Valery Babanov & Yury Koshelenko
News and articles:
Koshelenko. Winner 13th PIOLET D'OR
Interview for Mountain.RU
"...I had an internal sensation not
connected to my mind but more likely with feeling at a mental
level, that we will be awarded. Thus I well understood, that
there were a lot of reasons against that. Certainly they are
basically the facts that it would be the second Piolet d’or
for Valery and as a whole the third for Russia. It is impossible.
Though on total merits we had 9 nominations - five at Valery
and four at me. It was a voice of heart..."
The material was prepared
by Anna Piunova, Mountain.RU
Babanov and Koshelenko. The ascent
of Nuptse East is competitor for Piolet D'Or.
As Valery Babanov reports he had a call from Manu Rivauld
(Montagnes Magazine) saying that their ascent of Nuptse East
is nominated for Piolet D'Or.
Ura Koshelenko reports:
Today we flew in Katmandu. We have got the tickets from Katmandu
on 14.11, and from Dakha on 15.11 at 12:20. It means that
on15.11 we should be in Moscow in the evening: only forcemajor
circumstance can prevent from that plan. Tomorrow there will
be a briefing in the Ministry of tourism of Nepal, today we
have met with Elizabeth Houli: the meeting passed well with
a cordial parting and some photographs for memory. We celebrated
Valery's birthday in Lukla and treated people with a pie baked
by our cook Pasang. So it turned out, that our expedition
began from my birthday, and successfully came to the end in
Valery's birthday. We have a lot thing to do in Katmandu,
I hope we will successfully finish them; we are ready to all
Objectively I consider this ascent as a high class climbing,
but not because that we made it. Our forces gradually come
back to us. We are already thinking about new plans. The energy
of success is, certainly, a magic energy. People say, that
perfect persons can precisely use the energy of failure with
the same result!?
Happy greetings to you all.
Yury, Valery 11.11.2003
Yury Koshelenko compares the impressions
about the ascent on Nuptse East with us: As in Schwarz's fairy
tale "The Ordinary miracle", "the king still
had feelings thin and hardly definable". We have hung
between dreams and a reality. The reality is needs of a body,
but a consciousness is aside all the time. There was a certain
division, and the result of it is two climbers dog-tired with
foggy plans concerning the future, with a proof sensation
of the fixed universe at the top. This top is as a sign, as
a seal. And it came into our hearts and remained there as
a lunar landscape with a full-scale view of Everest with a
huge silvery flag and the Southern saddle, Western Face of
Lhodse, with a smooth turn of her ridge and the top on which
we hugged one another of the good achievement. Those embraces
are a high level of our relations. We feel such emotions from
that it has come off and these emotions are from our staying
behind the limit.
The night ascent on the unknown top close to 8000m is a high
uncertainty especially with descending. But we decided to
do that lost in high meditation when having dissolved with
an exhalation you can to not return.
It is not a simple achievement for us: it was checking of
our opportunities, and first of all a conformity of internal
instructions of your spirit and the reality of their embodiment
in the real world. There is no also a speech about any victory.
We have ascended the top unclimbed before by a mutual agreement
and due to the renunciation we made at a spiritual level.
Koshelenko reports from Namche Bazaar:
"We are in Namche. The body is knitting gradually with
the soul. We feel strange sense. As an idea - a comparison
with a billiard sphere beaten out of the limits of a table
comes. This is an interesting condition of consciousness,
but it is difficult to use fruitfully because of difficulty
of the control... It is badly controlled. The mountain has
already kept away from us. It opened her embraces. The sensations
from contact with her reality are already delayed and are
less powerful, the reality is fixed in the past, but still
yesterday we lived in it.
The southeast ridge is technically very completed, interesting,
magnificent with beauty of its line. It comes to an end at
6900 m with a wide crest. This crest rests against a pre-topmost
snow-ice slope and a summit tower.
For the ascending of the further part of the route we had
to sacrifice something. The weight played the first role as
a brake on our way to the top, and we left sleeping bags,
spongy mat, products, and unnecessary personal things. We
settled two cold camps: at 7200m and at 7450 m (the third
one was settled on descending route). Then made the push to
the top with the uncompromising decision to go up to the end,
despite of a close night, a dense wind and a dense frost and
also the obvious difficulty and uncertainty with the descent.
