The crew over at Powder.kz put together this rad footage for a Backcountry Season compilation, which I am honored to be a part of.
This was also the place where my stomach had its final fight against the last of the contents consumed the day before, thanks to an involuntary olfactory response to the rather rural smell of a shop. The first and only thing I consumed that day was a liter of Sprite from Sary Tash, and I can assure you it was the best Sprite of all time.
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.
Intense warming & a few avalanches made for some of the most fun, smoothest pow skiing I've done in a long time, which is what this video features. I apologize to anyone looking for sickter-richter huck-tack-u-lar GoPro footage, but I had just as much fun with this crew on this terrain as I've had doing anything else in Central Asia, and that's all that matters.