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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)

Check out on the Mountain.RU:
Routes on Mt. Erydag

Erydag face
...At last all the pipeline left behind.

Camp site under the wall
Two - three days of driving and carrying our luggage - and here we are. Our base camp was established under the Wall of about 1000 m altitude difference at a very convenient site with water and big "scattered" boulders…


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.

S.Efimov's route, 6А

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.

Sergey Smotrov
Illuminated by the setting sun foretelling for tomorrow a long working day, we descended to base camp in an hour of trekking from the route.

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.

Hauling gear and a
trunk of water by turns we
climbed fixed ropes.
Rather quickly we climbed already fixed ropes. There were some more pitches of hard climbing up to the bastion ahead.

Place for spending the night in a grotto
Hardly above bastion's foot we found a good place for camp in a grotto where it was possible to live with comfort and to go almost without need to be belayed. Sergey stayed there to make good our bivy for our future spending the night and we set off to work on the route: as much as we could up to the end of the light day.

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.


Gadzhimurad Nurbagandov.
We are holing up and waiting
bad weather under a
polyethylene сape
At night closeness and a warm wind stroke a warning note.

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.

A thunder-storm blew up but then grew quiet in the afternoon. Through breaks of clouds we could see silhouettes of neighboring mountains and guessed the sun over veil of clouds.

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.
Along toward evening weather got better. The declining sun brightly shined. Only wet gear reminded us of bad weather.

From the "glove" directly upwards
via the falling water line
We climbed up to the "glove" - a characteristic rocky mushroom in the form of wide-spread fingers some meters in length, standing on their tips in a meter from the main wall.

Station on the "Mirror"
The "mirror" - a smooth surface hanging in the top part about two hundred meters -was above us.

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.

Metalwork work began
Metalwork began - sky-hooks and pitons were on

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.


The bottom part of the route
up to the bastion
Since the morning was cool. The sky was clear and the silence reigned above mountains. Breaking the silence with a gnash of cans and rumbling of a stove we were making a meal for breakfast. From far below, we could hear bleating of sheep and ends of music hardly reaching from Kurush.

Прохождение последней веревки
We took off the camp and then hauled in turns the gear and a trunk with water on already fixed ropes.

Gadzhimurad finished the pitch yesterday started, and we three together got the middle of the "Mirror" on a ledge in width in a foot.

There was a slabby face under and a vertical fissure of two pitches leaving to the right upwards and ended with on overhang was above us. After the fissure - the beginning of the "minaret"…

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!

Spending the night in hammocks
Climbing was enough intense, and at the end of the day we had time only to make two pitches on the "mirror". In the dark of the moon we descended on fixed ropes to the ledge.

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".

In this part Efimov's route and Babitsky's route particularly match together. In two pitches higher the "minaret", on a ledge we pitched a bivy to spend the night.

While something could be seen we decided to make one pitch above the bivy more.
Having taken off the station some meters Gadzhimurad fell right after he placed a bolt.

Makovkin Michael
A belay system caught him after falling seven - ten meters. Well, we decided to leave this undertaking for tomorrow. Next morning we found out that the rocks in this place were monolithic and drenched with water.

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.

"Book" - a huge dihedral
A huge "book" - a dihedral- consisted of monolithic marmorized limestones of red - yellow-pink colors was ahead. Here and there we could see the fossils of ancient sea animals embedded into the rocks. All of this was hanging above us. In four pitches from the ledge where we had spent the night we got a rather big scree ledge above the "book".

Climbing a pitch higher the "book"
The plateau was already near at hand. The sun beat down mercilessly, it was very hot and it made us thirsty.

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!

Above the place of last
spending the night
Here is the top! At the summit we changed a massage and accepted congratulations from our friends on radio communication. Let's start to descend!

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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