Jon Otto calling
with summit news!
Earlier Update: this is a bit dated but I
forgot to send the "Norwegian team" update along with the rest of the team's
update for the 2005 Mustagh Ata expedition
Update: The Norwegian Mustagh
Ata Expedition 2005: Espen Bjertness (Father) and Marius Bergsmark Bjertness
(Son, 15 years old). If Marius succeeds in summiting, he will be the youngest
Norwegian to climb a mountain higher than 7500m, and among the few in the
world to have done so.
I last saw them on July 13 on
their way from camp 1 (5400m) to camp 2 (6150m). They were in good spirits and
ready to keep pushing higher. They planned their first summit attempt to be on
July 15. ~Jonathan Sullivan
Dispathc 5: This is
Jonathan Sullivan reporting from Chengdu. On the 15th I had to depart Mustagh
Ata in order to take care of some business here in Sichuan. Tom, aka Big T,
decided that Mustagh Ata was not the mountain for him so we hiked out together
and returned to Kashgar.
10-11, Urs, Kristine, Gary on one rope team and Aden (Tibetan guide/porter)
and I on another rope team ascended from camp 1 to camp 2. The weather was
calm and cloudy providing a nice refuge from the intense sun from days prior.
We all stayed at camp 2 for two nights acclimatizing. On the second night we
were joined by Jon, Matthew, Leo and Yuan Wei. Big T and Ron remained in base
camp at this time enjoying 3 square meals a day.
On the 12th
Urs and Jon skied up to camp 3 and back down to camp 2 before they ran out of
daylight. Yuan Wei, Aden and myself established the first tent at camp 3 after
a long day of off and on white-out conditions. The rest of the gang at camp 2
decided to descend and take in several days of rest at base camp before the
big summit push.
I had a
restless and breathless night of sleep in camp 3 (6170m). I woke up at 5am
with a major headache and strong bowel movements. I knocked about 15” of snow
off the tent before going outside to do my business. I was unable to push to
the summit do to my illness but Aden and Yuan Wei gave the first summit
attempt of our expedition. However they turned back after several hours
because of poor weather. I decided to descend to basecamp because of my
condition and other time contraints. I celebrated in basecamp by having some
Jack Daniels with Big T and G Force (Tom and Gary).
just about everybody was hanging out in basecamp. We enjoyed pancakes and
bacon for breakfast and then spent the morning joking with eachother and
sorting gear. Clouds came and went throughout the day and it seemed as if the
weather was going through a change. Sure enough as I walked out of basecamp
toward the Karakoram highway the weather had cooled down but cleared up. It
was the first time the mountain was in pure blue sky for the
As of the
15th when I left, Yuan Wei and Aden were still in camp 3 waiting for further
instructions from Jon Otto. The Norweigens were in camp 2 acclimatizing and
ready to go higher. Urs was in camp 1 relaxing, acclimatizing, and giving
highly informative weather reports via walky-talky. Gary, Kristine, Ron, Leo,
Matthew, under the fearless leadership of Jon Otto were packing up and on
their way to camp 1. The summit assault has begun by everyone. If the weather
holds I think this will be a highly successful expedition.
phone is still not operational so we will continue to be in suspense for
several days. The route has been established and I deem it to be a safe and
sound route. The path is layed, the camps are established, the bags are
packed, its just time to execute and have fun. Good luck to all!
Dispatches from Mustagh Ata 2005 Expedition:
Michelle, we are resting in basecamp and we’ll start going up to the summit
tomorrow. Hope you already have your visa. Everything is going well here.
start the grind to the summit tomorrow. Diamox has given me a new altitude
attitude. See ya soon and have a great Fanny Ride. ~Ron
Anna, and JP, we went to camp 2 for a couple of days, came back down to BC to
rest for two days. Tomorrow we leave for an attempt: camp 1, camp 2, camp
3-summit. It’s way cool to ski up here. I love my new skis. Love to everyone,
ciao, a bien tot. ~Kristine
Anna, and Laura- Things are going great here. WE’ve been up the mountain for
acclimitazation and spent the night the last two days resting in base camp.
