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Mustagh shot IMG 0705

Follow 13-year-old Alex on 24,757-ft. Mustagh Ata!

Mustagh Ata

We have received three updates from our guides on Mustagh Ata. Alex, 13, dove into the climb­ing world when he was 8 years old by sum­mit­ing Mt. Shuk­san and Mt. Adams and it has been dif­fi­cult to keep him off the moun­tains ever since. He has climbed var­i­ous peaks in the West­ern U.S., Cana­da, Bolivia and Peru. Join­ing him on this adven­ture is his father and guide, Shayan Rohani who among oth­er objec­tives, led Alex and his dad to the sum­mit of the beau­ti­ful Toclara­ju in Peru’s Cordillera Blan­ca. Alex has been in good hands all along and trained hard for these spec­tac­u­lar climbs. 

Clair reports from the Base Camp of Mustagh Ata: 

Most recent update from July 18:

Hel­lo Moun­tain Mad­ness, this is Clair call­ing from Mustagh Ata Base Camp. The weath­er here con­tin­ues to be good. It’s warm­ing up real­ly well dur­ing the day and the winds have been gen­er­al­ly light. The snow line is reced­ing quick­ly now and the runoff near Base Camp is a run­ning stream dur­ing the day. John, Alex and Shy just spent one night at Camp One and then two nights at Camp Two. They came down today to Base Camp and they will now spend two nights here before they head for the sum­mit. The climb­ing to Camp One is most­ly in boots with snow shoes being used up high­er. The snow con­di­tions change a lot dur­ing the day, get­ting pret­ty soft in the after­noon. The first climbers on this route made the sum­mit yes­ter­day, help­ing everyone’s opti­mism about their own chances at the top. I’ve now got some very impor­tant Kyr­gyz words to work with; I’ve been talk­ing with the Kyr­gyz peo­ple here. I’ve got spoon”, sheep”, thank you”, good­bye”. The Eng­lish words that they have picked up have been lim­it­ed to hi”, beer” and thank you” — we’re doing what we can. The mar­mot pop­u­la­tion here is extreme­ly hap­py; all the mar­mot moms are out dur­ing the day with their babies all day: it’s pret­ty cute. Every­thing is good, we’re stay­ing healthy. I hope things are going well in Seat­tle. I will let you know how things go in the next few days.”

The view from Base Camp

To read more about the begin­ning of their trip, see below:

Update #1:

We hiked a few hours into Base Camp yes­ter­day. We saw gold­en col­ored mar­mots, baby birds hatch­ing, rab­bits and a fox. Every­one is feel­ing good and the weath­er has been beau­ti­ful; sun­ny and warm, with cool, clear evenings. Before arriv­ing at base camp we took in the sites in Kash­gar and spent two peace­ful nights camp­ing at Karakul Lake, with out­stand­ing views of Mustagh. We have been invit­ed into a few cour­te­ous yurts along the way, includ­ing one on our walk to Base Camp yes­ter­day, where some of us sam­pled hot, salty, yak tea, which we drank with a lit­tle prayer that our intestines would fair bet­ter than the sheep’s intestines sit­ting in the wall beside us in the yurt. We are rest­ing and accli­ma­tiz­ing at base camp today, and we’ll soon start mak­ing car­ries to Camp One. It is a heavy snow year so the route looks like it got some snow a lit­tle ear­li­er this year.”

A local yurt

Update #2:

John, Alex and Shy just returned to Base Camp for much need­ed rest after spend­ing two nights at Camp One. They missed a fight­ing, tem­pered flair between the locals about who is allowed to rent don­keys for car­ri­ers. All is resolved now, how­ev­er. There have been some after­noon and night­time snow flur­ries but the morn­ings con­tin­ue to be fair­ly clear and calm. The wind is start­ing to pick up a lit­tle bit. One mem­ber from anoth­er group went home today after one night at Camp One, with a trop­i­cal beach vaca­tion on their mind. He is in good health and good spir­its, just too much sit­ting around in the cold to be worth it to stay. There is also a Swedish woman who has arrived today and will be attempt­ing an alpine-style solo ascent to the moun­tain. I keep say­ing that it sounds like it is cold above Camp Three but she says For a Swede, it is noth­ing.” Tomor­row will be a rest day and the next day Shy, John and Alex will head to Camp Two for a cou­ple of nights. For now they will be enjoy­ing the lux­u­ry of hot show­ers at Base Camp and the vis­its from the goats and sheep that cruise through the camp dai­ly on their graz­ing paths.”

Check out some pho­tos from our pre­vi­ous Mustagh Ata trips:

Approach­ing Camp Two

Set­ting up camp

Local camels in abundance