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Jannu, 7710
North Face

The "Big Wall - Russian Way" project consists in climbing new routes on the most famous walls in the world. A mountain wall is a natural phenomenal occurrence represented as a precipice more than 1000m long and with a steepness more than 70.
On St.Petersburg' anniversary the strongest mountain-climbers set to summit a still unclimbed top in the Himalayas and give it the name "Peter Velikiy" (the project did not take place) and to climb new russian route on the hardest North Face of Peak Jannu in the autumn of 2003.

The Team
At present phase of the Project the members of the team were confirmed.
The climbers are:

Alexander Odintsov- the leader, St.Petersburg

 

Alexander Ruchkin - St.Petersburg

 

Nikolay Totmyanin - St.Petersburg

 

Mikhail Devi - Ekatherinburg

 

Alexey Bolotov - Ekatherinburg

 

Mikhail Pershin - Ekatherinburg

 

Mikhail Mihailov - Bishkek

 

Ivan Samoylenko - St.Petersburg

Mikhail Bakin - St.Petersburg

 

The Sponsors are:
"Panasonic",
"Bask",
"Tyan-Shan Trevel",
"Stregor",
"Bars",
"Maxidom",
"Orimi-Trade",
"Mountech",
"CRC computers",
"Irbis",
the Committee of physical training and Sport under St.Petersburg' Administration.

Panasonic - Jannu North Face

Russian


STREGOR
Articles and News:

(11.11.2003) new!
Portfolio

Jannu, North Face. Alexander Odintsov - interview for Mountain.RU
(5.11.2003)
"...Whether we saw that we had expected? The Wall did not present any unexpectedness. From the point of view of extent, we knew, that it was three and a half kilometer long, from the point of view of steepness, we knew, that the Wall was practically vertical. Though nobody has seen it close as anybody hasn't come up to it. If we take under consideration the complexity of its relief, we saw that we had expected in the bottom and average part, with one exception: the present relief of ice-fall is the most objectively dangerous place I have ever seen... Daytime norm was 15-20 ice-falling collapses in different places. And we had to manoeuvre between these traps of surprises, well, and also we expected constantly when you would finally fill up. That we have stayed safe and sound is the great success..."

(20.10.2003)
The team leaded by Alexander Odintsov after climbing up to the record altitude of 7200 meters on still not summited North Face of peak Jannu now is on a back way to Katmandu. Guys is going to arrive to Moscow on October, 27. Press conference will take place on October, 28.

(13.10.2003)
Anna Stolbova informs:
"Jannu_news Expedition leader Alexander Odintsov has informed us of the following over the phone: they have a problem with Internet. It has been snowing for 5 days and the Base Camp is covered with 40-cm snow blanket. So the team has to stay at the Base Camp. The mountains are rumbling by avalanches around like a real war has begun. On the photo they at the altitude about 6500 m. And the snow blanket there is about 1.5 m. It will be difficult to go out through the snow from the Base Camp. So they are going to traverse 700 m to clip the slope. According the weather forecast the it will become dry from the 11-th of October. They are going to climb upper to look at the fixed ropes left and then to make a decision. "

