The summit has gentle slopes of 25-30 degrees stepness. Muztag Ata may be a technically easy mountain, but it is a full-scale Himalayan climb on a major 7,000m peak and you need to be able to cope with load carrying and setting up camps high on the mountain. At 7,546m. Muztag Ata is perhaps the highest ski-able mountain in the world. Of course, its early pioneers did not have skis and deep snow thwarted early attempts on it. It was eventually climbed in 1956 by a large Sino-Russian expedition, which placed a total of 31 climbers on the summit. Three years later even this success was topped when 33 members of a Chinese expedition climbed it, 8 of who were women. The first ski ascent of Muztag Ata was made in 1980 by an American expedition led by Ned Gillette.
We use three camps above base camp. The first camp is likely to be close to the snow line. In this case we will use pack animals to transport all expedition supplies to Camp 1. Above this point all team members will need to participate in load carrying between camps. In addition to putting the necessary supplies in place, this also provides essential acclimatisation and fitness for the summit attempt.
Camp 1 is at about 5,350 m: a steep, stony ascent from BC and right on the edge of the glaciers that blanket the upper 2,000 m of the mountain. It is a wonderful eyrie of a place with extensive views over pastures, hills, desert, the 'jewel' of lake Karakol and the white ramparts of Kongur.
From camp 1, the route is a steady ascent up a snowy and sometimes icy slope, through an area of crevasses and then negotiating a small 'valley' in the glacier; this is the steepest part of the whole route. The ice scenery is awesome and a striking contrast with the brown land beyond. Above the 'valley', a long and unrelenting ascent leads up to the site of camp 2, a small shelf in the glacier at about 6,100 m. There will probably be 2 or 3 ascents to camp 2, carrying loads for this camp and the one above. This is great for acclimatisation and great for the skiers as there is an 800 m run back to camp 1 with an empty sac!
It is possible to fix a camp virtually anywhere on the upper part of the mountain. Teams may use a camp 3 at 6,450 m or 6,800 m. Issues such as: acclimatisation, load carrying, snow conditions, sleeping comfort and average group speed will be taken into consideration when deciding what approach to use.
The route to the summit is straightforward; from 6,800 m-7,400 m a long, gradual slope slowly eases becoming gentler and gentler. Finally, with the ground appearing almost level, the small rise to the summit rocks appears. Beyond is the huge abyss of the east side of the mountain and all around is the vast emptiness of Central Asia, interrupted only by the high, white ridges of Kongur and the snowy peaks of the Pamirs. In clear conditions, the high peaks of the Karakoram range can be seen to the south.
Day 1: Arrival in Bishkek, accommodation in hotel. Transfer to Naryn (360 km, 6 hours). Overnight in yurts
Day 2: Transfer Naryn – Torugart (200 km, 5-6 hours). Crossing Kyrgyz/Chinese border customs, meeting with Chinese partners. Transfer Torugart – Kashgar (170 km.). Overnight in hotel
Day 3: Transfer Kashgar – Karakul Lake. Camping in Idara
Day 4: Trekking to BC using camels
Days 5–20: Climbing activities
Day 21: Return to Kashgar. Overnight in hotel
Day 22: Sighseeing around Kashgar. Hotel
Day 23: Drive Kashgar - Torugart. Crossing Chinese/Kyrgyz border. Transfer Torugart - Naryn. Yurts.
Day 24: Drive Naryn - Bishkek. Hotel
Day 25: Departure
Prices depends on the group size:
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Kyrgyzstan Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing
Email it to a friend:
Click here to email this vacation to a friend