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Автор: Dguliy Anatoly

Peak Voennih Topografov (6873 m)
Ascent along the South Ridge, Made for the First Time
Part 2.

Traverse of the massif 5853-5960 (peak Vizbora)

Peak Voennih Topografov (6873 m)
Ascent along the South Ridge, Made for the First Time. Part 3

The description of the route

The climb on the south ridge during the ascent 4400-6873 – 2473 m, during the descent 6873-4600 – 2273 m, the extension of the route (along the ridge) during the ascent – 4930 m, ( 4310 m of them are to be gone using ropes), the extension of the horizontal strip of the ridge – 1620, of the gently sloping (less than 30-40 degrees) strips – 800 m. The average steepness of the route – 40 degrees, above the horizontal strip – 50-55 degrees, wall part – 65-75 degrees. Along the horizontal part the moving is mostly realized along the lateral slope, the steepness of which is 40-55 degrees, lower than cornices are. The altitude of basic camp (the starting and the finishing point of the route is 3800, that is in 3-4 hours of walking to the ridge. The amount of hooks that were used: more then 100 boulder hooks, including more than 30 over the juts, more than 50 ice screws, more than 10 snow hooks.

The route was done in Alpine style in 18 days, 2 of them were dedicated to the approach-shuttle from the BC, it took us 12,5 days to reach the top and 3,5 – to go down to the camp. All the passings the nights were recumbent, on cornices, snow or rocky, comfortable, but laborious (the bivouac works – up to 2,5 hours). There were two very difficult night-passings on 6500. The leader of the ascent – Dguliy Anatoly, the participants – Leonenko Vladimir, Kirienko Aleksey, Dobriaev Nikolay, Gorin Anatoly (he didn’t go up to the top, stopped at 6010).

The terms of the ascent:
- the departure from the BC – shuttle – 6-7.08.2006
- the South ridge - 8.08 – 23.08.2006
- the outlet to the route - 8.08
- The top - 20.08, 14.00 (Kyrgyzstan)
- The descent to the glacier Chonteren – 23.08, 11.00 (Kyrgyzstan)
to the basic camp – 23.08, 18.00 (Kyrgyzstan)

The weather was different, sometimes there were completely sunny days. We didn’t paid much attention to the winds, snowfallings, and other. There wasn’t such terrible weather when the wind threw down to the slope, or the field of the vision was about one meter. The snowfallings were almost every day, the low visibility – every other day. The wind was hurricane about two days.

We worked for about 7-12 hours a day, there prevailed rocky relief or very sophisticated snow-ice, moving sometimes in crampons, sometimes without them. The most difficult strips were several short strips on the ascent to the ridge, about 500 m on the gently sloping strip and on the middle part of the ridge, 200 m on the black rocky zone, about 100 on the top rocks. The belay was mostly accomplished by using boulder hooks and ledges. For working on the route there were used 16 static ropes 45-50 m long and 8-11 mm in diameter (sum total 700m), boulder hooks (about 70 items, all we hammered in, we left there, after the descent we had only 16 items), ice screws – 18 items.

Going over the Route

Of course, we wanted to pass this ridge very much. Without saving food, fuel, without saving equipment. That’s why directly to the ridge we took food for 14 days (all the route, including the descent we did in 16 days, so we hadn’t to “stretch” the food, there was no problems with nourishment. As for gas, we also took it for 14 days on the basis of 2 balloons (230gr) per day, but we hadn’t burnt it, the consumption was rather lower (2 cookings a day + we melted snow in water-bottles). We had about 100 hooks, cams, loops for stones and 18 ice screws ( sometimes it wasn’t enough). Investigating the ridge for four years from 2002, allowed to suppose that commanding passing with 3-4 ropes could appear extremely difficult or even impossible. By now this opinion had only got firmly established. Especially because we (what a pity!) are not young high-speed alpinists, that can run in a not-stop order, or with some degree of risk pass difficult strips without belay at all or with something like it. The average age of participants in our group was 45 years. So we planned to take about a kilometer of ropes. As a result we had 700 meters (16 ropes of 45-50 meters), so many we could buy. Up to the end of the ascent mostly of the ropes were beaten or frayed through, all became shaggy.