The details.
09.09.03.
We came in the base Camp. The Mountain looked like an absolutely unknown mountain from there. It seemed enormous, white and not vertical comparing with it on the photos. We were estranged from it and we were in a quandary: "What do we have to do and what the route should we climb?"
11.09.03.
We couldn't pass the ice-fall looked like an intricate labyrinth through a heap of ice-blocks. And we couldn't find the visible exit from that site of route. To correct the ascent from another side of the valley was impossible because of the cloudy sky. And the ice-fall was really dangerous. Trying to shoot avalanches going down I counted 14 ice collapses for a day. But I couldn't shoot them through a fog- I could to tape only a roar.
14.09.03
The rhythm of the ascent was not set. We spent 5 days instead of one working on the ice-fall. We couldn't take the fixed ropes off from the ice. Everything was hidden under the snow or ragged.
18.09.03
I climbed the plateau. I enjoyed the beautiful stiffened waves of a snow, a game playing by penumbras. There were nice views to shoot. But a cold wind made anyone feeling alone and homeless there. You feel yourself like a unique warm droplet on these open spaces! After climbing upper I could shoot a film there. There was a little drier and there were more shafts of light in the sky. But the valley under legs was hidden by clouds and there was raining there. Here the snowfalls begin after the afternoon as a rule. It takes us 4-5 hours to climb up to the end of the fixed ropes. Sometimes we had to move hard through the snow falling with might and main. There was even white colour from all four sides. And if you can't understand where you have to move: up or down, the most pleasure thing you can do is to descend on your fixed ropes to a warm tent in a Camp. In the mornings it's too difficult to force yourself to wake up and begin the ascent. We spend 2,5-3 hours to have breakfast and gather.

Alexander Ruchkin:
Hi, friends!
A lot of days and nights you have been in the great ignorance of our expedition's details and we haven't known about everything happening in the world. In spite of civil war in Nepal, our broken satellite phone, injured team member had to go home and the weather fool of autumn surprises the Five climbers stayed in a team have climbed up to 7070m. We settled a few high-altitude intermediate camps.

The first one was settled at 5600m on the rock bastion. The second one- at 6500m in a snow cave. The third one- at 7000m in a snow cave too. We could fix two ropes upper: the first on the snow site and the second on the Wall.
To climb the Wall upper 7000m takes 3 days to reach it. Everything around seems like a winter has begun. It is strong snowing now. Having worked at 7000m Bolotov, Davy, Ruchkin descended to the Base Camp for rest. Totmyanin and Pershin are waiting till the snowstorm will be over at 5600m. All of us are safe and sound and wish a good luck to you and us. Ruchkin.

Hi, friends, It would appear a monsoon comes and to struggle with it becomes more and more difficult. If the Base Camp is covered with 30-cm snow blanket upper 5000m we have to move through a knee-deep and more snow blanket. A lot of our fixed ropes buried by a three-day snowfall we couldn't dig. It isn't necessary to fix the rope on the not steep slope while ascending it. We go on traces we regularly renew. They are deep and to drop out of them is difficult. But on the steep slopes avalanches are going down unpredictable. It becomes very dangerous to climb there. We spend a lot of forces for overcoming of a snow. It is useless to struggle with the nature in general, but with a monsoon especially. We decided to preserve that equipment on the mountain that the weather has not preserved yet. And to not stop on achieved, to continue the expedition next spring. How as it is not sad, the expedition is had to turn off. .

P. S. Hi, friends, As you can see on the photo We have already got a winter for a long time in our Base Camp. And therefore, we are moulding snowmen, missing and preparing for a meeting of new year. If speak seriously, the expedition is turned off, and we decided to continue it next spring.

 

(9.10.2003)
Jannu update Ivan Samojlenko says: I ought to say my comment.
Having seen the information on our sites I fond out that we have turned over in the cheerful enthusiasm of information we sent from the slopes of Jannu. The Mountain has not appeared like a little girl named Jannu but as a terrible demon by name Kumbakarna. Nobody of us has seen such stable bad weather. All our plans and schedules were broken. Instead of climbing on the rocks we have to swim through a fresh snow speeding up of the snow rivers and play game in Russian roulette with avalanches. We expected when we reach the Topmost Tower it would be blown from snow. Alas and ah! You can look at the photo.

These photos are from the 29th of September.

The Red dotted line - a track on a plateau, in a mug - the two men on a fixed rope. To the left side - one of the daily avalanches. If you find yourself on a plateau -you will be dumped in the ice-fall.


Ris. I. Samoylenko

(9.10.2003)
Ivan Samoylenko, a cameraman of Jannu team of "Big Wall - Russian Way" project, has returned from Nepal.

