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khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby stevemaher » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:43 pm

hi there

I plan to climb khan tengri in 2013 and use some russian companies. What is the level of Russian guides? I know many do not have IFMGA qualification as they have no body to administer the course.

I have been talking to the guys from k2 adventures, http://www.adventuretravel.ru. They look cheap, any one with some bad / good experiances?

thanks for your time

steve
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby BigLee » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:35 pm

I had a very bad experience with this lot seven years ago. Our guide completely failed to turn up. Everything else was arranged with Aksay travel in Bishkek anyway (helicopter, BC service, transfers, etc) so K2 Adventures were largely an agent. The BC managed to draft in a replacement 'guide'. A Russian called Boris who was on the wrong side of age 70, spoke no English, was pretty useless as a guide (he wasn't actually a guide in all fairness), and when the weather crapped out on the West Ridge he was the first to disappear down the fixed lines. Steer clear of this company is my strong recommendation.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby Damien Gildea » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:53 pm

I only just noticed this post, sorry. I agree with Lee - avoid this company. I was going through them this year for Khan Tengri and they messed things up, and once on the ground in Almaty they were not helpful to deal with at all and gave us wrong information. As Lee says, they are really just an agent for a larger group that runs the show on Khan Tengri.

I ended up climbing Peak Lenin no problem, using Ak-Sai Travel in Bishkek, but only after we simply walked away from K2 Adventures/adventuretravel or whatever they call themselves today. Luckily we had only paid a hundred euros or something deposit and I just let it go, considering it 'fuck off money'.

Lots of things can be a bit fast and loose in these countries, but I'm OK with that, it's part of the attraction and can work in your favour. But these guys were simply not good enough.

As an aside, although I've never used a guide to climb a mountain, I would not put much faith in any of these Russian/CIS 'guides' if you do actually want a guide. Many are quite strong, but many are very selfish, dictatorial, bored, surly and generally unhelpful. There were many complaints about guide behaviour on Lenin. Nothing really bad, nothing dangerous, just not what people expect when they hire a guide.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby hmix » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:35 pm

I climbed Khan in 2011 with Kan Tengri expeditions (via the normal route on the Kazakh side). Their guides were incredibly strong and experienced (new route on K2, big walls etc) but not IFMGA certified or acting like it. For me, it was perfect, as I preferred the opportunity to have a bit more freedom and didn't want to be micromanaged or have my hand held. We had to carry tents, stoves, food etc, and the guides weren't exactly always present, which some clients were very angry about. This past year, I used Ak-Sai travel to arrange an expedition in the Pamir. On Lenin, I met some guides of theirs who are IFMGA certified, spoke good english and were extremely professional. I doubt they would be on Khan Tengri, however, and Ak-Sai only operates on the more dangerous south Inylchek.

If you're looking for a truly guided, professional experience (from a western perspective), you may want to look into something custom with Ak-Sai, as they are a first rate operation, but you're unlikely to get that level of service if you just show up and go with any of the normal operators. On Khan Tengri in 2011, there was a fatal accident involving a Russian guide. I should probably reiterate that the Snow Leopard peaks are really serious, and if you really want a full-service guided trip, there may be better peaks to look at. But Khan Tengri lives up to the hype--tremendously beautiful and challenging--all that a big mountain should be. Good luck!
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby radson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:05 am

Howdy Steve, I would love to have a bash at KT next year. Not sure of my dates yet though.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby stevemaher » Sat Nov 10, 2012 8:02 am

Thanks for all the replies guys, I think I will now avoid k2 adventures, The "kan tengri" group are cheaper and look more experianced in that area. It looks like they are the guys who fix the ropes and open the route every year.

there are british companies who do a trip up there, but quite expensive 4000+ pounds, Id rather pay a local company 2000

Hi radson, the climbing period is extremely narrow, from mid july to august, you dont have much flexibility in dates with khan tengri.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby radson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:31 am

Aw c'mon Steve. How about a sneaky winter ascent of the ol' K2. Climbing seasons be damned.

But in all seriousness, my work schedule is very flexible but exact dates narrow down about 4 months out from a proposed date.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby BigLee » Mon Dec 10, 2012 8:53 am

I know there is a reliable company that operate out of the BC on the Northern side. I forget their name but it could be the one you mention.
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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby henrileveque » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:22 am

Hi

I know some Kyrgyz organisation, ITMC Tian-Shan (itmc@elkat.kg), and a Russian-Kyrgyz guide Vladimir Komissarov. He's the president of the Kyrgyz Alpine Club, a UIAGM guide, and he's personnally responsible of the actual formation of Kyrgyz guide, and AMGK certification wich is below UIAGM (or IFMGA in English), but very inspired of it. Vladimir Komissarov was directly involved in the process of Kyrgyzstan's guide to be certified by IFMGA standard. I recommend you to mail to him and his organisation (ITMC) or Kyrgyz Alpine Club to organise Khan Tengri ascent. I intend to reach the summit but felt to progress further more upper 6000 m. So I reach the west shoulder of Khan Tengri named Peak Petka. The route was the regular progrebetskiy one on the Semenovskiy Glacier. Beware of avalanche danger under Chapaev wall.

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Re: khan tengri and adventuretravel.ru

Postby henrileveque » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:56 am

Ak-Sai travel was also working together with ITMC on the southern Engilchek base camp. Ak-Sai have a good reputation. Both organizations was a mixed Russian-Kyrgyz companies, but they are both mananed by Kyrgyz director.

Moreover, the Kyrgzyz side of Khan Tengri is rather easier in ascend and administrative task also (no visa for 2013, only border permit for 20 $), despite the actual danger below the chapaev peak in the Pogrebetskiy Route on the Semenovskiy Glacier. There is much to say about it, and it represent in some way similar danger than the norh face regular Kazakh route. The north regular Kazakh is below the Petka peak, 6121 m known as the west shoulder of Khan Tengri, is a rather difficult and tireless ascent, below possible giant corniches. You have to reach 6121 before descending to the pass 5800 where trying to establish camp 3 on the windy pass. And after trying to submit Khan Tengri next day (or in two day, on camp 4 at 6400).

On the Pogrebetskiy route you were exposed to avalanche from the east face of Chapaev on the sector so-called "the bottle", it's on the way from camp 1 (4200) to camp 2 (5200), after it's an easy climb to camp 3, wich is very near the north Kazakh route camp 3 (only 200 m) but here it's just 100 m below the pass on a serac sector very well protected from the wind. It's a very confortable camp to stay and wait for a suitable meteo window. Nice place with full of sun and an inredible view to upper south engilchek basin.

The so-called "bottle" area on the way from camp 1 to camp 2, have suffer some human disaster, but most of it could be avoided by simple security advise : do not start to early from the camp 1, be under the danger at the firt day light (5 am) not to early, not to late. Area range from 4350 to 4700, it is not a very altitude. And be out of this sector last 9 am not more. It means that you need a good acclimatation before climbing. It's the pass to the success. I recommend you to make for 4 days the Engilchek trekking on the giant Glacier from Maida-Ady (or At-Jailoo) to the southern base camp at the junction of Svezdochka and Engilchek glacier (just in front of the north wall of Pobeda 7439 !). I've made in solo on 2010 before trying to summit Khan Tengri. I was in perfect condition for Pogrebetskiy route, each day reaching a higher camp, wich is reduced the risk. But too much snow defends the access to Khan Tengri. Nevertheless it's a great adventure in an incredible mountains, not less than Himalaya !

Henri
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