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Aksu, 5350.
Krasnoyarsk route
Photo Pavel Shabalin

The team:

Reservists and assistants:

The doctor

Trainers and heads:
Zaharov N.N.,
Balezin V.V.:


Ak Su, 5350.
Winter attempt



Ak-Su. First Ever Winter New Route The Leader's impressions
(3.03.2004) new!
"...That day Andrey made one pitch and looked like a snowball in glasses. As the result we hang up the portaledge at the zone of 13-th pitch. A visibility sometimes was no more a meter, The real "White River" flew on the Wall. In the same evening all of us descended running away to the base camp. The bad weather continued a day more and after that we could see Ak-Su in all its magnificence, decorated with fresh snow..."

Author: Anton Pugovkin, Krasnoyarsk

We have just received a message from the base camp.
Hurray! Nikolay Zaharov has just called from the base camp. Yesterday in the late evening the team safely descended from the Wall. We congratulate the guys on the brilliant ascent! There appeared a new strong route on Ak-Su, the new winter line on Ak-Su has been done!
Nikolay Zaharov reports: Here they are sitting down to the table in the tent. They have got tired, certainly, but all of them are healthy. Tomorrow we are descending to Uz -Gurush. There we take a vehicle, which pick us up and get to Bishkek. We will call you from the road.

Photo: P. Shabalin(24.02.2004)
On February 23, 2004.
Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"Today about 12 o'clock in the afternoon the team successfully summited Ak-Su with its full complement. The new route of 36 pitches - is climbed!
Our hopes for improvement of the weather have not come true. There was a strong snowfall during all last days. A shaft of light appeared only today. Probably, the mountain is tired to struggle. The guys are spending the night on the 25-th pitch. Tomorrow they are going to descend via the ascent route. All of them are healthy and send greetings to their native, friends and fans. "

Photo: P. Shabalin(20.02.2004)
On February 19, 2004.
Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"A week of the bad weather seems to come to the end. Today for the first time the stars appeared in the night sky. It gives us the hope for improvement. The temperature is -20C.
We have made 29 pitches, and now we are fixing the rope on a summit tower. We are not planning to climb via known routes and the route will be completely new. The portaledges are hanging on 25-th pitch.
All the team is in a good mood. Our greetings to all friends! "



Photo: A. Ruchkin(17.02.2004)
On February 16, 2004.
Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"The bad weather is still holding. Strong snowfalls brake our ascent. We are able to make only a pitch a day. Totally about 1000 m of the Wall have been climbed (24 pitches). Portaledges are removed on 20-th pitch. The team is in a vigorous mood. We send greetings to all friends. "


Photo: A. Ruchkin(13.02.2004)
On February 13, 2004.
Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"Finally we took off on 11-th of February. The portaledges are settled on the 14-th pitch. In total we have made 21 pitches.
Today we don't work, staing on the portaledges because of a very heavy snowfall. Everything is normal with us. Our greetings to all friends. "



Photo: P. Shabalin(12.02.2004)
The team of Ekaterinburg comes back.
On February 12, 2004.
At last we received news from Sergey Kofanov:
"... We are in normal state: now we are in Osh and today we are leaving to Bishkek. While briefly: for the fifth day of work on the wall I and Evgeniy agreed, that he was working till a dinner and then - I. Accordingly, I did not wrap up in the morning as the good weather allowed. But after a dinner the weather deteriorated - it began snowing and soon a continuous stream of snow began to flow down the wall. Evgeniy was hanging somewhere above. While I was belaying I became overcooled very much. In the evening on the portaledge I was started to beat a fever and then I got nasty cough and temperature appeared at night. In the morning having listened on a portable radio set my symptoms the doctor of Krasnoyarsk's team made a diagnosis - pneumonia. And that's all there is to it, we are descending without any conversations.
For those 4 days of a bad weather, that we were spending at the base camp of Krasnoyarsk's team Alexander Kuharev put to me so much injections, I have never got probably for all life. Now I feel quite normally. The guys say greetings to everybody. We will roughly leave Bishkek on Saturday. "

Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"All last days the bad weather interfered with work. There was a frost, a wind. We had to have a day of rest: all the guys descended to the base camp. Today the weather is a little improved, so we have fixed three ropes for the present day. (The total amount is 16 ropes). Tomorrow we are taking off. Greetings to everybody! "

Nikolay Zaharov informs:
"Greetings to everybody! The team of Sverdlovsk descended from the 20-th pitch because of Sergey Kofanov's illness. Now they are in the base camp, Sergey is under observation of doctor Kuharev. The doctor says: "There is nothing dangerous."
The Krasnoyarsk team has passed the bottom crux - a mirror (smooth plates). For two days they have fixed 1,5 ropes, and settled the portaledge. Now they are working from the portaledge and planning to take off in 2-3 days. The weather is bad; there is a strong wind. "

Photo: A. Ruchkin(6.02.2004)
Anton Pugovkin informs:
" The team from Ekaterinburg climbed Snuffle (ice) and left on Ruchkins route and then on Popovs routes. They have already climbed "Cross". Now their portaledge is settled in the area of the Cross. They are fixing the rope in one pitch above it.
The Krasnoyarians began fixing the rope on 3-rd of February. For three days they have made 11 pitches. (Today Tsyganov - Malygin made 4 pitches). The route corresponds to the line on the photo - first ascent route to the left from Popov's route. The route is in a good condition, there is no ice there. The weather held good for three days, but today after a dinner it began snowing. It hampers fixing the route. The working two-men team descends to spend the night to the cave dug under the Wall.
Tomorrow two-men team Pugovkin-Cherezov is going to climb and set the portaledge in the zone of 10th pitch. Working two-men team Dmitrienko-Litvinov will descend to spend the night to the already settled portaledge.
Greetings to all our friends, natives, fans."

