Juho Knuuttila Returns with Two Snow Leopard Summits

19 years old Finnish climber Juho Knuuttila intended to become youngest, quickest and first Finn to achieve Snow Leopard award. However, logistical issues dented his expedition right at the start. Tajik tour operator cancelled flights to Moskvina BC, negating two peaks in Tajikistan territory: Pik Korzhenevskaya (7105m) and Pik Kommunizma (7495m). The young-gun was successful on Pik Lenin (7134m) and Khan Tengri (7010m), whereas he had to abandon Pik Pobeda (7439m) summit push at 6400m due to bad weather. Juho has previously climbed Pik Korzhenevskaya (7105m) in summer 2014.
Pik Pobeda; Source

No Flights / No Speed Challenge
Bad news: Tajik operator cancelled most of their helicopter flights to Kommunizma / Korzhenevskaya Base Camp. So it's not possible to attempt Snow Leopard-speed climb this summer.” Juho Knuuttila wrote on June 30th, a day before his departure from Finland. The expedition was reduced to three remaining 7000ers.

Pik Lenin
Juho reached Pik Lenin BC (3600m) on July 4th and quickly set out for acclimatization. After a couple of rounds to ABC (4400m), a night at C2 (5300m) and another at 5700m, he reached the summit on July 15th.
Looking down from 6000m on Pik Lenin; Source

Khan Tengri
With Pik Lenin done in less than two weeks, Juho Knuuttila boarded an early flight to Khan Tengri/ Pik Pobeda Base Camp. He reached Khan Tengri BC (and C1) on July 20th and climbed to C3 next day.

On 22nd, just two days after reaching BC, he was at the summit, “as the first climber of this season: On the summit of Khan Tengri at 10.30AM local time.” He further added that “I climbed slowly towards the summit. Old fixed ropes, mixed traverse (M3-4), deep snow...real technical alpine climbing. In the couloir I dug 0.5m deep channel to find old ropes.

Pik Pobeda
Pik Pobeda lived up to its reputation of being toughest amongst Snow Leopard peaks. There were reportedly only three summits on the mountain in 2014 and none in 2013. Juho Knuuttila had to wait for two weeks before a partial summit window appeared. “Pik Pobeda surely would beat many 8000ers in harshness,” he thinks.

Pik Pobeda (7439m) summit-push begins tomorrow! Weather looks tricky, but I hope to climb this thing as fast as possible,” he tweeted on August 7th - his fifteenth day at BC.

On August 9th, he reached C3. “At C3 (5800m)! Icefall, deep snow, windy day and now in a snow cave. This is Pik Pobeda.” On 10th, he climbed to C4 (6400m) and remained stuck there for a full day. “After 24 hours of 100k/h winds at C4 (6400m) I decided to bail. Now safely back at BC. No frostbites etc.”

The Finnish young-gun is already looking forward to resume the project, next year. “I've really interesting plans for completing Snow Leopard-project next year. Time to try something new. Two peaks remain!
Juho Knuuttila on summit on Khan Tengri; Source
Powered by Blogger.