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Author: Alexander Klenov, Manaraga-Team

Shingu Charpa, Karakoram Range of Pakistan

Greetings to everybody!

We are in Islamabad now and quite recovered from this ascent. And I want to tell some words about the new route we paved to the summit of Shingu Charpa.

But first of all I would like to thank our native and loved people who have been waiting and believing in us and of course everyone who helped in organization of our expedition.

According generally held views of all team's members the route became the hardest by contrast to any routes we have climbed, together and separately, before.

Some technical details:

Last pitches before the summit
Altitude difference - 1600 m
Extent -2360 m
Free climbing: maximum - 7а
AID - А3
Ice - 4
Mixed - 5
Total grade (most logical French system):
ABO 2360 m, 7a (Diff. obl 6c), M5
Duration - 21 day up to the summit, 3 days for descent up to BC.

If to look at each ascended route taken separately, strange as it may appear that everyone of us has climbed and more challenge and harder in his life. But this wall is strongly entrenched not in one trick but in set of hardest problems.

Perhaps only for that reason our predecessors did not reach the summit: they solved some problems, but were not ready to solve following and following ones standing in their headway.
And we do not blush to own if to tell that it was not so easy both morally and physically for us, too. Well, if to talk briefly about...
Even being and planning the expedition in Ekaterinburg I could not get over the fact that I would be right to gauge 20 days for the ascent!
It seems my climbing experience prompted that just on looking at the photos.
And you can imagine how to spend 20 days on a mountain.
Well, and now, just about difficulties and surprises of the route (we will let no grass grow under feet and write the full report later, bless our heart and soul! :-))

1 - Small team.

Every climber of our team had no time to recover his breath every day notwithstanding of his position in a climbing line.

2 - Rockfalls!!!

If the wall pretended silent at all our day time reconnaissance entries, at the first spending the night in a portaledge it showed a cruel temper.

Thousand (I do not exaggerate) tons of rocky breed flew by us, literally rustling on portaledge's edge. And that happened not once nor twice during our ascent.

Night rockfalls, similar to stone collapses on Petit Dru, and ice-falls in the time of the morning sun's appearance - here is the rigid realities forced us to adapt if we did not want to be ground on the granite wall.

We searched a place under a portaledge with special carefulness. Sometimes we moved literally on a pitch and then to climb all the day to get the next sheltered corner.

3 - Rocks

The rocks of granite are eroded very much, probably, because of huge temperature swings, and not to be compared with rocks of the ridge.

We found a layer of sand on edges, crust, easy crushed by fingers, huge, hanging loose stone blocks.

The cracks are mudded and grassed over or covered a crust of burdock-shaped crystal adjournment. That is why we had to refuse the idea of “only free-climbing”: we did not want to lapse into marasm and understood in time that it was not the right thing to clean every pitch to climb free”).

Though we were climbing a lot on the route indeed, and as for me I like to climb free best at all, but this route is not suitable only for "free” as well as such rocks are very hard for aid-climbing too.

4 - Weather.
Weather was very horrid. Either we are losers or it is the general rule for the area now, but we dead with cold under snow storm. It was really harder to control yourself with an effort than in winter at -30С when you can wear something warm to be dry and to keep heat. But this time it was always about 0С - it's the most extracting energy temperature. We climbed in rock shoes or light boots that were all the time wet through despite of membranes. On the whole, my legs behave disobediently and now because of monthly overcooling.

It seems I understand why the Ukraine and American teams did not get the summit.

It was so distant and they rested against cold, ice and mixed terrains when felt that their moral and physical strengths were on the wane: that was the end, the limit, no less.

And we managed to win only from the second summit push.

During the first one we made 5 pitches from a bivy (where from we thought the summit to be in some little distance) but than understood that we did not have time to return till the night. Well, it wasn't easy to turn back and force ourselves to repeat an attempt early next morning and to start at 5am in conditions of lack of food (a day time menu of the last week was a tea in the morning and a package of soup for three men in the evening) and with a sad perspective of a starving descent.

But finally we did that! It was time well spent.

Alexander Shabunin approved himself a good climber- we did not back the wrong horse and he held out in the struggle.

The full report and more photos are coming soon.

Team's structure
Alexander Klenov - Russia - Kazakhstan "Manaraga-Team"
Mikhail Davy - Russia (Ekaterinburg)
Alexander Shabunin - Russia (Nizhny Tagil)

Combined team of Sverdlovsk area.
Sponsor - "Manaraga"

Thanks to team's outfitters:
“Ural-Alp” (Ekaterinburg)
“Alpex-Scarpa” ( Moscow )
“Black Diamond” (Moscow Representative)

Beginning of the route

Line of the route

Basically, the route is well-seen on the second photo, the beginning of the route up to the first spending the night - on the first photo.

The first one - two pitches, unfortunately, are not visible and on the first photo.

Photo: Mikhail Davy, Ekaterinburg

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