It's time I admit it. I get crushes. I see beautiful faces that are just my type, and I feel an insatiable yearning for them. I take photos, spend hours stalking them on the internet, and borrow books to find out how to approach them. I just want to get out there and spend time on these faces, but still dream about them day and night until I live my fantasy. I'm talking about mountains. What did you think I was talking about?
We took our time on the tip of the summit, taking lots of photos and having lots of laughs. I think when you complete an exposed climb like this, there is something psychological about the summit that makes mountaineering become more than a sport or hobby, but as something one cannot live without. I had experienced an even greater relief and stronger positive energy at the summit of Komsomol Peak the summer before after free-soloing the Northwest Face, but this feeling is exponentially increased when the experience is shared with partners, perhaps because other people have overcome the same fears and obstacles, and they too have the electric feeling that only a hard-earned summit in difficult circumstances can provide.
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 snapped photos, especially of the steep north face. I spent a good amount of reflecting on this zone, gazing at Amangeldi Peak, Komsomol Peak, Chimbulak Peak, and so many others that I have had such an amazing time exploring. This is a truly amazing zone that has very much influenced my alpine skills.
The climb and descent were great, but the thing that blew me away about this climb was the views from the top. This was the furthest I have ventured into the Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan, and they only get bigger and better the further south I have gone. The pictures hardly give the views justice.