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On July 26th, 2013, I free-soloed the Northwest Face of Komsomol Peak, which rises 4376 meters (14,357 feet) almost directly above Almaty, Kazakhstan (in certain circles it is also known as Nursultan Peak). This face does not get a lot of attention, but luckily I climbed it a few days after a very wet snowstorm followed by a couple of cold nights above 13,000 feet. This made the conditions absolutely perfect for alpine climbing, especially the crux, which is the first rocky section in the video and where the route makes a bump in the guide book photo.
I have been slightly obsessed with skiing this peak since I first saw it, so it was super excited to have such a promising climb with skis on my back.
Part Two will have some more details and photos of what I think is (and this has been verified by a few guides and locals) the “first descent with skis on.” This climb was undoubtedly the most exhilerating, exciting ascent I have ever done, but the descent was the scariest, stupidest thing I have ever done with skis on.