We looked forward to meeting him in Sheremetyevo Airport He is the first member of the expedition who has reached us by himself keeping unique information and the films havent been seen by anyone yet. He explained us emotionally the details and we could clearly realize the picture of the events going on the slopes of insidious and not predicted Jannu.

Have I managed to shoot a film, as I wanted? Certainly, no! It seems to me it just couldnt be. But exotic character of the events has been taken sufficiently. My original idea was to ascend 7000m, where I considered were entirely another views: route, high altitude, but The state of mountain proved us to be not such as we expected. We planned to climb on the rocks (Can you remember a granite tooth on the photo?), but we had to swim through snow! Uzbek Expedition leaded by Shabalin and Tukhvatullin had reached the Wall for 10 days, but our team "killed" three weeks to get there and each day was like we dispatched to the battle!

We have no luck neither only at the weather this autumn but at the connection on satellite phone: It "died" itself without any clear reasons (now, as we know, the problem with the connection they have solved). Extraordinary accidents with Mikhaylov and Odintsov got us out of time and corrected our schedule.

All of us consider unanimous: no one of us has no met such a living, active icefall. At first the daring plan of Alexander Odintsov was to rush by this dangerous part of the route (approximately 1200m on the vertical line) for one day. We thought, that it would be easier to go on the ice, than to climb on the rocks. But as it appeared the relief of icefall is changing very rapidly and radically: that part easily passed by Uzbeks team several years ago had probably just fell down. Three days we "rummaging" on this icefall climbing on the turn between the swinging ice dims of 5-8m height.

It became clear soon that it would be more simply to climb the rock site: this experienced team would climb on the rock route about 5B category safe and sound for the pair of days.

Now the ropes, leading upward, were fixed exactly on these rocks. Probably, it was necessary to change the direction of movement. But then it seemed we were to close to success.

And we consider the ice fall accident happened with Mike Mikhailov just a simple statistics. For three days seven people were going up and down on the extremely dangerous place, and there was accumulated a level of accident risk. And the situation discharged such a way.

When the accident occurred, Totmyanin was next to Mike: he had time to flatten somehow against the wall and to rescue, and then he dug up Mikhailov.

 

A huge ice-fall on, which was fixed the rope, fell down. Mike went on the rope thus he lost fulcrum and fell. And several enormous ice lumps collapsed from the top and chunks icy two-meter "cubes" were wedged between themselves that is why they didnt squash him.

 

Well, further there were the stressed saving works. Two days we prepared to descend him on the ropes, and waited for a helicopter, without any hoping: they said to us at once that all civil helicopters were mobilized. We had a lucky chance that the pilot of a helicopter appeared a Russian: only the Russian could help us at such bad weather conditions in this situation. The Nepalian simply did not fly.

The state of mountain was very hard. We didnt have any rest day. Each day we had to work hard like a navvy. The weather was just disgusting. And all those accidents were on the top of ii all. The accident with Odintsov happened on 25 or 26 September. A stone flew off, bounced off his helmet, and struck his hand - at the altitude about 4500m.

I just was going to ascend up to 5400m to shoot the work on the route. At first we couldnt determine whether he had got his hand with a strong injury or a crack of a beam bone. I fixed his hand bandaged to the hand of stick, and went upward to work, and Alexander began to descend.

All team members endure the high altitude normally, but they are strongly tired. It takes 7 hours to trek from below up to 5600m. You have to trek hard for another day to reach 6400m. After that, you have to work for 2 days of to move forward and through that heavy snow. Nikolay Totmyanin (Tatosha) feels himself the best of all at the high altitude: he has an infinite capacity of health for work!

