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Ratsek Trail and Ak Sai Glacier Area
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Ratsek Trail and Ak Sai Glacier Area Rock Climbing 


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Location: 42.55627, 74.49807 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,303
Administrators: Amadeus, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Amadeus on Dec 8, 2013
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Mack and me with the Ak-Sai Glacier in the backgro...

Description 

The Ratsek trail is the main trail going from the parking lot to the Ratsek Base camp near the Ak Sai Glacier. This area holds great climbing across many different disciplines. Water ice, alpine ice, mountaineering, alpine trad, some occasional boulders, and some great hiking.

Getting There 

From the parking lot you will almost immediately turn left on a trail going through the forest. The first hour or so is an uphill trudge, but that gives way to a relatively flat section of the trail that breaks off to the right. Follow that to a nice wooded rest area and continue up on the right hand trail towards the Ratsek base camp. Total hiking time to base camp is about 5 hours on average.

Climbing Season



Weather station 19.4 miles from here

4 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',0],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]


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Rock Climbing Photo: Ratsek cabin is in the foreground and Schwaba goes...

Schwaba 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b  Asia : Kyrgyzstan : ... : Ratsek Trail and Ak Sai Gla...
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Photos of Ratsek Trail and Ak Sai Glacier Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Bolted crag, next to the Ratsak Hut.  A top rope c...
BETA PHOTO: Bolted crag, next to the Ratsak Hut. A top rope c...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Ak-Sai Glacier, as seen from the Ratsak Hut
BETA PHOTO: The Ak-Sai Glacier, as seen from the Ratsak Hut
Rock Climbing Photo: Trail fork soon after leaving the parking lot.  Go...
BETA PHOTO: Trail fork soon after leaving the parking lot. Go...
Rock Climbing Photo: Panaroma of the approach valley
BETA PHOTO: Panaroma of the approach valley
Rock Climbing Photo: Ak Sai Glacial Valley, opposite the Ratsek Trail
BETA PHOTO: Ak Sai Glacial Valley, opposite the Ratsek Trail
Rock Climbing Photo: View from start of Ratsek trail, as it climbs onto...
BETA PHOTO: View from start of Ratsek trail, as it climbs onto...
Rock Climbing Photo: On our way to Sharkaraktma Waterfall, December 7, ...
On our way to Sharkaraktma Waterfall, December 7, ...

Comments on Ratsek Trail and Ak Sai Glacier Area Add Comment
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By Karl Henize
Oct 11, 2016
The area could be described as the bastard-love-child of the crags of Icicle Creek Canyon, the glaciated aiguilles and iced up gullies of the Mont Blanc Massif, and the central spires of Bugaboos. A world class climbing destination without crowds or infrastructure.

There are two camping areas: 1) at the first waterfall, about halfway up the trail, and 2) next to the Ratsak hut, at the end of the trail. Both locations have good climbing nearby. If you are not acclimatized or do not want to pay for camping, you may prefer to stay at the first campground.

The higher campground is close to a small crag with a handful of bolted climbs. It is easy to set up top ropes on this crag, if you do not want to lead the climbs.

When we were there in August 2016, there were consistent afternoon thundershowers. Typical weather pattern was clear skies in the morning. Clouds would move in around noon. Thunder showers would usually start by 14:00 and end by 17:00. Then the skies would gradually start to clear up again. Rinse and repeat.

Other than the small bolted crag by the hut, most of the rock does not see much traffic. I recommend bringing a brush to clean off holds and cracks, as you choose your own adventure.