Coveted First Ascent on Kyzyl Asker for Papert and Lindic

© Ines Papert / Luka Lindic

German climber Ines Papert (42) partenered with Slovenian Luka Lindic (28) have made the first ascent of a much-tried line on the southeast face of Kyzyl Asker (5842m) on the border between Kyrgystan and China. The route, (now graded ED, WI 5+, M6, 1200m), was climbed in a fast and light Alpine style between 30th September and 1st October 2016. The pair have named their route Lost in China.



Our bivy high on Kyzyl Asker. Quite a place to spend the night. #arcteryx #petzl #lyofood #suuntoclimb

A photo posted by Luka Lindič (@lindicluka) on


This well known and ephemeral iceline had thwarted Papert in her two previous trips to the mountain, and had also been attempted by multiple other teams of various nationalities, including Brits Es Tressider and Guy Robertson.

Good conditions on the route are very difficult to find, and the sun that hits the face can have catastrophic effects, sending spindrif and ice down the 1200m couloir. Luckily on this trip the pair found superb conditions for the most part.

Commenting on the Arc'teryx Blog, Ines said:

"Neither Luka nor me had climbed such a perfect ice and mixed route at an altitude this high before. The same route had cost us incredibly much time in 2010 because of the difficult conditions. This time it seemed almost easy."

Luka Lindic high on Kyzyl Asker, climbing perfect ice.  © Ines Papert
Luka Lindic high on Kyzyl Asker, climbing perfect ice.
© Ines Papert

Kyzyl Asker is the highest mountain in the western sector of the Western Kokshaal-too range and has several other routes on its beautiful granite south pillar. The most well documented in recent times in the line by the Belgian team of Sean Villaneueva and Nico Favresse back in 2013. The photo below shows the Belgian's line up the rock, and the recent ascent by Ines Papert and Luka Lindic takes the screamingly obvious ice line just to the left.

The line of the Belgian rock route from 2013, the ice line is obvious to the left.
© Nico Favress / Sean Villenueva


The topo line from Ines and Luka  © Ines Papert / Luka Lindic
The topo line from Ines and Luka
© Ines Papert / Luka Lindic

Their ascent went relatively smoothly, but the pair still endured an uncomfortabel and cold hanging bivvy, just 2 pitches below the top.

When they finally topped out after a big push from Luka, he relinquished the lead for Ines to summit first. She described the moment on the Arc'teryx blog:

"We untied from our ropes at the summit ridge, left them and the pack behind and made our way to the peak. Luka gave me a wink and let me lead: ‘After your experience and hardships on the mountain this is how it should be.’ I climbed the last metres to the cornice-covered peak. I was speechless and simply happy to experience this moment. Luka arrived and I could see joy in his face as he stands next to me. It is 12.10 local time."


Luka Lindik is sponsored by: Arc'teryx, Lyo Food, Petzl and Suunto

Ines Papert is sponsored by: Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, Edelweiss, Julbo, Lowa and Lyo Food

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25 Oct, 2016
Reminds me a little of the line of Madness Tres Mince. In which case, the Charlet-Ghilini is available up the right branch at the top of the initial couloir. I can't quite see if it's continuous though.
26 Oct, 2016
Amazing effort from Ines and Luka. Such a great route. Two picky corrections: Pretty sure that the photo captioned "Luka Lindic high on Kyzyl Asker, climbing perfect ice." is in fact on mine and Guy's route "Border Control" which they repeated (and sumitted, we didn't) on the great walls of China, which they did as a warm up for the main event. You've spelt my surname wrong.
26 Oct, 2016
Been thinking a bit more about my two trips to try this route. You mention the sun playing havoc on the wall, sending down spindrift and ice. It was a bit more dramatic than that on our first attempt in August 2002; it thawed so much that if it had been 80 degrees less steep you could've kayaked it! We were lucky to find an overhanging buttress to shelter under for a whole day of watching the route fall apart around us. I think it was this combination of regular storms and substantial thawing that created such amazing ice conditions. We had them too - on our second attempt we climbed some of the best ice I've ever seen. Tricky to time it right so you get there late enough in the season that the route doesn't fall down around you but early enough that it doesn't disappear and you don't get snowed in for the winter!
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