Way back in December, on a trip to Colorado to visit friends and family for the Holiday, I stopped by to see my good friends at Bent Gate Mountaineering to inquire about some equipment since their was a possibility I would be attempting a 7000 meter peak in June. Also the majority of the mountains outside of Almaty are oriented towards pure mountaineering, instead of the ski mountaineering I prefer, so it was time for some new toys. I walked away with some pretty fancy mountaineering boots that fit like a dream, but I didn’t have the chance to use them until May, when Chris, Matt and I decided to climb the standard route of Peak Molodezhnaya.
I had attempted this peak once before as a way to introduce Davinia to mountaineering. A bad night of sleep prevented us from getting above 4000 meters, and a shortcut on the descent prevented us from telling many people about it. But I was happy to return with my good buddy Matt, who I have explored these mountains with several times, and with Chris, an Australian who has quickly become a super good friend and generous roommate over the past few months. It ended up being the highest point he had ever reached, and he did so in good form.
The climb of the western ridge of Molodezhnaya is pretty simple, if you stray too far left, you’ll be on glacial ice, and too far right will put one on loose rocks. The snow was perfect to climb and we made short work of it. The summit was easy to find, and we took plenty of photos of Peak of the Soviets and the surrounding mountains of Tuyuksu Glacier.
We decided to descend a different route, the one that Davinia and I tried to climb, since it would put us back at our tent spot fairly effectively. It was here, between the summit and the 4000 meter turn-around spot from before, we found some pretty exposed, fun rock to get down on.
We took care of the tricky part without issue, and then worked our way back up to the glacial ridge for a fairly easy descent from there. Overall, this is a pretty simple route, but super fun to spend the day outside with great weather and great people.
Matt and Chris descended all the way back to Almaty that evening, but I stayed one more night in hopes of snagging another peak the next day. Weather moved in quickly in the morning, however, so I was sent home early without another peak until the following weekend, when Chris and Bjorn would join me on something that was a little bit more technical…
If you are interested in more photos of the approach and climb, please check out Chris, Matt, and I’s photos on Dropbox.