Only this renunciation and the correct route we had chosen
allowed us to summit the top for four pitches up to the maximum
point. During that moment we controlled ourselves, and partly
the situation. It cost to us of considerable efforts. I do
not know at all, when we can restore them. But the mountain
is ours, i.e. - Russian. As it heats our souls. And what about
Yury Koshelenko, the 9th of November 2003"
news from Valery Babanov, the base camp, Nuptse:
Hi! Today is the 6th of November. Two days ago we descended
from the east top of Nuptse, but it seems that as the time
has stopped for us.
And we feel as if we are still there, on the Mountain. Personally
I till now cannot get off the feeling, that all of us are
still ascending the sharp ridge of Nuptse filled with a moonlight.
I can not forget an amazing view of Everest and Lhodse, and
that space cold in which we were dissolved.
It is simply incredible to describe how we lived through that
night - there are no such words. Nuptse allowed us to summit
her top. Any Himalayas mountain demands the definite price
for the ascending. And the price of Nuptse East is special
- this Mountain is lively.
Parts of our souls have remained at the top till now and for
this reason it seems to us, that we cannot till now find our
place in the world of people. All our dreams are there, above.
We named our route " the Lunar Sonata ", this name
in the best way defines our sincere condition for the time
we were at the top.
That is all for now, Valery, Yury,
Nuptse team is safely back in BC after a successfull summit
Valery reports: "On
Sunday, November, 2 we summited Nuptse East. We
took of from the 7450m Camp at 8.40am for the summit push,
we did it and returned at 00.30am to our tent to sleep. The
latest three days before making summit bid we couldn't sleep
at all, it was terribly cold cold, we kept the legs in the
chest one another. We had only a tent, a foam pad, down jackets
and a gas-jet. This is a very serious summit and great success!"
Yura Koshelenko adds: "The summit
is splendid! We were very lucky - the weather was pretty much
steady through the time period that we needed. But it was
strong wind on the summit, thanks God we didn't get frost
bitten. Our entire ascent is a great overcoming: two nights
without sleeping bags, the M4-M5 climbing upper 7450m. We're
Timeline of the summit bid:
Start in the morning on October, 29, sleep at 6200m,
October, 30 we moved up to 6900m,
October, 31 - up to 7200
November, 1 - up to 7450
November, 2 summited and back to 7450m
November, 3 descended to 6900m
November,4 we returned to BC at about 17.30 (Moscow time)
Valery and Yura will rest three days and then set out again
to take down the fixed ropes.They are planning to be in Moscow
on November, 16.
have received a telephone message from Valery Babanov - 28.10.2003:
Hello, all friends! Yesterday we ascended up to the Base
Camp from Deboche after four days of rest. Just at this time
there was heavy snowing during for three days, and now the
Base Camp is covered by snow blanket. The mountain seems buzzing:
at the altitude since 6500m a very strong wind blows. Nevertheless,
we have received the small forecast, and tomorrow we are planning
to an assault output: on October 29 we will climb up to 6200m,
then to 6900m. And if everything go successfully, on 31-st
- 1-st we want to make the final push on top Nuptse, East
Face. We had a good rest, our mood is vigorous, and we
have a strong desire to summit the top. The Americans
have finished their expedition: on October 25 they descended
to Deboche, on 26-th - to Namche, and today, likely, they
have already departed to Katmandu. Fabricio has some problems
with his leg. They are cool guys; it is a pity, that they
weren't lucky. All time of our output of there will be not
the communication; but as soon as we descend, we will call
at once. We hope that our attempt will be successful. Greetings
to everyone who worries for us and loves us.
Base Camp, Nuptse,
by Irina Agarkova from Namche Bazaar - 24.10.2003:
"I left Valera with Yura in Tengboche several hours ago.
They both are up to the mark, though, obviously, their mood
is spoiled slightly with a barren attempt. Weather has broken
and they decided to spend several days in Tengboche and to
have a rest there. I'm going to move to Lukla tomorrow and
to fly immediately to Katmandu, Deli, Moscow and Zurich from
it. Not so easy, but I'll try to. I'm overwhelmed with impressions
as it was my first Nepal travel."