It always is snowing upper, snowy streams are flowing along all couloirs. From time to time large avalanches are descending. Under such conditions a good jump-suit is so indispensable thing. (gale jump-suit from Dermizax made by BASK) - snow is flowing, and you is completely closed, and feel warm all the time. But generally, concerning the gear, each loves that, to what he get used to. Ruchkin and Pershin, for example, enjoy windblock. Totmyanin, after climbing up to 6400m, inquired powder puff (not long before he used it as a pillow in the Base Camp) it substituted for it), and soon Bolotov wanted the same. Now, probably all climbers wear the powder puffs there. It became chilly. When I was going down, an intermediate snowy cave was dug out at 7000m. Everything seems very complex. Every day we awaited the Wall be cleaned and opened from the snow. Our wishes did not come true. When I was descending on 28 September, the Wall was still white as before. But our soldiers still have got the reserve of time and power.

Mountain.RU note: And there has also been a rumour going around us that all members backed safely in BC to make a final decision: the route they had planned for now looks impossible, the way too loaded and avalanche danger was definitely high. So they will look...

(8.10.2003)
Royal Mt. Trekking (P) Ltd informs:

Lost dispatch
On September, 27 Ruchkin wrote:
 " We are all safe and sound and this is the main thing. On September, 12 while we were working the ice-fall up at about 5300m a huge-sized ice block tumbled from the ice-fall and Mike Mikhailov was involved in serious ice fall accident. He was evacuated from 5000m in tough weather conditions, in a fog by Mi-8MTV-helicopter piloting by the Russian pilot Kolesnikov to Katmandu's hospital and now he is still there.
And all began in working ways. On September, 10 Ruchkin, Totmyanin, Mihailov started to work up the ice-fall in the lower part of the North Face of Jannu. The ice-fall impressed us. It is also called Khumbu-2. The stories of the Uzbek expedition on Jannu have proved to be true: to start climbing the ice-fall without a glass of alcohol beverages is terrible. The team made some ascents. First day we fixed the rope and made 16 pitches. As we couldn't see the end of the chaotic location of ice blocks we descended and spent a night under the Wall and decided to make the final attempt to climb the plateau tomorrow. Next day we took more ropes and tried to climbed upper. After making two pitches to our regret we should turn back because of the great 5-7m- width crack. But as they say, "the locomotive has gone", as the equipment was brought with regularity. We had to spend a night settled the tents on a big ice block on the middle of the ice-fall.
On September 12 we descended to the 8th rope and began to ascend via another route on the right side. To find way in an ice labyrinth was not quite simple. It looks like the ulimit in the American film "Vertical limit". Handing two ice tools we had to make multi-jumps from one serac to another. There wasn't any route there. All looked like a solid mass of fallen ice blocks. Finally we made the 15th pitch and reach the rock going in parallel with the ice-fall. At 13.00 at 5000m we fond the signs of other expedition's stays. We made sure of the right way we went. We had enough time and decided to not stop climbing. The team's members climbed one by one bringing the gear and the camp. We climbed upper. Out simple route ran between the ice-fall and the rock. Making the seventh pitch I had had no time to make a station as I heard a thunder and felt the rope jerked and gripped the handles of the tools stronger. The ropes stretched as a string. That moment I would tear off from the ice I held on with the help of the ice axes. I made the belay station and began descending in a hurry. The huge ice block overhanging as a turned horn I was afraid when I was passing under tumbled. I couldn't recognize the place of my station. An ice wall that served as a cover was taken off. All around was showered with broken ice blocks. Mikhail was standing strewn up the waist and the ice stones jammed his legs. As it appeared he was standing next to Nikolay Totmyanin at the station at that moment. We found out that Mikhail got off with scratches, bruises and fear, gave him a jab and called Mikhail Davy and Alex Bolotov who were at 5000m after climbing the gear for help began to descend with the injured climber. He was the good fellow when he descended in his own. We only helped him a little. He could move hard and painfully. There were 200 hard meters he should to go on the snow and stones to the tent. Alex hoisted him into his back brought him to our high-altitude Camp at 5000m helped from different sides. In the tent we put him to a warm sleeping-bag and communicated with our doctor Bakin. He guided us to do all necessary medical operation. To find a helicopter in Nepal is too difficult because of struggle with Maoists we consider so all next day we decided whether any helicopter could evacuate him from the ledge of the wall at 5000m altitude, would we have enough money to pay for it and many other question. There was a miracle. The helicopter could land at such weather conditions when we could hardly see it. We were so proud for Russian professionals.
Odintsov, Pershin and Totmyanin took Mikhail wrapped up in a sleeping-bag into a helicopter was hanging in the air for a moment. Mikhail is in now, without any doubt in good hospital. The doctors who treat the King now are treating him and we hope they will put him on his legs. It is a pity to understand that he will not climb the mountain together with us. The weather does not indulge us. There is raining all the days and nights. The sun appears for a few hours in the mornings reminding about its existence.
Tomorrow Davy and Bolotov is climbing the part of the gear and food up to 5000m and going to try to fix the rope till the plateau. At the moment we are all in the Base Camp and w e send warm greetings to all friends.

