The Altai

Exploration in Southern Siberia, 9th-28th August 2012

Eleri heads across the ridge with the summit glacier in view behind.

Un-named 3608m Peak - PD

Date: 15st August 2012
Climbers: G. Cave, E. Dawson
Duration: 8-9 hours
Status: First British ascent

Route Description

From the col in the valley, climb the NE spur of the East ridge (eaasy scrambling) to the summit at 3190m. From here, continue along the exposed and very loose East ridge until it steepens dramatically to the summit glacier. Route finding is never complex, but the rock is in significant danger of collapse in many places. The glacier can be gained by traversing right slightly around the large rocky face at the end of the ridge. On the glacier, curve around to the South to the summit. Descent is easily found from the end of glacier down the scree laden slopes to the valley floor.

Dwarfed by giant (crumbling) rocky structures on the East ridge.

Route Details

The round trip from basecamp took us around 8-9hours. As this was our acclimatisation day, this wasn't too bad, but a more competent party could easily reduce this.


The route was one of the obvious targets from our basecamp next to the lake. The ridge presented exciting but easy scrambling, although the final rocky buttress near the end could have provided a more significant challenge had the escape around to the right not been present. The most dangerous crevasses on the glacier were fairly easy to avoid by careful route choice. The summit itself wasn't cleared marked, a small cairn marked the spot between two possible summit points but we were unsure where the final spot lay.

The map suggested that a crumbling, overhanging block to our left was the true top. However, with a storm approaching in the distance and the hour approaching 2pm, we thought better of it and headed off down the glacier and scree slopes back to camp.

Previous Known Ascents

We know of no other ascents of this mountain, however a summit cairn indicates that the top has been visited at least once before. There are almost certainly easier routes up than our ridge.

Gathering storm clouds bring hail as we finish the final climb across the summit glacier.