PS Here is a message from Valera:
"Hi! It the 24th of October today. Our push to summit
was terminated two days ago (i.e. on the 22nd of October).
We were stopped with a hurricane at 7000 m. After it, we descended
to our base camp. Nevertheless, we are still in high spirits
and are looking forward to try the summit again.
Our American friends (Fabrizio Zangrilli and Billy Pierson
- ed. note) will close their expedition tomorrow (October
25) and go down. One of them broke a leg during a stone-fall.
Irina goes home too, so we'll be left alone here.
Now we are having a rest in a famous "Amadablam Garden
Lodge" in Deboche. We got two or three leisure days.
Weather made a nasty turn. It was raining this night. It is
a depressing overcast now. We hope for the best, though. That's
all for today, our thanks to all who think and care of us,
Valera and Yura.
The message was written by BASK
voice mail on October 22, 2003 at 17:30 (Nepal time):
"Hi! It's Babanov on the line. We returned to
BC this evening. Yesterday we spent a night at 6900 m. Hurricane
and frost there. We'll be waiting it out for several days
and watching for a change of weather. Obviously, we'll attempt
the summit again. We are in high spirits and feel Ok.
We are 100% sound, no frostbites."
Editorial note: Valera's voice was cheerful; no fatigue detected.
East Face - the climbers are going to make a final attempt
Valery Babanov informs from the Base Camp:
" Hi, everybody,
As you can guess we at the Base Camp and are going to have
a two days rest, 17-18th of October. Yesterday evening we
descended after an acclimatisation ascent taking for entire
three days of ascent and a day of descent. We worked the
last part of the Southern ridge, climbed up and spent night
at 6900m. All the time of ascent the weather was favourable
for us. The sun was shining and it wasn't too cold. I haven't
managed to find any gear we left last spring here. But now
it doesn't matter, we have done all works anew. At the Base
Camp we met a little group of support leaded by Irina Agarkova.
We are in good physical and psychological forms and we have
the moral courage.
18.10.03 we are planning to descend to Dingboche for the couple
of day's rest. The final push is planned on the 21st of
October and as we guess it will take for 5-6 days. But
don't forget that the weather in mountains is determinant
thing and it often permits us either to summit or doesn't
do it. It is necessary to receive permission from God and
to ask the Mountain the sanctions to do it.
That is all for now, greetings to natives, friends and everyone
who worries about us.
Valery and Yury, 17.10.03.
During our last break-out we completed work at the tower.
However, dirty weather prevented us from realizing our
plans and pitching the highest camp at 7000 m. Tomorrow (October
12) we'll go off again and we still hope to fix the camp.
Weather is fine now. We are safe and sound and if we do everything
tomorrow, we'll attempt a summit during our next getting out.
Americans are going out tomorrow too. They are still at 6000
m (British route). Our kindest regards to all who think of
P.S. Just now a support team (friends of Valera and mine)
from Switzerland is approaching the base camp. Valera asked
them to `keep connection alive' during the final bid. They'll
have radios and will keep us informed too. So we hope to get
cool news after the team takes-off, but not to wait several
days as it was last time.
night we descended to the Base Camp after 4 days climbing
up. You can find below that we could manage to do. We settled
the high-altitude Camp at 6200 and pushed the route up till
6450m. We climbed the most part of the route on the Diamond
Tower. In my opinion it is already not bad. All the lines
that I had fixed last spring there during spring attempt were
torn up by the summer monsoons and covered with snow blanket.
We should work the route up anew. It seems to me that I already
know each meter of these Walls.
All these days weather favoured to us, here and today, in
day of our rest, the sun shines too. The following output
is planned for October, 8: we want to finish the working the
Tower up as far as possible and climb up to 6900-7000m to
get the necessary best acclimatization. The ascent will probably
take us 4-5 days.
Because of sunny weather the Wall all time changes the look:
the snow first looks like kasha, and then it looks like castor
sugar. Both that and another conditions of the snow make us
to move hard.
Our American colleagues Fabrisio
and Billy have ascended the altitude 6000m and they have had
the same problems with the snow climbing via the British Route
on the South Face of Nuptse.