Hoping for the next communication,
Ruchkin

(7.10.2003)
Royal Mt. Trekking (P) Ltd informs:

After the 15th of September it seems our satellite phone Turaya started to live its own life. It finds the satellite and there is a constant signal, but it does not recognize anybody and does not call. We don't have any communications with continent, either with Russia, or Katmandu. That is why we have been lost in the Internet and we couldn't have put on the air. A unique communication we use now, is the doctor who is running down to Gunsa for 3 hours for communication on radio station with Taplejung. But it isn't yet everything. From Taplejung they call to Rojal Maunt Trekking office in Katmandu and ask them to come on there by the fixed time for communication.
And the information is transmitted at very bad audibility, intelligibility and perhaps imagination. Then the doctor is running back 6 hours to our Base Camp. There is everything normal at us except for the weather. Though have already started to get used to it. The weather is stable: every day and night it is raining or snowing. The sun is shining for a few hours a day, and our gear doesn't have enough time to dry. Then a fog covers everything. It looks like an animated cartoon "Hedgehogs in a fog ". In a fog the rain is already drizzling and sometimes it is snowing. It seems like the winter coming. But in spite of all these charms we regular go on a route to throw a gear a little higher and ascend further. At present we have climbed up to 6400-6500m, and settled the temporary camp at 6100-6200m. And we sally out from it under a snow dropping out of a fog or showering from the wall.
The North Face of Jannu looks at us in absolutely other attire completely covered and wrapped up in a snow. The Wall was not cleared of a snow till now. Today is the 27th of September and for the first time there is the sun shining from the morning. There isn't any fog, Everything is covered with rime and frozen up. In the Base Camp the temperature is 5 degrees below zero since the morning, but grass is still green. We hope that this simply bad summer. Finally the picture of the area has shown itself. We can see the snow and rocky summits, overhanging ice-falls. Huge-sized ice blocks tumble from them with a roar with frequency of departure of local trains but they do not fright us any more.
Totmyanin and Pershin are working upper on the route digging a snow cave at 6500m. It's planned as a staging post on a way to 7000 meters under the Wall. For the short period Alexander Odintsov has taken the doctor's bench. Ascending on fixed rope he threw down a big stone with the rope and tried to parry it by his head and a hand. As a result the head has remained intact but he has got his hand with a strong injury or a crack of a beam bone. He has woken up plaster. All is going right course. Having worked at high-altitude some days, the group, descend in the Camp to rest. Then couple of days we ascend to the end of fixed rope with the gear-cargo and make a force of working for some days to climb higher. Tomorrow Bolotov and Davy are starting to ascend the route. Certainly, when this information will reach the centre, it has become a little obsolete. We sent one of Nepalians in Katmandu to change the satellite phone and we hope that he will come running back soon, and communication will be adjusted soon.

