Mount Everest Foundation
Supporting the exploratory


An attempt on an unnamed and unclimbed peak of c6123m in the Muzkol Valley in the Tajikistan Pamirs. The peak had been attempted previously by Rebecca Coles in 2011, but they failed because of difficulties too great for the skills and equipment then available to the team. As the Muzkol valley is in the North East of Tajikistan, they approached through Kyrgyzstan, flying into Osh. From there they travelled by jeep via Murghab to the Muzkol. Donkeys were used to carry further into Muzkol, and finally they ferried gear to a base camp at 4300m. They put in a high camp at 4900m, and from here climbed to a col at 5500m, where they stashed their gear. On the summit day they returned to the col, and traversed to the base of the West Ridge. Coles and Verspeak climbed 50 degree snow slopes diagonally to the ridge, and followed this to a high point of 5900m. The ridge was a mixture of rock scrambling, snow patches, and low angled ice pitches up to AD+. They stopped due to loose rock and a lack of snow. Huws and Vincent had climbed a more direct line reaching the ridge just below the high point. This was sustained D+/TD- with poor snow at the top. Both teams retreated by abseil. Coles and Verspeak explored another line further up the valley, but found that glacial retreat had left rock slabs and serac walls barring progress. Meanwhile Huws and Vincent were tempted to try a peak on the opposite side of the river above base camp, which they eventually succeeded on with a 14 hour day. The ascent involved several hours of scree trudging, then a 50 degree snow slope, ending up on the summit ridge. The grade was judged to be approximately D.

July - August 2014
Rebecca Coles, Simon Verspeak, Rhys Huws, and John Vincent

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