First ascent of "Lost in China": Ines Papert and Luka Lindič

Ines Papert and Luka Lindič climb Kyzyl Asker

For more than six years now, since 2010, this mountain on the border between China and Kyrgyzstan has been on Ines Papert's list. She was looking at a route on the southeast face of this 5,842-meter mountain, which had only rarely been climbed to date. 


Ines Papert and Luka Lindič

But due to heavy snowfall and avalanches then, the alpinist, now 42, had to turn back just 300 meters below the summit. A second attempt the following year also had to be abandoned because of health problems on Papert's team. After that, Kyzyl Asker had to be written off for five years. "After the second failed attempt, I had to let it rest. I didn't want this mountain to become my purpose in life", explains the LOWA athlete about the long pause. Now, however, she wanted to mount a new attempt. With the Slovakian alpinist Luka Lindič she found the perfect partner for this adventure. For one, he was from the start just as excited about the project as she herself was, noted the LOWA athlete.

Due to logistical reasons, the climbing team traveled across China to the bleak and difficult-to-access mountain in the Xingjang region. In order to make quick progress, the two experienced climbers had decided to stick with a classic Alpine style of climbing. In addition, the expected window of good weather was very narrowly calculated. 

The climb began on 30 September at 5 a.m

For the first 100 meters, Papert and Lindič climbined side-by-side, and then Lindič led for the next section and Papert lost sight of him for a short time. Then came a loud cry from her 28-year-old climbing partner, and a few minutes later Papert saw what caused it: perfect ice all the way to the summit ridge, which was reason enough for Lindič to celebrate loudly. "I have never seen such a perfect combination of ice and mixed climbing at this kind of altitude." 

Up until two pitches below the summit ridge, the duo continued to climb, even as it began to hail hard and to get dark. After a very stresssful and cold night in a very exposed bivy, they continued on in the morning. At approximately 10 a.m., Papert and Lindič reached the summit ridge where they left the pack and rope to continue their ascent toward the summit without extra weight. On 1 October 2016 at 12:10 p.m., both athletes stood on the summit of Kyzyl Asker. Lindič: "Only very rarely do you find such good ice on a mountain as we did here. I imagine myself as quite lucky to have been permitted to be a part of Ines' idea and to be able to have benefited from her experience on this mountain." Papert added: "It was my third time on Kyzyl Asker. Failure is a part of mountaineering, just as much as is patience and sometimes too a third attempt. I am unbelievably happy to have experienced this moment and to have been able to share it with a friend."

The Facts

  • Route: "Lost In China", The southeast face of Kyzyl Asker
  • Border between China and Kyrgyzstan
  • Ines Papert & Luka Lindič
  • Climbing days 2
  • Summited at 12:10 on October 1st 2016
  • First known ascent of "Lost In China“

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