A First Ascent in the Northern Tien Shan

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On June 22, Kirill Belotserkovskiy and Maxim Popov from Kazakhstan made the first ascent of the north face of Turgen (4,410m), located in the Turgen Valley, in the eastern part of the Ile-Alatau region. Their new route on this almost unknown mountain was 900m, AI3, M4.

Ile-Alatau is part of the Tian Shan Mountains in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Stretching for about 350km, it’s the northernmost range of the Tian Shan. Its highest point is 4,973m Talgar Peak.

According to Kazakh guide Kirill Belotserkovskiy, there had been only one previous route on this mountain. Back in 2011, Dan Scherbina and Vic Vassiliev climbed an ice slope to the right of the face and followed a broad ridge to the top.

Their effort spanned four days — two days to reach the base of Turgen, one day for the climb, and one day to return to the city of Almaty. Almaty is located at the foot of the Ile-Alatau range.

Belotserkovskiy and Popov required about 14 hours on Turgen’s north face. It featured mostly moderate ice (AI3) with a touch of excitement from a few rocky sections.

“The ice was generally thick and stable, although there were moments when I had to tie off my screws and scratch the rocks beneath the snow,” recalls Belotserkovskiy.

Source: Explorer Sweb