Mt. Muztagh Ata is perhaps the easiest and safest 7,546m peak in the world for climbing and skiing. It is located in the Pamirs of Xinjiang Province in China near K2. It is non-technical mountain with nothing over 30 degrees gradient. Any confident climbers can climb and summit the peak in just 22 days. Climbing Muztagh Ata is a great way to test your ability to cope with high altitude in a relatively short period of time.
The expedition trip begins via the traditional route of Tashgergan that takes us to Kashgar. From Kashgar we drive to Base Camp where our Sherpa guides provide some valuable advice for climbing and then training begins. At the Base Camp all team members need to go through a process of acclimatization and strengthen the body in just the right way. At the Base Camp we provide comfortable dining tents with tables and chairs where our cooks and waiters will serve you delicious meals.
After Base Camp we proceed to Camp 1 at 5,400m located just above the snow line. The trail is mainly composed of loose stones and we need usually snow-free leather walking boots with good ankle support for above camp 1.
Camp 2 at 6,170m, is located on a nearly flat snow plateau and Camp 3 at 6,800m involves traversing some of the gentlest slopes on the mountain, often below 10 degrees. Above Camp 2 there are crevasses, so we need to take some safety precautions including traveling together as a roped team and use of bamboo marker wands.
By resting at camps as you slowly move up the mountain. Or, by climbing higher and coming back down again to sleep lower. Psychologically this can feel tough, reaching a high point knowing you will have to go back down and back up again, multiple times, before even attempting the summit.
On rest days, we encourage our team members to concentrate on recovering, eating and drinking, to read, relax, listen to music and stroll around visiting other teams.
On the summit attempt, we head out of camp 3 early roped together with your snowshoes. It takes 6 to 8 hours to reach the summit (7,546m) from camp 3. The route up is big and wide with very few crevasses, although you will continue to be roped-up for safety.
Upon reaching the summit, you can enjoy the fantastic views in every direction toward Pakistan and Rakaposhi, into the K2 area, across the Tien Shan range, even into Afghanistan. The summit itself is a beautiful place from where you can view the planet. It will be a clear, sunny and windy summit day.
The best time to climb Muztagh Ata Peak is June -July, a time when the snow conditions are good, the mountain is not too "melted-out", and the route is relatively pristine and clean.