The guys have finally forced their way to the mountains.
Nikolay Zaharov's message from 1.02.04:
"After several unsuccessful attempts to fly off a helicopter could do it and we managed to get to the terminus. The base camp was installed and today we are going to do a probing gangway under the wall. All of us are healthy. The team of Ekaterinburg is already under the wall in the beginning of the route. They were delivered directly up under the wall, where their equipment was stored."

The message from Nikolay Zaharov.
"Our greetings to everybody! On January 28 the rain poured down in bucketfuls. Once again we made the next unsuccessful attempt to take off but flied not for a long time. Bad visibility did not allow to fly downhill. We spent the night again in Osh. To be in good form we climbed mountain Sulejmanka.
Yesterday all was filled up with a snow, and today there is a continuous fog. We can not take off again.
N.Zaharov and the company. "

January, 29 2004. Jury Glazyrin informs:
" Our greetings to everybody from commands of Krasnoyarsk and Ekaterinburg! The both teams have been sitting in Osh for four days every day trying to fly off to the mountains. Because of the bad weather (a fog, it was raining yesterday, but today it is already snowing) a dispatcher from Osh has not authorized for the commencement of flight. Continually we supervise atmospheric pressure on GPS, and find it growing all the time. But it is poorly similar to the truth. We have to stay in Osh (first- in a house at one Kirghiz and now in hotel). The part of people in shifts sleeps in the helicopter. It stands outskirts of the town. From Krasnoyarsk to Bishkek we flu perfectly. They met and delivered us, as it was a custom. Next day we went a camp parking Ratseka in Ala-Archa, 3200m, for acclimatization. Having spent the night we descended to Bishkek in the afternoon.
Next day at 11 a.m. we tried to fly to the mountains but there was a fog again and we had to land in the same valley in Talas. The distance was about 200 kilometers though we flied it one hour - twenty. We spent in Talas a pair of hours visiting a restaurant and a market and continued our helicopter excursion across Kirghizia.
The following stop was in Osh (1,5 hours of flight more). Having sat a little, we understood that the weather was not going to improve and our fast helicopter transfer was dragged.
29.01.04, today, since the morning it is snowing again and we sure will not depart anywhere. "

Krasnoyarsk route on Ak-Su: the latest news from Anton Pugovkin and Nikolai Zakharov.
The team of Krasnoyarian climbers flew off on 26.01.04 almost under the schedule in 10 a.m. from Bishkek, but did not reach Ak-Su gorge because of the bad weather and cloudiness in the mountains from 2000 up to 4000m. First their plane unsuccessfully tried to fly over the pass, and then to reach four other gorges. They had forced landing first in Talas, where they were waiting for the better weather about two hours more and then flu in Osh and had to spend the night there. Today, 27.01.04, the weather absolutely is deteriorated with a dense fog and a rain. Therefore most likely they willl not depart anywhere today. Despite of whims of the weather they are fine and have a mood vigorous.

Photo Pavel Shabalin(27.01.2004)
The combined team on mountaineering from Krasnoyarsk region is taking part in the Championship of Russia on mountaineering in a class of technical ascents and going to pave the own Krasnoyarsk route on Mt. Aksu, North Face, Pamiro-Alai mountain range, as it has already become a tradition.
"Krasnoyarsk" route has been opened on Trolls Wall, where the absolute altitude 1750 m, the difference-1100 m, an average steepness - 82 . But Aksu North face is more difficult: 5350, 1500, 76 accordingly.
And the weather conditions are more severe. The new route is supposed to be laid via the mirror between Kavunenkos and Popovs routes.
In structure of the team masters and young climbers: E.Dmitrienko, A.Pugovkin, D.Tsyganov, S.Cherezov, A.Litvinov, P.Malygin and reservists and assistants: J.Glazyrin, V.Saveljev, V.Tsygankov, A.Kuharev -the doctor. Trainers and heads: Zaharov N.N., Balezin V.V. At the same time on the wall there will be a team of friends - contenders from Sverdlovsk area.
On 21.01.04 the team left to Novosibirsk. A route: Krasnoyarsk - Novosibirsk - Almaty - Bishkek - gorge Aksu. The helicopter from Bishkek is ordered on 26.01.

We wish them a good weather, success, victory!

Ak Su winter attempt. Chaplinsky route
On January, 14, Russian-Kyrgystan team from Ekaterinburg-Bishkek: Eugeny Novoseltsev, Sergey Kofanov, Nikolay Gutnik and Vitaly Akimov will leave Bishek for Ak Su winter attempt via Chaplinsky route and maybe in the upper part via Chabaline-route.
On January, 20, another Russian team from Krasnoyarsk are going to Ak Su as well.
Ak Su, 5217m, is the most challenging SIC big wall. The first winter ascent was made by Pavel Shabalin (Kirov), Ilyas Tukhvatullin (Tashkent) and Alexandre Abramov (Moscow). They started on December, 8, and after four days of fixing rope on December, 11, the team began upwards in capsul style via "Cold Corner". Things were progressing well and after having climbed 45 pitches they summited on the night from 21 to 22. After having had "the cold night" on the summit, on December, 23 the team descended. During all their ascent the weather was unsettled, it was snowing on average once per three days. On the nights the temperature was -20C and below. On the ridge and on the summit the wind was extremely strong.
The first and only winter ascent by pair was made in December 1998 by Michael Pershin and Igor Nefedov (both from Ekaterinburg) via Chaplinsky route (YI 5.10 3 1500m) in capsul style. The ascent took them 22 days (from Dec, 10 to 31) and four days took the descent (from Jan, 1 to 4)

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