Muztag Ata is an isolated massif rising from the western end of the Takla Makan Desert in the Sinkiang (Xinjiang) Province of China. In Uygur language "Muztagh Ata" means "The father of icy mountains". It lies in the hub of the great mountain ranges of Asia, with the Karakoram to the south, the Pamir to the west and the Kun Lun and Tien Shan to the north. About 100 miles to the North is the mysterious city of Kashgar. The snowy slopes of Muztag Ata rise from a remote corner of the Central Asian Plateau, and the easiest approach here is via the famous Karakoram Highway. The only settlements in the area lie along the highway while nomadic Kyrgyz people roam the vast plains with their camels and horses.
At 7,546 m (24,757 ft) Muztag Ata is perhaps the highest mountain suitable for ski mountaineering in the world. Of course, its early pioneers did not have skis and deep snow thwarted early attempts on it, including one by Eric Shipton and Bill Tillman in 1947. They ploughed a furrow to within 70 meters of the summit before being turned back. It was 1st climbed in 1956 by a large Chinese-Russian expedition, which placed total 31 climbers on the summit. Three years later even this success was topped when 33 members of a Chinese expedition climbed it, 8 of whom were women. The first ski ascent of Muztag Ata was made in 1980 by an American expedition led by Ned Gillette.
Day 1: Arrival to Bishkek. Meeting at airport. Transfer to hotel **.
Day 2: Flight Bishkek-Osh, meeting at airport, hotel accommodation **.
Day 3: Trahsfer Osh-Achik-Tash (the base camp on 3500 m aka "Onion Glade"), about 10 hrs drive on Pamirsky Trakt (Pamir Highway), high pass, 3615 m, en route. You make a stop for lunch in intermediate base "Taldyk" on Pamir Highway, we serve a variety of meals and drinks in a yurt (Kyrgyz national dwelling) which makes your trip less tiring! Tent accommodation (2 persons tents) at BC.
Day 4: Preparation day. Acclimatization ascent on Petrovskogo peak (4700 m) or Travellers Pass (4150 m) - recommended. Tent accommodation at BC.
Day 5: Climb to the Camp-1 (ABC, 4400 m) through Travellers' Pass (4150 m), about 5 hours. Tent accommodation (2 persons tent) in ABC (4200 m).
Day 6: Climb to the Camp-2, 5300 m. Steep ice slope, crevasses, then traverse to so-called "Skovorodka" (flat area).
Day 7: Climb to the Camp-3, 6100 m, via the spur and Peak Razdelnaya (6200 m).
Day 8: Descent to the Camp-1 (ABC). Tent accommodation.
Day 9: Descent to the base camp 3500 m. Tent accommodation in BC.
Day 10: Day of rest. Tent accommodation in BC.
Day 11: Preparations for climbing (assault attempt). Tent accommodation in BC.
Days 12-14: Climb to the Camp-1 (ABC, 4200 m, tent accommodation), Camp-2 (5300 m) and Camp-3 (6100 m).
Day 15: Ascent of the summit 7134 m . Along the narrow ridge to the "Knife" (steep ice spur with fixed ropes), then on the rocky ridge to the plateau (6900-7000 m) and to the summit. Descent to the Camp-3 reverse way.
Day 16: Descent to the Camp-1 (ABC). Tent accommodation in ABC.
Day 17: Descent to the base camp, 3500 m. Tent accommodation in BC.
Day 18: Spare day for the case of bad weather.
Day 19: Transfer Onion Glade (Achik Tash); Irkeshtam Pass (Kyrgyz-Chinese border); Kashgar, hotel **.
Day 20: Transfer Kashgar-Subashi (bus, 200 km, 4-5 hours), then camel caravan to Muztag Ata BC. Drive along the Karakoram Highway for several hours through the narrow gorge of the Gez river to the shore of Karakuri Lake at 3,900 m, 196 km from Kashgar. Horses, yaks and camels graze on the rich pasturage. Here the camel caravan get start. Then drive 10 km to Subashi, wait for the caravan and trek over a level plane and then climb steadily through barren hills to Muztag Ata Base Camp (BC), approximately a 4-hour walk. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Days 21-30: Climbing activity. Full board in BC.
Day 31: Camel caravan back to Subashi. Transfer Subashi-Kashgar. Hotel accommodation. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 32: City tour at Kashgar, last day of the expedition. Tour includes the tombs of Abakh Hoja Tomb, well-known Kashgar Bazaar (local market), the famous Id Kah Mosque and the most unique old town with typical Uygur-styled homes. Visit of the various shopping alleys full of noodle shops, bakeries, teashops, blacksmiths and carpenters.
Day 33: Transfer Kashgar-Torugart pass-Naryn (or Kashgar-Irkeshtam Pass-Osh). Yurt or hotel accommodation.
Day 34: Flight to Bishkek. Overnight in hotel **.
Day 35: Transfer hotel-airport. Departure from Bishkek.
Note: The citizens of most of industrial states don't need visa support for Kyrgyzstan, visa is available upon arrival at airport.
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Kyrgyzstan China Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Mountain/Rock Climbing
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