Tomorrow we start up for the summit push. Wish us luck! I hope everthing is
great there and wish I had a Chicken Shack burrito. See you soon. P.S. My lips
hurt real bad! ~Gary (G-Force)
Her er en frisk hilsen framig I kina. Det har vaeret en fantasttisk tur med
spaeng dende oplevelsersammenmedet rigtig frisk hold. Jer har valgtatstoppe
lidt tidligt fordi sneog spaltenineavet er forhoejt tor mig. Jeg er nu I
Kashgar of I hoerer fra mig. Of Jeg skal vist osse huske et stort tillykke
till familien pa noerrebro. Mange kaerlige hiisner fra Tom. Xinkiang, Kina.
Dad, Family and Friends, I’m back in Chengdu. Altough I didn’t make it to the
summit I still consider the expedition a success for me. I met wonderful
people and helped pioneer a new route on big mountain. Chocolate covered
espresso beans have been fueling me higher and higher. Strong like Bull (say
with thick Russian accent)! ~Jonathan
Sullivan (USA) - Guide
Charles Kellund (USA)
(USA) - Leader
Xiaoqiang (head cook)
Often Spelled: "Muztagata, or
Mustagh Ata, or Muztaghata, or Muztagh Ata or Muztag Ata" Located in China,
1 July to 23 July , 23 days
in China in 2005, 2006, and 2007.
This is Jonathan Christian
Otto, the leader of Mt. Mustagata (7546 meters, 24,751 feet) this summer for
our SummitClimb expedition. I am in Lhasa right now helping put together our
Everest north expedition. The same strong Tibetan climbers we are using on
Everest we will use on Mustagata to carry equipment up the mountain and set-up
our camps. We hope you will be able to join our international team of men and
women. We have had a lot of success on Mustagata. I have climbed it five times
(4 summits), and our last expedition (July 2004) put 5 members and 2 Sherpas
on the summit..
This year we will place our
basecamp away from the crowd. The normal basecamp is crowded and soiled. At
our new basecamp there will be only a few teams at most (we may be the only
team) which makes for more sanitary conditions and will allow us to
concentrate fully on the climb. From here it is a slightly different route up
to camp 3 than from the normal basecamp. The conditions are very similar –
non-technical, low angle snow slope (10 to 20 degrees) with few crevasses.
Mustagata is a very high
mountain. It is a great way to test your ability to cope with high altitude in
a relatively short period of time.
July is the best time to
climb, as its not so snowy as in June and not so icy as in August. We travel
roped together and everyone on our team is either on snowshoes or skis for
Our fantastic cook staff has
much experience and has been with us for many years. They cook nutritious and
tasty meals and have a great attitude. They do a good job paying attention to
our health and hygiene so we can put our energies towards climbing the
We offer a full-service climb
or a basic climb option. For the full-service climb we supply all mountain
services: Permits, all equipment and food on the mountain (tents, stoves, gas,
ropes, etc.), Sherpa support, basecamp meals, medical supplies, and more. All
you have to bring is your personal climbing clothing, equipment and snack
food. For our basic climb we take care of your permits and get you and your
equipment to basecamp. Then it is up to you on how you wish to climb the
mountain. You will still get access to our detailed route information and
expertise throughout the climb.
Mustagata is part of the
Pamirs on the old Silk Road (present day Karakoram Highway) connecting Kashgar
in China to Islamabad, Pakistan. The local people 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
Getting to the mountain is
convenient and you have several options.
1. Fly into China
(Beijing, Shanghai, or Honk Kong) and then take the plane
or train to Kashgar. We will
meet in Kasgar and go to the mountain together.
2. Enter from Bishkek,
Kyrgyzstan overland via the Turugart pass. We will
meet you at the border and
take you to Kashgar.
3. Go overland from
Islamabad along the Karakarum highway and meet us at the mountain.
Most members fly into Kashgar
since this is the most convenient option. Jon Otto and Daniel Mazur
More About Mustagata Leader
Jonathan Christian Otto:
Jon has been on top of
Mustagata 4 times. Thrice by the normal ski-snowshoe route, and once via a
daring new route on the east ridge. He is an extremely experienced leader, a
real gentleman and a strong climber. Jon’s specialty is China and Tibet,
including all of the Himalaya therein. He currently lives in Sichuan, China,
speaks proficient Mandarin, and is a major player in the development of
climbing in China. Jon personally knows and works with all governmental
mountaineering agencies in China and Tibet. He has traveled the length and
breadth of China and Tibet, including many remote and border areas.
His organizational skills are
superb, and he has developed extensive contacts throughout Asia. Jon is a
partner in Aręte Alpine Instruction Center, a burgeoning climbing school in
Chengdu which was started to address the needs of the rapidly growing climbing
community in China.
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