Bayancol valley in Central Tien-Shan (map).
The valley of the river Bayancol (scheme)
This valley is one of the most big in Central Tien-Shan. It is situated on the south-east of Kazakhstan, near to the border with China.
Beginning of the river Bayancol is at the altitude of 3200 m over sea level near to large glaciers, flowing down from the crest Sari-Dgaz.
From Bayancol valley in good weather opening a wonderful view on the North face of legendary Khan Tengry peak. It was a reason, that at the beginning of this century German geographer Gotfrid Merzbakher tried to come with their expedition to the food of Khan Tengry up by this valley, but faced with the crest, upon which he could not climb over - it was a crest of Sari-Dgaz with 5- 6- thousand meters peaks in height. So expedition turned back to the direction of the pass Tuz. In his travelling writings G. Mertzbakher left detailed descriptions of the valley Bayancol.
(In the foto to the right) The Mramornaya Stena ("Marble Wall") group in Bayancol valley.
For many people - Elbrus (5642 m) - double peak in Caucasus - is a mysterious aim, which they are dreaming of. In upper part of the valley of Bayancol are situated five peak of over 5000 m like Elbrus, or even more attractive, because they are completely wild and even have some routes, still not climbed on: peak Kazakhstan (5741 m), peak Bayancol (5841 m), peak Semionova (5816 m), peak Karli-Tau (5450 m), peak Pogranichnik (5258 m) and one of the most beautiful group of Tien-Shan - peak Mramornaya Stena (Marble Wall) (6400 m).
Ascents on these peaks not difficult too much, than on Elbrus peak, but takes place very rare, because this region is not very familiar among even soviet climbers.
Through high but not difficult pass Odinnadzaty (of Eleven) (5300 m), it is possible to get to north side of Khan Tengry peak, towering in all it grandeur - the valley of north Engilchek, from where it is possible to climb on it by rather easy rout through the saddle and West crest.
In April and may it is possible to have a wonderful helio ski program over all these snow covered peaks with the base of Kara-Kara camp.
There are two place for good bivouacs in upper part of Bayancol valley - the last one is just between two moraines in front of the glacier Bayancolskiy. To get to this place is possible only using helicopter from Kara-Kara camp and it takes about 30-40 minutes of flight. During the flight, around a lot of snow capped peaks filed all horizon - to the south it is possible to see north slopes of Pobeda peak (7439 m) and dominated 3000 m grand North face of Khan-Tengri peak.
For climbing this region presents very good opportunity for ascents by snow and ice. The domination of this region is Mramornaya Stena peak with practically vertical 400 m rock wall of yellow marble, which capped with ice fall. Because of ice fall danger this wall still remains to be unclimbed.
On the other hand, this region could be splendid for ski tour and especially for helio-ski programs, the best time for which are April-may. The best objects for this helio ski program are Odinnadzaty peak, Bayancol peak and Kazakhstan peak, which have good snow slopes and rather safety, as the proposal descent by ski is coming by snow spur. The steep of slopes are about 20-30 degrees.
For ascent the best choice could be Bayancol peak (5841 m) 4b by the North ridge. From the camp it is necessary to go by the moraine and turn little bit to east until north ridge,leading to the Bayancol. It is rather easy route, but long and big difference in altitude change, so it is necessary to bring tent for a sleep. Also there is a lot of snow and it possible to make snow cave for night. This peak can be taken for good pre-acclimatisation before Khan-Tengri climbing. Rope, crampons, ice-axe are necessary to have for safety. At the altitude of about 5100-5300 m is possible to have a bivouac during climbing up or on the way back. Totally it takes two days to climb and return.
If from the camp turn further to east and take the next snow spur after which is possible to climb Bayancol peak, there is another snow spur, upon which is possible to climb pass Odinnadzaty (5300 m) and if to go further by the crest - to peak Odinnadzaty (5437 m) (3A, North-East ridge). The same equipment as for Bayancol peak are necessary to bring.
Still remains to be unclimbed peak Kazakhstan (5761 m), which is situated just in front of down camp. From the camp by moraine and further by North ridge, covered by snow is possible to reach the top and return back during two days long.
To be continued...