With all this equipment and food it ensued for about 40-45 kg per person, it wasn’t desirable to carry all this at once and on the ridge it was really impossible. So we used shuttle, carrying cargos during approaches and every strip of the ridge for two marches.

Thus, having had a good rest after not easy at all 9-day traverse, during which we had got acclimatizing, we started. The full-fledged rest is a big part of success of any arrangement, and the presence of the basic camp, even very small one, with the guitar and fresh food, aids to it a lot. We had two days-off according to a plan and one more we were sitting in the BC because of the weather – it was snowing, the visibility was very low. And only on the 6th of August we carried beside the ridge the first part of our cargo. We passed the night again in the BC and on the 7th of August went to the ridge to turn back only after the ascent.

The approach from the basic camp started along an ill-defined path of the right-side moraine ridge of the glacier Chonteren, that we had noticeably trampled down during our previous expeditions. Along it we went up to the last lake, after which we got down to the open glacier. Along the glacier we cross the nearest moraine and behind it we went up along the flat ice, in about one kilometer from the poured girth rail to the left from the icefalling Chonteren. Here we started crossing the glacier to the East (the most suitable place). Firstly we saw a moraine ridge (the middle moraine), further there was a white ice belt – hilly, with rivers. Beyond it there was a black moraine with the strips of bare ice, rather billowy, it the most hard strip. Along the stream in the middle part of the moraine we had to go up to the ridge. It is the most optimum variant of the approach. Then to the right along the Southern side of the ridge, then along the slide-rock of the right side of the icefalling of the middle chamber of the glacier Chonteren, up to the plato that was higher than the icefalling – the altitude was 4400, the bivouac was just beside the Eastern border of the ridge. 7.08 we had already passed the night on the plato beside the ridge, having taken 5 ropes.

8.08.2006, the first day. We left the bivouac at 4-40 – 5-20 a.m. (Moscow time). Three of us went down to bring the other part of our cargo from the place beside the icefalling, the rest – to process the ridge. The approach along ice and snow to the rocks took us 10-20 min., further there were so-called “sheep’s foreheads”, that are covered with ice in the morning. It wasn’t difficult climbing, but the ice made the work rather hardly. Along the ledge (the steepness of it – 20-30 degrees) – to the right and upwards - 3 pitches (about 130 meters), then along the line of falling water (45-50 degrees, short strips up to 60 degrees). By the evening we had fixed all the “foreheads” (all in all there were 10 ropes), carried the cargo up to the ledge above the slide-rock, and rested them there. There were no places, suitable for passing the night. In the evening, as usual, it snowed, but it didn’t disturb us.

9.08.2006, the second day. We started going at 5 o’clock in the morning, sun hadn’t risen yet. We went to cargo, took ropes and started to work further. We bore to the right, where the lowering in the ridge could be seen, on which we had planned to go. We wanted to go there without ropes, but didn’t managed to do it: sometimes rocks, covered with snow, sometimes – a short wall, sometimes – an ice strip, where it was easier to hang a rope and make a pair of rungs than to put on crampons. Obliquely to the right we hung about 4 ropes, then one more along the right contrforse along the couloir, there were 50-60 degrees. We came to the couloir and along the ice with rocky strips hung a rope to the right and upwards across the couloir. The couloir was rather steep, and sometimes something flew along it. But the left contrforse was strongly blasted, the climbing was easy, so further we went along it. But, on the other hand, a there was a real danger of falling stones (one of us got a stone, it gently slashed his eyebrow). Along the contrforse – about 4 ropes, further the wall there became a negative one, I had climbed there, there was no sense to go there, so we had to turn back. We went by traverse to the left for 20-30 m along the wall, then along the brink of the couloir upwards to the wall, it was at the same level, that our saddle was and then further 2 pitches by traverse to reach the saddle. 1 easy pitch along the slide-rocky slope, then along the wall by the narrow ledges. So, we came to the ridge of 60 sm wide. Along it about 20-30 m up to the wall (inward corner, some laces on it were covered with ice), 1,5 pitches to the gently sloping strip on which in 1,5 more pitches we found a place to make a bivouac. It was a snow-ice cornice, on which after hours of working we made a place just for two tents. Further the ridge set against the rocky shoulders, but them we would pass on the next day. Thus, our bivouac was on the 26th pitch from the previous one, having 3-4 ropes it was almost impossible to pass 26 pitches. When the bivouac works were taking place, it started snowing.