See you soon.
With huge greetings from all us,
Ruchkin

(3.10.2003)
Royal Mt. Trekking (P) Ltd informs:

On October, 2 broken satellite phone was taken Katmandu, and THURAYA put at expedition disposal the new one. Today, on October, 3 Igor Kulishov left for Tapledjung. He's about to be back at Base Camp on October, 5-6.

(1.10.2003)
Igor Kulishov informs:

On Monday, October, 1, at 17.20 local time, Odintsov reported via radio that he had hairline fracture - he proposed being ready for climbing again in about a week. 4 days ago his teammates moved up to 7000m and there dug the cave. Everything is OK!

(27.09.2003)
Igor Kulishov informs:

I've got a radio message from Gunza, expedition leader has had a hand fracture. Evidently they speak about Odintsov but the locals could be mistaken. We don't know any details besides that he doesn't need to be evacuated. Doctor Bakin has all wherewithal for wound repair. As soon as we get some news we'll inform you immediately.

(24.09.2003)
Igor Kulishov informs:

"Today, on Wednesday, 24, at 12h00 local time, the expedition doctor Mikhail Bakin reported via radio that during two days the weather condition left much to be desire but the guys continued moving forward. They decided also to send the satellite telephone to test and to repair to Katmandu. I hope that in 7-10 days I'll leave for BC with a good nonfailed phone. Ivan Samojlenko - the cameraman - is going to come down from BC in 2-3 days."
You may send the message Jannu-team via info@mountain.ru

(22.09.2003)
Igor Kuleshov informs:

Monday,15h00 local time. Mikhail Bakin reports via radio that everything goes right way. Totmjanin and Pershin are planning to climb tommorow, the rest are on the mountain. They've established Camp II at 6000m and going to push the route forward. Odintsov and Ruchkin will descend to Base Camp tommorow.

(19.09.2003)
Igor Kulishov informes:

"Today, in spite of the general strike I succeded to check up the subscriber's account and support - everything is OK. It seems there is a problem in the telephone receiver.
Misha will leave for Bishkek today (via Deli). He has hip-bone contusion and two ribs fracture (on the left side). I'm going to be back to Base Camp but it depends on the situation with the telephone connection.
On Sunday, just after the strike completion, I will try to get local radio contact with Gunza and ask somebody there to go up to BC and thus to keep in touch with the members of the expedition, maybe some of them (most likely the cook or kitchen boy) will low down to Gunza with the dispatches. "

(18.09.2003)
Igor Kuleshov informed from Katmandu:

"We've got information that the guys have some problems with the telephone communication. Tommorow it will be three days general strike in Katmandu. Misha Mihajlov will leave for Bishkek by air liner on Friday, September, 19. He is OK".

(15.09.2003)
Jannu-2003. Ice fall accident
On Friday, 12 an accident occurs with the youngest team-member Michail Mihailov. He was involved in serious ice fall accident while he was trying climbing up the ice part at 5100m. He has injured badly and the situation became complicated with his nontransportability from that altitude. The team-mates watched by his bedside by turn and yesterday, on Sunday, 15, the helicopter picked Misha up from the wall and he was evacueted to Katmandu's hopital. The rest is OK.
The climbing will go on via another way proposed by Pershin, Davy and Bolotov, their variant seems maybe more technically difficalt but more safety.

(15.09.2003)
Jannu-2003
The latest news from 11.09.03
"Hello, friends! It turned out that the life corrected our plans.
10.09.03 Ruchkin, Totmyanin and Mihaylov fixed 16 ropes over the ice part and descended to spend night in the Camp installed by Odintsov and Pershin right at the foot of the ice fall. At the same time Mikhail Davy and Alex Bolotov ascended as higher as possible and lifted the part of the equipment and the ropes. However the glacier proved to be harder and more tangled then we supposed.
11.09.03 The leading three-men and Bolotov added them fixed two ropes more upwards, lift the load and came up against the huge splits. They had to descend to the 8th rope and to search another way to climb the ice fall. Today they are spending this night on the small plate among the ice fall. It's such a safe place. And tomorrow they are going to search for a new way. That part of the ice fall was quite firm with the ice covered by a layer of shifting ground. While the right part of the ice fall to has crumbled we think. And the huge ice blocks are continuing to fall every five minutes. I decided to ascend the opposite side's slope tomorrow a little higher to coordinate on a radio transmitter the Alex's climbing. It's everything OK in our Base Camp. We all send the warmest regards to our friends, familiars who support us.
Bye-bye Mikhail Davy.

