Type: Trad, Mixed, Alpine, 4500 ft, Grade IV
FA: Kokkin - 1888 Glebov, Kryuchkov, Lapin, Miklashevskiy - 1938
Page Views: 1,163 total · 8/month
Shared By: Artem Lebedev on May 22, 2008

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Rated "4b" in Russian classification.

There are two possible ways from moraine campground to Bezengi glacier and rock base of NE ridge of Djangi:

1) Descent from the campground to the right from the icefall step of the Bezengi glacier, 60-150 ft. to the left of the NE ridge of Djangi. (Caution: there is icefall on the rocks). This route is rarely done.

2) Descent from the campground to the left of the icefall step of the Bezengi glacier, directly through the glacier center up toward the Dyhniaush pass, then move to the right, above the icefall step, toward the rock walls of NE ridge of Djangi. Continue on the snow slope under NE ridge toward rocky east buttress, which comes down from NE ridge into north cirque of Shkhara massif. This rout takes 2-3 hours from the campground.

Continue up snow slope across the bergschrund, after 400-500 ft. move to the left onto the rocks of the East buttress. Then move 1000-1200 ft. up to the junction with NE ridge of Djangi through 5'th grade terrain (5.1-5.5, caution: run off!), alternating with small snow patches. This part of the rout takes 4-5 hours from the buttress base.

On the NE ridge move left 500-600 ft. up to the steep part of the ridge through 5.4 - 5.5 rocks and snow ridge (caution: cornice!). Escape the first wall to the right through 20-30 ft. chimney (5.6-5.7). Then move 250 ft. up and left to the ridge through ice-snow slope and 5'th grade rock covered with snow (caution: run off!), climb 40 feet wall (5.5 - 5.6) to the ridge. Continue climbing 450-500 ft. through easy 5'th grade rocks alternating with small (10-20 ft.) 5.5 - 5.6 walls. After this part, ridge is sloping and merges with a snow field, go on the sloping ridge and watch for a bivy ledge to the left of the ridge. Ledge is not easy to find, it is located right before somewhat more steep part of the ridge on the top of a very steep buttress, falling down to the left. There are old pins at the ledge. Bivy is big enough to accommodate a 2-person tent (two tents if they are really small), but keep your harness on, there is literally no space for anything else except the tent. 10-12 hours from the campground to the bivy is a good timing.

Climb 120-150 ft. of the 5.2-5.4 ridge, then 900-1000 ft. of the sharp snow ridge, mainly on the left slope (caution: cornice!). Traverse 75 ft. to the left through the ice slope and 30 ft. up the easy rock to the wall of the Black Gendarme (tower). Here is the technical crux, which can be climbed in two ways:

1) 10-12 feet wall (5.7+, or M1-M2) up and left to the ledge, then 90-100 ft. of easy (5.3-5.4) rocks to the top of the tower.

2) From the belay station traverse to the right and then climb 100-110 ft. wall (5.6, M2) to the top of the tower.

Continue 450-500 ft. snow ridge, then climb 150-200 ft. of relatively steep ice-snow step to the snow dome of the Djangi-Tau East Summit. There is a cairn 20-30 feet SW below the summit (remember to leave your message, if you take someone else's). It usually takes 3-4 hours to get to the summit from the bivy.

Descend the same way you climbed up. Descent to the campground takes 7-9 hours.

Planning the climb, remember that there is absolutely no place to camp above the bivy ledge. You can try though to camp at the junction of East buttress and the Ridge itself, (right before the chimney), but you will have to even snow-ice ridge in order to pitch the tent, plan an extra hour or more for this ordeal. Many parties do the route in three days, descending back to the bivy ledge after the summit, and then continuing descent the next day.


Take small rock rack, 2 sets of nuts, just several cams. 5-6 long ice screws, 2-3 short. Pitons are recommended in the original description, but that's mostly because of the description's age. Route can definitely be climbed hammerless. No bolts needed, there are rap. slings and some fixed gear along the climb.