10.08.2006, the third day. That day was the day of taking away ropes and carrying cargos (all the 16 ropes were hung). Two of us were resting. By the 13 p.m. the ropes appeared, we went to hang over rocky shoulders. By the evening we had hung 4 ropes, further there were snow-ice cornice range. But it would be tomorrow. We began to understand that it was impossible to pass this ridge in a quickly temp (at once I had planned to pass the main part of it in 6 days plus 6 more days – for the Tien Shan weather) As a result we had to forget about the weather. But meanwhile we were lucky with it.

Description of the route in strips (according to the UIAA).

№ of strips

Short description

Extension, km.

Difficulty grade according to the UIAA

R 0

Snow-ice slope of about 20-50 degrees steep.



R 1

«Sheep's' foreheads» - rocky slope of 40 degrees in average, some strip up to 60 degrees.

0, 36


R 2

Rocky slope covered with snow, some strips - with ice, of 30-45 degrees, then right contrforse and rocky-ice couloir up to the right contrforse. The steepness is up to 55 degrees.



R 3

Strongly blasted rocky ridge (contrforse), traverse along the wall across the couloir up to the ridge, the steepness – 30-70 degrees.

0.2 4


R 4

Narrow rocky ridge, some strips of about 80 degrees, with rocky shoulders, ice cornices.

0. 29


R 5

Snow-ice narrow steep (of up to 55 degrees) ridge with cornices. Traverse along the ice lower cornices.



R 6

Rocky-snow-ice ridge, strips of rocky walls 3-8 m high, of up to 80 degrees.



R 7

Snow-ice slope of up to 40 degrees, all in all 230 m.



R 8

Bergshrund, snow-ice slope, further with outcrops of rocks.



R 9

Narrow snow-ice ridge with cornices, traverse along the ice lower cornices (of up to 50 degrees).



R 10

Snow-ice-rocky slope with strips of up to 70 degrees.

0. 08


R 11

Narrow snow-ice ridge with cornices, traverse along the ice lower cornices (of up to 55 degrees).



R 12

Rocky-ice slope, further – traverse to the left along the wall by ledges (of up to 70 degrees) up to the couloir.

0. 06


R 13

Rocky-ice couloir of 50-70 degrees steep, at the end – rocky wall of 80 degrees 10 m.

0.1 2


R 14

Easy snow-ice ridge with cornices.



R 15

Collapse in the ridge. Dulfer for 3m, rocky-ice ridge 40m of 45-60 degrees.



R 16

Easy snow-ice ridge with cornices up to the handing glacier (great cornice), further the same ridge with rocky outcrops of up to 50 degrees steep, up to the wall.



R 17

Rocky wall, of 70-90 degrees.



R 18

Snow-ice-rocky ridge, slope (of up to 70 degrees) to detour rocky tower and further up to the wall.

0.1 1


R 19

Rocky wall, of 50-90 degrees.

0. 09


R 20

Snow-ice-rocky slope of 30-60 degrees.

0. 08


R 21

Snow slope with rocky outcrops, avalanche danger, traverse to the right, to ice faults, the steepness – 30-40 degrees.

0. 06


R 2 2

Ice slope, faults, the steepness is up to 45 degrees, in some places covered with snow.



R 23

Rocky ridge, 40-50 degrees.



R 24

Marble zone of the rocky ridge, up to 60 degrees.



R 25

Rocky ridge, then snow-ice couloir up to the top, the steepness was 30-50 degrees.

0. 4


The extension of the route in the whole. (approximately)

4 . 9 3 ( 4130 m of fixed ropes )

Altogether the extension of the strips of 5-5+(6) - graded – about 1340 m, 4-graded – about 1720 m, horizontal strips of the ridge – 1820 m. The average steepness of the route – 40 degrees, above the horizontal part of the ridge – 50-55 degrees, wall part - 65-70 degrees. (On th horizontal strips of the ridge moving mostly along the side slope of the ridge of 40-55 degrees, lower cornices).

to be continued..

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