(12.09.2003)
Jannu-2003
The latest news:
Hi, all our dear friends, familiars. Everything is all right.
07.09.03 Finally we reached the Base Camp (4500m) near Jannu after a long 7-hours march from Gunza in spite of Maoists, civic wars, unflying helicopters and terrible leeches. All the way we could enjoy the nature of those pleases. The mountain was like mirage appearing through the mist and the storm clouds and disappearing. The weather was playing with us. And it was always raining in the afternoon.
09.09.03 The Camp was adorned with sacred flags, fires, rice and consecrated by sacred Nepal's prayers to bring us luck and good weather. All the day we were preparing for tomorrow's start and inspecting our equipment. It was planned Ruchkin, Totmyanin and Mihaylov to work the ice falls and then to climbed the plateau at 5400m and all the others to have working trekking to lift the equipment and to install the Camp.
10.09.03 the above-mentioned guys went out to assault at 06.30. At 08.30 they were under the ice falls. The others went out at 09.30. This part of the route isn't safe so we should take off the ropes. Tomorrow three-men Bolotov, Davy, Pershin are planning to fix rope over the steeper and difficult but less dangerous rock route to go round the ice falls. And four-men Ruchkin, Totmyanin, Mihaylov, Odintsov are going to climb straight upwards.
Wish us good luck and good weather, Odintsov, Ruchkin, Davy.

(9.09.2003)
Jannu-2003
Aleksandr Odintsov called from the Base Camp and said that after a week's way they reached the place at last. They are going to be resting tomorrow but the 10th of September they'll start to work.

"Hi, all friends, we are all right. We had to keep silence and to tiptoe through the taiga to avoid meeting mayoists. Now we are nearly in Los Angeles. They call so a small village (altitude 2350m). Actually it's named Amjulhasa. Now start in succession. We were living in clover in Taplejung village negotiating about a helicopter for three days and nights and. But it seems to take a helicopter is a great luxury in Nepal. Finally we became tired, and all members began to beat a hoof and we decided to go
Our large caravan comprised 67 porters including three women. Three men were caring a luggage of 65kg and some of the others were caring 45kg. The White man or woman would die but the sherps are very hardy and unpretentious people. Their children go to school for a few hours a day getting across mountain rivers.
With the help of two bottles of changa we persuaded the sherps to move faster as soon as possible to make several crossings a day. It takes 7-8 hours and was very serious. Usually the trek Taplejung-Jannu takes 7-8 days. We are planning to do it for 3-4 days.
First day we hopped to Mitlung (altitude 900m) for 4 hours. We stayed for the lodging for a night at a hotel like a balcony on the second floor. The second crossing Mitlung-Topletok (altitude 1300m) took 7 hours. Topletok is fantastic! The hotel like a shed turned out was closed. So we had to install an only huge tent on a good ground. All the night it was raining. It seemed as a river flowed right here. We didn't enjoy very much being there at all when some guys were washed away under the neighbouring awning.
The crossings were very dangerous. And you are been waiting on each meter of the path by. Maoists? Not, leeches. They are like wild hungry animals. Some guys managed to catch 10 leeches at once. But the doctor calmed us down and said that some people paid a lot of many for applying leeches and you got them free as in a health resort.
Today is the 5th of September and with a bit of luck we can get Gunsa. The temperature is about 30C at night in shade and it rises till 50C in the Sun. The humidity is simply incredible- 69% probably. It could depend on a lot of waterfalls, rivers and streams we encounter here. But we are still keeping going with all our will-power despite sweating and growing thin. We had a lodging for a night in a hotel-balcony again. Fortunately we found beer there and we drunk a little of course to resist such the mad heat and to improve our health. Thanks to the doctor's prescription to eat 30gr of Whiskas to avoid catching liver worms we are still living. And now our toast is "Liver worms go home!" in place of Russian "Your health!" We are alive, we love all of you, and we are not going to be missing and we say to you: "Good-bye!"
On the 8th of September we are in Gunsa. All of us are assembled. Samoylenko and Kuznetsov look like aboriginals. Tomorrow we are starting to Kombachen and then going to the Base Camp. It takes 5 hours. The yaks are caring the luggage and we are caring ourselves. It's not so bad. Hope for the next connection from the base Camp.
Ruchkin and companions"

