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New 21-Pitch Dry Ice Queen Gets Serious Mixed/Ice Grade

In a remote valley in Kyrgyzstan, two climbers find a big, complicated rock/ice route to the summit of Mount Zabor

Juraj Švingál and Marek Radovský recently made the first ascent of Dry Ice Queen, a 21-pitch M9- WI6+ on Mount Zabor in the Kookshal Too massif in Kyrgyzstan.

In 2021, Švingál, Vernyi Peak, Lukáš Bulla and Juraj Švingál made the first ascent of Slovak Route, a 650-metre M7- WI5. Knowing there were several more big mixed climbs to be found, Švingál returned this year.

Švingál and Radovský charged up their new route in alpine style, leaving the bivy gear and stove behind. They only had one litre of water each and carried a drill with a few bolts. Their route follows a series of rock features connected by ice. Finding a climbable route up the wall was physically and mentally demanding, as Švingál said, but in the end they exited the face via a chossy corner with an off-width.

Their descent was went smooth and they placed bolts where they couldn’t find any gear. With good conditions, they returned to Zabor and climbed a new route up the west glacier before descended via their new rappel route. After being hit by a storm, they made it back to base camp and left the valley shortly after. Check out some photos from their climb below.