Exploratory UK First Ascents in China
by Lindsay Griffen Alpinist Sep/2007
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On July 25 a British expedition comprising John Allen, David Barker, Joe Howard, Kevin and Isobel Mulligan, Richard Taylor and Neil Willatt set up base camp at 4500 meters on the Kuksay Glacier in Chinese Xinjiang. This large basin, immediately east of Muztagh Ata, has seen relatively few visits. The main feature of the Kuksay is the huge southeast ridge of Muztagh Ata (7546m) itself, climbed in an eight-day alpine-style push during the summer of 2000 by Americans Walter Keller, Dan Mazur and Jon Otto. This route was repeated in just five days in 2005 by Kazuya Hiraide and Ms Kei Taniguchi from Japan. However, prior to the British visit the only team that appears to have concentrated solely on the smaller virgin peaks around the rim of the basin was Ulrike Keifer's South African team in 2001.
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