KAZAKHSTAN - The Marble Wall and Khan Tengri Traverse

06 Aug 2011 - Advance to Camp at 5540m


All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2011. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.


Highlighted area shows today's climbing

Luckily the tent survived a night of raging wind. We had to sit out the bad weather until 10am whereupon we had some more disagreeable food which led to a toilet catastrophe. We packed up in the cold windy weather and carrying all our gear, returned to the cache of food that we had left at 5450m. From here we advanced, carrying everything, to 5500m. This was the first day of the trip where we carried everything with us in the one load, rather than carrying a stash up to a point and then returning for the remaining gear. At 5500m a rock step blocked our way and some very steep exposed climbing lay ahead. Serious communication issues and confusion between myself and my guides ensued, the language barrier presenting a major problem in working out what we were supposed to be doing. After a lot of confusion and altercation we abseiled back down from the base of the rock bluff to a point where the tent could be pitched. We dug in the tent at about 5500m in worsening weather. I am feeling very weak and malnourished.

Ok so after enduring a night of raging winds the weather had improved by mid-morning. Carrying all our gear we climbed up this mixtire of snow and loose rock - quite steep.



Then we are confronted by a rock bluff and to negotiate this we have to sidle around the base of the rock. We reached the rock crevice ahead, and then at that point there was a great deal of confusion and miscommunication, exacerbated by the language barrier. It was unclear whether they wanted to climb higher or stay here. It seemed they wanted to camp in this rock crevice for some reason, which seemed totally ludicrous to me. Eventually we just left a stash of equipment under the rock crevice and then abseiled back down to a place where we could put the tent up.
So here is where we ended up placing our Camp 3, at 5540m. It was even more exposed here than Camp 2, where we had spent the previous night.

The advantage of an exposed campsite is the superb view and high mountain aspect.



All content copyright © Ashley Burke 2011. Not to be copied, duplicated or used for any purpose without permission.

Page created 29 Nov 2011, last updated 5 Dec 2011.