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Author: Andrew Tihoplavov, alpinistic club “Odessa”
The Crimea, mount Ai-Petri, alpinistic route of 3B grade of difficulty
One more advantage of the route is its spread. In contrast to the Forossky Kant, Kush-Kaya and other famous Crimea mountains where alpinistic routes are formed, Ai-Petri is about two times higher.
When the ascent is being made in winter, temperature difference between the bottom of the route and its top is especially felt :).
In Yalta you should catch fixed-run taxi number 26 or 42 and ride it to the place where rope-way goes above motor road. From the road you have to go through the forest along the branch leading to the second station of the rope-way Mishor – Ai-Petri. From the station along the cutting-in-the forest, then along the path through the forest where many buildings looking like cottages are situated, the forest is a reserve, then you should go up and a little bit to the left along the slope, in the direction of the Southern Wall of Ai-Petri, to the bottom of noticeable strip of the wall with “dent-hole” in the form of Africa, bordered with counterforts from the both sides. Start of the route is located just below right counterfort (sloping ledge has to go to the left – it presents the first strip of the route).
R0 – R1. From the start of the route you have to move along sloping destroyed ledge of 20- 30 meters wide in the direction of the bulwark of the Western counterfort. Belay has to be organized with the help of forms of relief. Extension of the strip – 30 meters , steepness – 45-60 degrees.
R 1 – R 2. R1 – two bolts are hammered in there, it is impossible to miss the. Further you have to move along the ledge in the direction of R2. Extension of the strip – 30 meters , steepness – 45-60 degrees.
R2 – R3. R2 is the same station as R1 – there are two bolts. Further go along the same ledge to R3. There is a small vertical strip of 3- 4 meters high, it is necessary to use hexcentrics for organizing belay there. Extension of the strip – 25- 30 meters , steepness – 45-80 degrees.
R3 – R4. After wide sloping ledge R0-R3 a slide-rocky wide (30- 80 m ) ledge under the bulwark of the western counterfort starts (its steepness equals 15-30 degrees). R3 presents a station made on the tree in the beginning of the ledge under the bulwark. Further you have to go along the slide-rocky ledge along the western wall of the bulwark for 120-150 up to the first couloir (5- 15 meters wide) in a vertical wall of the bulwark. The couloir seems slightly sloping and wide in its low part and it becomes straighter and thinner in the upper part. Underneath and in the middle of the couloir there are big trees (pine-trees).
R4 – R5. You should move up along the couloir (the beginning of the couloir is slightly-sloping, it is possible to go without special equipment there, and in the middle of the couloir climbing shoes are necessary). R4 is located on a big tree down the couloir. It is difficult to belay at the end of the strip (there is a narrow chimney). An old hook is hammered in there but it isn't desirable to rely on it only. Extension of the strip – 35 meters , steepness – 60-80 degrees. Difficulty grade: III-IV+.
R5 – R6. The key strip of the route. You have to climb up along the couloir, R5 has to be made on a big tree (it is uncomfortable station, half-hanging). In the middle of the strip the couloir sharply becomes narrow and the relief becomes nearly vertical. Belay has to be organized on hexcentrics! Extension of the strip – 30 meters , steepness – 70-90 degrees. Difficulty grade: V+
R6 – R7. Station has to be made on the edge in the upper part of western counterfort on a big tree (just above the couloir). Further you have to go in teams torn by short-cut rope along the left side of the western couloir along easy rocks and slight-rocky slope of middle steepness in the direction of apical tower of Ai-Petri up to the way to the narrow couloir below South-Eastern wall of the apical tower – extension of the strip – 250 meters , steepness – 20-30 degrees. Further you should move along narrow slide-rocky couloir with small easy walls (including small 2 meter high wall at the beginning of the couloir), come to the crosspiece in front of apical tower. Attention ! Danger of falling stones exists! Extension of the strip – 50- 70 meters , steepness – 50-60 degrees. From the crosspiece the upper station of rope-way is seen.
R7 – R8. Move up and to the left along the south-eastern wall of the tower (along the ledges, removable stones can be come across) up to the top (it is difficult to organize belay there, but is some places it is necessary). Extension of the strip – 40- 50 meters , steepness – 70-80 degrees. Difficulty grade: III-IV. Come out to the viewing point.
There are two variants of descent – by rope-way or along you way up to the top (descending by paired fixed ropes, using trees). If your rope is 60 meters long, you won't have problems with stations. Otherwise you will probably need loops for descending.
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