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31.07.2005, 09:44


Dear friends,

after some weeks you can hear some news from us. Actually we are in OSH in the south of Kyrgyzstan (look on the map). It is the second biggest city in Kyrgyzstan with 300.000 inhabitants. We arrived here 3 days ago. It is very hot with about 40 degree. The south of Kyrgyzstan has a strong influence from the Islam but the people live it in a more relaxed and modern way. You can see a lot of women with scarfs around their heads. We will explain more about this later. I will start 4 weeks ago.

On the 5th of July our German-Team started from Bishkek: Torsten(Chicko), Soeren, Anja, Daniel from Dresden; Stefan (Angie) and Torsten (Hagan) from Weimar and Lars from Berlin.
We had bought food for 20 days inclusive gasoline. At first we had some confusion because we had ordered 4WD Truck with our agent in Bishkek and there was a kind of bus in the front of the hotel. We knew, that the track to the mountains was not so easy. So we discussed a lot with the agent and after 3 hours we got a real truck... a so-called ZIL. The first 300km to the
city NARYN (50.000) are asphalt. We passed fascinating landscapes. We slept in Naryn and got a midnight dinner. The next morning we did the Border-Permit Registration at the Police. Maybe some more words to the mountains we went to:

KOKSHALL-TOO translated means the 'white witches' and is part of the Tien-Shan mountain range. It is located on the border to China (see the map) and the highest summit reach 5900m (Peak Dankova). The range is difficult in acess. Up to 1997 it was forbidden for climbers, because of the border to China. Also today you can still find the border-fences and a 10m wide section (probably for mines and footprints, see picture 13). Often it seems unbelievable, but the former Sovietunion did not like China very much... Anyway, today this border helps us to get to the mountains, because the Russian army built a nice track, but after the breaking down of Sovietunion the track is not well cared, but it is possible with a 4WD to go. But, because of this border we also need special permits. That is why we used an agent in Bishkek. We crossed 3 big border police checkpoints and all without problems, because we had the right papers. Very view climbers ever came to these mountains. Still you can find unclimbed moutains. We chose the Western part of the range with the very impressive summit KIZIL ASKER (5800m).

We arrived there on the 7th of July. The driver Namas and our guide (just for the drive) Alexei wanted to go closer to the glaciar and then it happened. We got stuck in the mud...So we put up our tents there and the next day a small team already went to find a base camp next to the glaciar. After 10 hours of working we got the truck out. Alexei and our driver went back to Bishkek. Now we were completely alone for the next 3 weeks. The last military checkpost was 60km away. We found a really nice place for our base camp at 3800m. The first night in the base camp the others suprised me and we had a really nice birthday-capirinha with glaciar ice. That was a nice suprise and we had a fantastic night.

The first day of climbing we went for acclimatization to a 4700m peak. We got the summit. That was a really nice start. You know in high altidudes the air is very thin and you feel like an old men... Our next tour went more up and we camped on the glaciar. We made another summit with an altitude of 4900m. We had some nice climbs, but the snow condition was very bad. We enjoyed the mountains very much. It was the first time for Anja to camp on glaciar and in snow. After 5 days we got really bad weather with a lot of snow and we went back to our base camp, also to rest a little bit. The climbs are really tiring. Normally you wake up 3 o'clock in the morning and start walking about 4. Sometimes earlier. That depends on the snow conditions. Normally in the morning it is colder, that means the snow is much harder and therefore, easier to walk or to climb.

For our second big tour we divided our team. Four of us went to climb the KIZIL ASKER (5800m): Angie, Hagan, Daniel and Lars. They really did the summit. That is amazing. We had luck with the weather. On the summit day there were no clouds and wind, perfect. We do not know exactly yet, but this mountains was climbed by maybe 10 teams before. It is not an easy one. Congratulations.

Anja, Chicko and me we went to an other very nice glaciar and mountains. On the same day like the other team in perfect conditions Chicko and me climbed a 5120m summit. Very nice and also very seldom climbed. After some other climbs we met again everybody healthy in the base camp. The 3 weeks of climbing were very nice and it is a nice range with still a lot of possibilities.

On 25th of July we walked back to the 'street' and our ordered cars were already waiting. That was perfect. We ate the bread that they brought to us very fast... The way back to civilization did not take very much time and soon we had our first shower after 3 weeks and a nice dinner.

Anja will write more about the way from Naryn to here in OSH.


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