(2.09.2003)
Jannu-2003
Hello friends, As the situation with the helicopter hasn't been solved, we have chosen to start to BC with the caravan. Today, September 1, we were driving for 10 hours non-stop along a very bad road, but in the end had only aching backs and 25 km distance from Fidim. Though we did reach our destination - Taplejung village - but the truck with our luggage failed to start today, so it will arrive tomorrow evening at best. We stayed in the only functioning hotel - it's hasn't been built up to the end yet - it has no electricity, so we'll have some problems with charging our laptop. We had a meeting with the head of local police office. He doesn't think we will have any problems with mayoists during the trekking, because they hate mainly Americans. To be on the safe side, we took red T-shirts with hammer and sickle (national anthem of the former USSR) with us
For the time being we are planning to proceed from here with the porters the day after tomorrow.
Best regards to everyone, Mikhail Devi.

(27.08.2003)
Jannu-2003
Aleksandr Odincov report:
"Hi, everyone, August 15, our whole team summited Khan-Tengri peak, and the following day all members safely descended to Base Camp. According to the results of altimeters' measurements, the snow dome this year is 30 meters higher than the tripod (which is 6995m over sea level), so the climbing of Khan-Tengri can be considered to be the climbing of a 7-thousender if you reach the top of this dome
The team spent 2 nights at 6400m for better acclimatization. During the whole time of the ascent the weather was perfect. Tomorrow we are planning to take a helicopter back to civilization, where Alexei Bolotov is waiting for us in Karakol.
We have tickets from Bishkek to Delhi on August 22, and further to Katmandu on August 24, but it hasn't been confirmed yet. Is this is true, we'll try to get Indian visas in Bishkek so that we won't have to hang around 2 days in Delhi airport. We'll tell you our new email address a bit later, Good luck, Till soon. "

(11.08.2003)
Jannu-2003
Chronicle of Khan Tengri Acclimatizing Ascent.

The Odintsov's team has made the acclimatazing ascent of Khan-Tengri. In the evening, August, 6 they were at Camp I at 4200m. On Thursday, 6 at 7 a.m. they went along the Semenovsky Glacier to Camp II situated at the end of icefall at the altitude of 5250m. In the unceasing snowfall they spent the rest of the day in their tents. There was a heavy fall of snow in the night (20cm of snow-blanket).
On Friday, 8 the weather has become better, it became possible to go up to Camp III (5800m), situated at the dam between the peak Khan-Tengri and the peak Chapaev. The night was spent at the snow cave.
On Saturday, 9 at 9.00a.m. the team downhilled at the Tjan Shan' Travel Base Camp, located at the U.Inilchek Glacier at 4100m.

(8.08.2003)
Jannu -2003. 8.08.03

The message from Mikhail Mihailov, Khan-Tengri :
"The team has started an acclimatizing ascent. This night they spend at Camp II at 5300m. The weather doesn't give any cause for joy, it's snowing hard every day and there is a high avalanche risk. Tommorow if the weather allows them to go on, the guys have an intention to climb up to the col at Camp II, at 5900m."

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