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Author: Makovkin Mikhail, Rostov-na-Donu
Erydag, 3995 m, Caucasus, Mountains
of Dagestan, Chekhy-Tchay gorge.
6А, North West Face left part via the "Zerkalo (Mirror)"
(S.Efimov's, 81, route)
I and Gadzhimurad decided to climb a route 4B via the southern buttress of Mt. Selda to warm up and train before our main ascent. We worked fast, and all the route was climbed for 35 minutes, and then in 20 minutes having descended we stood at the foot of a scree assorting our gear.
Instead of starting early in the morning as we had planned to work properly the bottom part of the route we set off only in the afternoon for any reasons. This day, as well as in the others Gadzhimurad Nurbagandov led the route.
Till the evening we managed to fix almost five ropes and to haul some gear for living and working on the wall.
In the evening at supper Sergey Smotrov decided to join us. Well, let's start the route tomorrow three together.
Early in the morning we left the camp together with our friends that had decided to see us off up to beginning of the route.
Already in darkness we descended two pitches to Sergey. We were glad to see him on the cleared site near to a pot with smelling flavor of eats. In the light of our torches we had supper and then went to sleep.
Since the morning the spell of fine weather broke. Tongues of mist ascended from the valley. The sky became to be blacked with dense clouds. Wind gusts began to bring a rain. Small streams of water turning falls ran down the wall. From time to time the rain was getting heavier not leaving any hope for climbing upwards - well, there was an opportunity to fill up our water supply: in the middle of August water is in deficit.
Hoping for weather improvement, we decided to work further.
We climbed in breaks of rain, sitting out and waiting out bad weather under a polyethylene cape, observing the clouds wallowing like water-waves.
A bolted line left by the previous climbers leaves upwards to the right from there. We decided to climb directly upwards the "glove" via the falling water line.
After the first pitch up the "Mirror" the terrain became hardly rich - cracks under pitons and chocks appeared. But night was drawing nigh and having fixed a half of the next rope already in twilight we started to descend to the grotto for spending the night.
Gadzhimurad finished the pitch yesterday started, and we three together got the middle of the "Mirror" on a ledge in width in a foot.
Here we found a control cairn on a cord left by the first climbers of this route led by Sergey Borisovich Efimov. The previous teams had not noticed it. What a good surprise for … far not a solitary climb of the route!
After pitching our hammocks and a spot of lunch with tea transferred "from floor-to-floor”, we went to sleep.
Via the fixed ropes on the hanging fissure we sent the "minaret".
While something could be seen we decided to make one pitch above the bivy more.
After making meal for supper we arranged to sleep in mean of sitting or lying posture having wrapped in our capes.
The clear morning and anticipation of affinity of our getting on the plateau awoke us early.
The sites of hard climbing alternated with talus ledges. One more site of rather easy climbing and, at last, all of us reached the plateau!
A soft hardly guessed ridge separated us from the summit. How it is pleasant to feel the firm-land support under your feet!
On the plateau descending from the summit rise we ran into a surprise - a huge, peacefully grazed herd of East Caucasian turs. About three hundred heads! - It's a rarity even for the locals here! Having noticed us, their leaders sounded the alarm and all the herd escaped aside Erydag walls to the familiar to them dumps.
And we continued our descent to the camp filling the vicinities with crying of admiration. .
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