Spanish in Kyrgyzstan

Posted on: September 12, 2011


Cati Llado and Tomeu Rubi from Mallorca, Spain added to the long list of first ascents in Kyrgyzstan by climbing two new peaks, Rakhmat (5144m) and Tueshuenboeduem (5081m). The climbers left the heat of Spain for the appeal of the Djangart valley with its many unclimbed peaks on July 13 with the intention of spending twenty-one days climbing in the valley.

The Djangart's remote location and rugged terrain make the access difficult. After spending three days in a twenty-five-year-old car suffering from mechanical problems, the Spanish mountaineers arrived and shared a base camp with British climbers Alex Brighton and Richard Tremellen. The Mallorcans, like other climbers visiting the region this summer, contacted Mike Royer for beta on the area while planning their trip. Royer told Alpinist that it was a wonderful experience making these international connections. "Like the others who have continued the exploration of remote Kyrgyzstan this summer, we were drawn to the experience of going off the beaten path, which offers a richness that just cannot be matched."

Llado and Rubi completed the first ascent of Rakhmat which means "Thank you." in Kyrgyz and christened their route "Piolets customitzats i botes banyades" ("Customized ice axes and coated boots.") (D, IV, M4, 65, 700m) for the wear and tear on their ice axes over the years and the condition of their climbing boots after the ascent. After the summit they returned to base camp to rest for a few days while planning their next route.

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The Mallorcans made an attempt at peak 5081m, taking a route that seemed like the most obvious way to ascend but instead led them northwest and without a chance at the summit. Reaching a point of 4860m after crossing some rocky areas and climbing two steep pitches (A1, 6b) they named this unexpected, "illogical" route "He perdut el guant i les forces" (Roughly translated as "I lost the gloves and the force.") (A1, 6b, 550m). They descended in order to attempt the original goal from a better approach.

Choosing their route more carefully, they elected an ambitious line up the north face of 5081, deciding to give it their all since it would be their last climb of the expedition. Llado and Rubi approached the face from the head of the Djangart glacier as seen from the highest point on their previous ascent. "Si la cornisa vol" ("If you want the cornice.") (TD+, IV+, M5, 85, 650m) is thus named for the final twenty minutes of the climb which were spent digging a corridor to the summit. They named the peak Tueshuenboeduem ("I don't understand.") for a Kyrgyz man who had housed them in his yurt on their journey to the Djangart and joked with them about their attempts to speak the native tongue and their misunderstandings of it.

Sources: Desnivel.es, Mike Royer

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