Kyrgyz Climber in Nepal Sets Sights on Three of the World’s Highest Peaks

The head of Kyrgyzstan’s mountaineering federation is in Nepal, preparing to climb three of the world’s highest peaks in the next few months.

First up for Eduard Kubatov is the Himalayan mountain of Lhotse. Next is Makalu. Both are more than 8,000 meters high. Three years ago, Kubatov unfurled the Kyrgyz flag on the summit of Everest, the world’s highest mountain at 8,849 meters above sea level.

“If everything goes well, I will go to Pakistan in June in the Himalayas and try to climb the great K2 peak (8611 m.),” Kubatov wrote on Facebook.

Last week, Kubatov got a send-off in Bishkek from Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, who presented a national flag to the mountaineer and wished him success on his expedition.

Kubatov aims to climb all 14 mountains in the world that are 8,000 meters above sea level. All are in the Himalayan and Karakoram ranges. Kubatov´s other feats include climbing the Argentine peak Aconcagua, the highest in the Americas, as well as Mt. Elbrus in Russia, Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia, and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Kyrgyzstan has some formidable mountains, including Jengish Shokusu, Pik Lenin, and Khan Tengri. All are in the 7,000-meter range. Since 1972, 33 Kyrgyz mountaineers have been awarded the title “Snow Leopard” for climbing those peaks – eight of them did so after Kyrgyzstan´s independence in 1991, according to Kubatov.

In February, Russian climber Evgeny Glazunov died while descending from another Kyrgyz peak, Aksu. Kubatov wrote that Glazunov was a great friend to Kyrgyzstan’s climbing community.

“All the young athletes admired your example and looked up to you!” Kubatov wrote on Facebook. “So many plans and all of them remained at the foot of the cold and great rock! I will always remember you, my brother, and forgive us all for not saving you!”

Kubatov is a business consultant and honorary consul for Indonesia in Kyrgyzstan. He has a prominent profile, giving talks to students and meeting with sponsors. He also loves to bury himself in a book.

“Books are probably the strongest passion in my life after mountains,” he wrote. “Read and love books, and they will reciprocate like mountains!”


Times of Central Asia