Today I descended to the nearest settlement Chukung and bought
there in addition a little of the rope and snow stakes for
belay. In the morning the checking officials to supervise
the cleanliness and the order in the Camp visited our camp.
It is all right about all of these things in our Camp. Here
and we live.
All greetings to our friends,
from the Base Camp, Nuptse.
The 6th of October 2003
Ludmila Koshelenko informs:
On October, 1, Yura Koshelenko reported via radio that they
placed 6000m Camp and went down for two days forced outage
- the weather was bad.
"We are looking to the sky in hopes identifying the promissing
weather windows, if the forecast doesn't fail us, we'll set
out again tommorow for the next four days. The Wall is fantastic!"
Valery Babanov informs from Nuptse Base
"It is the 28th of September and the day of Puja ñeremony
in Base Camp, we have a rest. The weather has a little improved:
less atmospheric precipitates and it's getting warm.
Having worked two more days, on September, 26 and 27, we
have reached the altitude of 6000 meters. The route is
covered with snow blanket, the biggest difficulty now is the
snow edges going upwards. The majority of the gear left last
spring burried, the ropes were torn up by the summer monsoons
and we have to fix them up again.
After resting, on Monday, September, 29, we are planning to
try to get to our Camp at 6200m in the next two or three days
(if the fabled weather window occurs), hoping that the lines
that we had fixed last spring on the Diamond Tower is still
The Americans went for an acclimatization climb on the British
route, their final plans are unknown.
Greetings to all native and to all our friends.
Valery and Yury,
It's our fourth day at Nuptse South Face. We are all ok,
safe and sound. Today we are having a rest. September 22 and
23 we worked on the lower section of the route, having reached
5700m. The weather is still bad: it is raining and snowing
everyday and it is pretty cold yet. But we are going on with
our work. We want to reach the maximum level before the weather
We are here together with an American expedition: Fabriccio
and Billy are very nice guys to talk to. We have different
kitchen tents and cooks as well as mountaineering plans: today
Americans climbed for acclimatization Bonington's route, and
we are having a rest. Tomorrow we are planning to go on with
working on the route and return to BC in the evening. We are
not going to spend a night on the route until we reach 5900m
and the weather gets better.
We have an official opening of our camp on September 28, on
the first day of the crescent moon as Pangboche lama recommended.
In Pangboche we got blessing for our climb.
Best regards to everyone who follows our progress, who remembers
us and cares for us.
Nuptse South Face, BC,
Babanov. Nuptse East.
"Nuptse East is still one of the highest
virgin summits so our expedition is very relevant. What about
our chances for success? Well, fifty-fifty as it's usual in
Himalayas. We'll try our best, though".
Translated by Anna Piunova, www.Mountain.RU
Expedition on the South
face of the Mt.Nuptse is begining
Hi everybody why has an interest to us and our expedition
on the South face of the Mt.Nuptse, Our expedition is begining
So, now we are in Kathmandu. We are OK! But we are a little
Today, it was so long day and night. We leaved from Moskow
yesterday at 18:50 PM and we arrived in Kathmandu just today
morning at 08:00 AM. So, it was about 14 hours without stopping
and with change a plain in Dhaka.
And also we had fly about one hour around Kathmandu with no
possibility to make landing. The pilotes say us because it
was bad weather in the airport area. Today was a Sunday...
so it was not possible to make a lot of things. Tomorrow will
be a very busy day... in the morning we are going to buy a
foods and some equipment. In the afternoon we will go to the
Ministry of the Tourism to get a permit ascent brieffing.
We will fly to Lukca on the Tuesday, 16 in the morning. In
this evening we met with Fabrizio and his partner named Billy.
They are americans. Bouth guys are so nice.
Ours Base Camps will be stay in the same place on 5200 meters
and we will be able to associate there without problems. We
will be felling not so lonely. But anyway we will be climb
a differents routes. They are not desided yet which route
the will be climb. Maybe a newone. The have a good high altitude
experience. They leave Kathmandy tommorow to Lucla and then
we will meet in Dingboche or in Base Campe Nuptse. Also today
we had meeting with miss Elizabeth Hawley.
Why climb in the Himalayas...they know this name.
She wishes us good luck and successful. Continue tommorow...
Valeri Babanov, Yuri Koshelenko.