Traverse of Turkestan range ― South-West Kyrgyzstan (2011)

Leg 6: From Shirovsky glacier to Kshemish valley (July 26-28)

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We hiked up Shirovsky glacier to Shurovskogo pass (marked 1.4.1 in the map below, 4300m). I had crossed this pass in the opposite direction in 2005. But there was much more snow at that time. While we did not have to rope on Shirovsky glacier in 2005, crevasses forced us to rope in 2011. In addition, the route that we used in 2005 to ascend the pass was covered by compact snow at that time, but there was no more snow on this route in 2011, just rotten rocks. This led us to cross the pass at a slightly higher point and follow a steep mixed snow-rock slope for the descent (see below). We then reached the Kshemish glacier and later hiked the Kshemish river down to the place where we had our second delivery of food.

 

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(Black horizontal and vertical lines in the map are distant by 9.5 km.)

 

Lower part of the Shirovsky glacier.

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Slava taking a rest on the higher part of the Shirovsky glacier.

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Looking at the Shirovsky glacier from above. Our ascent route was on the left-hand side of the glacier on this photo.

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At the Shurovskogo pass.

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Kshemish glacier as seen from Shurovskogo pass.

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Slava leading the traverse of a steep patch of snow. Both snow and rock were rotten.

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Maksim going down.

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Slava on another section of the descent.

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View of Shurovskogo pass and our route for the descent.

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I took this photo in 2005. Thanks to the better snow coverage at that time, we had followed an ascending route leading to a lower point of the pass.

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Our camp on the moraine above the Kshemish glacier and below Shurovskogo pass. We dubbed this camp the ′fakir′ camp for its obvious lack of comfort.

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Peak Kshemish Bashi (5290m) as seen in the morning from our campsite.

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Maksim and Slava reaching the lower part of the Kshemish glacier below our campsite.

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Sheep and goats along the Kshemish river, slightly above the place where we had our second food delivery.

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The Kshemish river just before we left it to the right to ascend Dvoynoy pass (marked 1.3.6 on the map above).

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