In the summer of 1974, the Soviet Federation of Mountaineering invited the United States to send a climbing team to an international mountaineering festival—termed an “Alpianade”--in the Russian Pamirs. In addition to establishing a number of satisfying personal relationships with climbers from many nations, the nineteen-person US team made the first American ascent of the much-climbed 23,406-foot Pik Lenin and a new technical route on 19,300-foot “Peak Nineteen”.
All of this and all the Russians’ good intentions, however, were transcended by an appalling series of tragic accidents, most of which were weather and /or avalanche - related. These resulted in a total of 13 deaths, including that of American Gary Ullin on Peak Nineteen, and an entire team of eight Russian women.
This journal is augmented by the author's letters and explanatory notes.