Saturday, July 23: Report from Kristine O'Brien.
We are back
Dong treated the Mustagata team to a Uigher party last night. There was much
dancing, eating, drinking and partying well into the next morning. The local
children particularly enjoyed Gary, Leo and Kristine's dancing. Gambay means,
"dry glass". We gladly participated in this local custom.
of the remaining team summited.
On July 18,
Jon, Urs, Ron, Leo, Matt, and Tenzing summited. I had a headache at camp 2
so waited an extra day to go up. I'm glad I did. I felt really good at camp
3 and all the way to the summit.
On July 19
Kristine and Gary summitted--- in a white out so they didn't see anything.
Jon waited for us at camp 3, a bit worried when he saw the weather turn.
Gary was wishing he had skis all the way down.
skiers, the descent was challenging at first, due to the thin air, stopping to
breath every few turns. But as we continued down, and oxygen became more
available, they were able to fly. Powder to crust to supportable crust all
the was down to just above base camp. Wahoo!!!! One of the best ski
descents I ever experienced. Not at all dangerous or difficult, amazing
scenery from 24,751 feet to 16,400 feet. And I used to think the Vallee
Blanche in Chamonix was a long run.
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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