Kyrgyzstan 2000In association with Verbier Exclusive
In June 2000, I headed off to the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan with 4 friends from England and a couple of mad Russian climbers. The great thrill of this expedition was that, barring the odd yak herder, nobody had ever been to these mountains before. Due to their proximity to the sensitive border between China and the former Soviet Union, the mountains had been completely off-limits to climbers for over half a century.
So little was known about the place that only Pik Kurumdy, the highest summit in the range, had been given a name and at 6,613 metres, it was one of the highest unclimbed mountains on the planet. We scaled a total of nine virgin peaks over a 6-week period, although unstable snow conditions on the upper flanks of Pik Kurumdy prevented us from reaching its summit. A Russian team made the top the following year.