Kongur Sees Rare Ascents


Three separate Russian expeditions have climbed 25,325-foot Kongur, making the probable third, fourth, and fifth ascents of the highest peak in the Chinese Pamirs. The Russian teams followed a couple of routes on the north side of the Kongur massif, topping out on the first route on August 9. Kongur had been climbed only twice in 23 years, despite numerous attempts. In 1981, the British team of Christian Bonington, Peter Boardman, Al Rouse, and Joe Tasker made the first ascent by the peak’s southwest rib. A Japanese team climbed the mountain from the northwest in 1989. Kongur is defended by frequent strong winds and high avalanche danger, as well as its nearly 8,000-meter height. An avalanche took out Camp 1 of the first Russian team on the mountain this year, and only the arrival of the other groups provided enough gear and supplies for them to continue.