund Jensen had made the first ascent of Pik Kathryn (4,885m) via an ice face named Russian Roulette (700m: AD: 60°). Sune Buur, Jakob Fisker and Anders Hedeager Pedersen climbed Pik Pernille (5,190m) via Waiting for the Tide (700m: AD: 55°).

The Danes were unsuccessful on two border peaks, 5,112m and 5,025m, but had a fun time and a real adventure making their four first ascents in a remote part of the world.
 



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 2920 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1
Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants
0
Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants

The following teams received grant aid from the BMC for expeditions taking place during 2017. Most are still to leave the UK; some are currently in the field, and some have recently returned, though the results of their endeavours are presently unknown. In general, only the designated expedition organiser is named.
Read more »

British-based climber completes two new routes in Baffin Island
0
British-based climber completes two new routes in Baffin Island

Scottish resident and big wall climber, Marek Raganowicz, has added two demanding aid routes to the overhanging Ship's Prow in Baffin Island.
Read more »

Post a Comment
Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants
0

The following teams received grant aid from the BMC for expeditions taking place during 2017. Most are still to leave the UK; some are currently in the field, and some have recently returned, though the results of their endeavours are presently unknown. In general, only the designated expedition organiser is named.
Read more »

British-based climber completes two new routes in Baffin Island
0

Scottish resident and big wall climber, Marek Raganowicz, has added two demanding aid routes to the overhanging Ship's Prow in Baffin Island.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £15.72.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »