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  SUMMITCLIMB MT. MUSTAGATA INTERNATIONAL EXPEDITION 2006


We are presently camped on a grassy field between Mustagata and Mt. Gonga along the banks of Karakul Lake. The views are fabulous. This is our acclimatization camp at 3650 meters. We have spent two nights here. It is essential to spend the time acclimatizing before heading up to our basecamp at the 4500-meter elevation. Today we will hike to basecamp, which is a 4-hour hike. All the members are in good health and itching to go.

Yesterday most everyone hiked up the river valley between the two massifs – Mustagata and Gonga - amongst Kerghiz summer yurts. The Kerghiz have already set-up their summer camps where they heard their sheep and yaks on the high grasslands. Two of our members, Sandy and Hanne, were brave enough to take a dip in the frigid glacier waters that feed Karakul Lake.

Last week all our members trickled into Kashgar from around the world and through many ports. Most flew into Kashgar from Beijing, but others took the train along the ancient Silk Road; Yann came in over the Turugart pass from Kyrgyzstan; and four other members came over the Karakoram Highway from Pakistan. Amazingly, everyone arrived without delay, and only two lost luggage, which for flights that can have up to 5 connections, that’s not bad. We quickly located the lost luggage and got it to Kashgar before we departed for the mountains.

We have a diverse team with members from France, Belgium, Latvia, Denmark, New Zealand, Australia, China, USA, Switzerland, UK, Canada, and Tibet. It is always exciting to have such an affluent team with individuals from so many walks of life.

Our days in Kashgar consisted of indulging in the local cuisine, which is wonderful - mouth-watering lamb shish kabob, savory Hami melons, fresh yogurt, and Uyghur style pull noodles. We explored Kashgar old town, the Id Kah Mosque in city central, visited the animal market where real bartering for sheep, horses, and camels is an animated affair, and meandered through the Sunday Bazaar.

There was also much purchasing of supplies and packing to do. We have to have all our mountain equipment shipped to Kashgar, for unlike Katmandu, Kashgar has no equipment for outdoor activities, especially climbing. We had boxes of gear to unpack, organize and re-pack – the normal pre-expedition organized chaos. Our staff worked hard in the oppressive Kashgar desert sun. Our staff, from Tibet, hate this heat. Two trucks of equipment were stacked high on the evening of July 2 and the entire team departed Kashgar on July 3rd.

Dispatches

ABOUT MUSTAGATA (7546 M / 24,750 Ft)  

Mt. Mustagata is an impressive and elegant peak in the Pamirs of Xinjiang Province, China. The mountain has gained popularity given that for such a high mountain it is safe, has become known as the easiest 7500 metre peak in the world, and the alpine skiing is exquisite. Climbing Mustagata is a great way to test your ability to cope with high altitude in a relatively short period of time. Most climb it in snowshoes or ski the mountain. Many more people have the ability to climb Mustagata than they think. For such a high mountain, it is very safe.

Mustagata is along the old Silk Road (present day Karakoram Highway) connecting Kashgar in China to Islamabad, Pakistan. The local people near the mountain are Khergiz and Tashiks. The Khergiz are nomadic shepherds who live in yurts and graze their camels, yaks, and sheep on the large grasslands around Mustagata, Mt. Gongar, and Karakul Lake.

Most teams climb Mustagata via what has become known as the traditional route. During the summer of 2005 SummitClimb.com climbed the mountain via the Tashgergan route (‘Tash’ route for short). The main reason for the change was that the traditional basecamp had become overcrowded, excessively dirty, and unsanitary. The ‘Tash’ route parallels the traditional route. It is similar to the traditional route in length, slope angle, and difficulty.  From the snowline to the summit, you can snowshoe or skin-up the entire mountain on skis. The ‘Tash’ route is actually better for skiing.

 TEAM ROSTER:

Jonathan Christian Otto (Leader)

Philip James Crampton (Assistant Leader)

Ben John Stephenson (UK)

Rhys Cameron Roberts (USA)

Huang, Chongzhi (China)

Rolf Vetter (Switzerland)

Nathalie Virag (Switzerland)

Charles Clinton Estes (USA)

Roger Graham Crawford (Austrailia)

Nigel Alan Campbell (UK)

Barbara Dwyer Brebrick (USA)

Alan Michael Burke (USA)

Ting, Wunchi (China)

Cristian Vincent Coban (USA)

Yann Le Du (France)

Fan, Qin (China)

David Filet (France)

Bradley Graham Jackson (Australia)

Sandy Mariko Hoby (New Zealand)

Hanne Rasmussen (Denmark)

Santis Limesz (Latvia)

Bruno P. P. J. De Bueger (Belgium)

De Bueger Thomas E. J. P. (Belgium)

Eric Thauvin (France)

Soudjatta Somaya (France)

High Altitude Climbing Staff:

Penba Dunzhu (Tibet)

Chomba (Tibet)

Tserin Danda (Tibet)

Lobsang (Tibet)

Phubu Tserin (Tibet)

Tashi Namgel (Tibet)

Nima Erjia (China)

Su, Rongqin (China)

Kitchen Staff:

Dang, Xiaoqiang

Bai, Chunxi

Zhang, Jiaying

Ge, Xiaohua

Wang, Xinzhou

Li, Xiaohua

 

Millet One Sport Everest Boot Expedition and mountaineering boot for high altitude and extremely cold conditions. The Everest has conquered all 14 mountains over 8,000m and also the Seven Summits- and has now had a makeover to ensure continued peak preformance. With a newer sung, Alpine Fit, and even lighter Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.

 

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 






 

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