In June - July, 2004 "Russian Extreme
Project" team consisting of 4 climbers, a camera-man, a photographer and a doctor,
sets to climb a new "Russian" route on legendary Mt. Amin Brakk (5850m), West
face, and make B.A.S.E. jump, executed by Valery Rozov, from the summit.
The Mountain is situated in inaccessible Pakistan Mountains
that present real climbing Mecca. It is one of the most complex and extended
walls of our planet. It is harder then Trango Tower. Amin Brakk was first attempted
in May 1996 by the Basque climbers and got attraction of rock climber back in
1997. The very experienced Spanish big wall climber, Jon Lazkano, together with
Adolfo Madinabeitia and Jose Carlos Tamayo made a capsule style attempt on the
1,200m granite face of unclimbed Amin Brakk. After 15 days on the wall the trio
were forced to give up around 300m below the top, worn down by bad weather,
cold temperatures that caused minor frosting, and lack of food. They estimated
another three to four days of good climbable weather would be needed in order
to reach the summit.
Spanish made several attempts until 1999 Pep Masip, Miguel
Puigdomenech and Silvia Vidal climbed this virgin Tower and named their route
as Sol Solet (VII 6C+, A5). The ascent took 34 days. The route has a technically
complex part of 1650m in length and 22 pitch A5 and 6c+ (vertical!) and is considered
as the most technically complex wall in the world for the present moment. Extent
of sites А5-graded (the greatest possible category of complexity) makes 150
meters (!) at the altitude about 6000 m. Lack of snow on this very abrupt wall
causes additional complexities, and the climbers have to haul up water.
The Russians have never tried to climb this formidable
mountain. Moreover nobody has jumped from its top and realised similar projects!
The team is going to lead and develop the new extreme sports of "B.A.S.E.-climbing".
You will be able to follow the expedition reading on-line reportings (news,
Extreme Project History (1.11.2004) "The Outdoor Adventure named the
Russian Extreme Project aims to lead worldwide unique actions
and expeditions of obviously expressed extreme character with
the purpose of development and popularization of extreme kinds
of sports in Russia. Author, leader and Project coordinator
- Valery Rozov, master of sports in mountaineering, master
of sports of the international class in parachute sport, two-times
World champion on Skydiving..."
(23.07.2004) 23.07 Valeriy Rozov reports:
Last night the team successfully descended (see the photo).
Everything turned out almost without almost incident. We dropped
one backpack, that was found below, and one trunk with a portaledge
tumbled down, we did not found it :-( . All of us are safe
and sound and already tomorrow we will leave downwards to
Kande. Practically everything that we had planned we made.
We climbed a very serious route on one of the most beautiful
and most complicated walls of Karakorum (see the photo) and
using the wing suit we made a B.A.S.E.-jump from the wall
in very uneasy conditions (see the photo).
The wall is not strong vertical and has a system of ledges.
The only thing, that we din not manage to do, is to lead absolutely
new route. Because of abnormal bad weather in the top part
of the route we had to turn on the Czech variant (it is easier
and faster). If
to speak shortly about our results:
Complexity of the gone route is А3, 6А.
Altitude difference of the technically complex site is 1250
meters (4600 - 5850mm).
Extent of the route - 31 pitches.
For the ascent we spent 22 days (11days - fixing the rope,
11 - on the mountain).
From 33 days of our staying in the area during the ascent
there were only three days of the real sun weather, all the
other days it was raining or snowing in different intensity.
We have got our return tickets to Moscow for August, 1. We
will get to Islamabad on July, 26 and we will try to change
them for July, 28.
We inform you how we manage to do that.
We would be glad to see you soon!
(22.07.2004) Valeriy Rozov reports: At 18.00 (local time) Valery
Rozov made successful B.A.S.E.-jump from Amin Brakk wall.
The jump-point was hardly below the place where
the route leaves on the summit ridge and approximately in
300 meters lower the top. The exit altitude was about 5550
meters. The jump was in a wing-suit (S3). Altitude difference
was about 1000 meters; free time falling was 30 seconds (it
was caused by a landing site, presented by torn glacier and
moraine lines. Not making up our mind to jump for a long time
we were dropping stones for two hours. Under the exit point,
in 5 seconds flying, there was a large ledge: all of the stones
broke about. If you make a normal push and the beginning of
the track you will fly it over but if you do not you will
have serious problems. Finally Valery dared to jump and flew
over the ledge at three-meter distance... Sensations
after a landing were simply inexpressible. It seems you have
gone for a spin by the time machine. During many days you
had to live on a vertical wall always fixed to it, all your
consciousness was aimed to keep the wall. And suddenly only
in one minute you appeared below on a horizontal safe site.
And you are able to do what you want, to go where you want.
Fantastic! All the team is OK, the other climbers descended
to the camp settled under the cornice. If the weather do not
prevent they will finally descend tomorrow.
20.07.04 Amin Brakk looks like a giant lizard (the multikilometer
ridge comes to the end with a colossal tower "head"). The
"Lizard" " sometimes is deep in dream under cold indifferent
stars, or, suddenly is being awoken by the first sun-rays
pulled out behind its ridge at eight o'clock in the morning.
By the afternoon the sun livens up ice, snow and stones. Then
the "Lizard" "shakes off" provoking avalanches and rockfalls,
notifying all the area: "I'm not sleeping, I guard the secret,
I keep guard the eternal transcendental country by day and
But here the most interesting things began.
The guys from the far country of Russia, despite of severe
customs of the "Lizard", bridled the zealous monster.
at 16-00 the team of the Russian Extreme Project, with its
full complement, summited the mountain, having overcome ice-covered
rocks, deep snow under the summit tower and incessant blizzard.
Ur! Ur! Ur! Now the climbers know the secret of Amin Brakk.
The following task is a B.A.S.A-jump. Valery Rozov plans to
make it on July 20 in the afternoon at favorable weather.
The exit point was chosen a small ledge in a break of the
summit ridge in three hundred meters below the top (it is
impossible to jump right from the summit because its dome-shaped
18.07.04 Suddenly spoiled weather did not allow the team to make
the summit trip and Valery to make the planned jump. Generally
speaking it was not flying weather at all. The wall, fixed
ropes and portaledges were badly snowed up. Unpredictable
impulses of a wind completely flew away any hope for summit
push planned for this day. The guys had to have a rest and
to save forces. They decided to exterminate the excessive
stock of combustible (alcoholic drinks) not to waste the time
idly. As it is noticed, that after that the next day weather
improves and the chances for the success increase. A special
easiness in muscles appears, increasing forces and others
flying qualities of a parachute improves. We are in fighting
mood! And are ready to move forward to the treasured purpose!
Rozov reports: 16.07.2004 Yesterday we worked the first day after taking off and
made two pitches, including a series of cornices with maximal
broad side about seven meters. Most likely it is a crux of
the route. The very bad weather holds. It is constantly snowing
and the present forecast promises only weather's deterioration.
We have got again the broken generator below in the base camp.
Dmitry Lifanov's trying to do something with it and sent one
of the sherpas for spares, but he will return only in two
- three days. Today on July 14 the team with its full complement
works on the wall. All of us are safe and sound and almost
healthy. All our greetings to you!
15.07.04 On July, 14 we made four pitches. The surface after the
cornice became a little bit easier. All the day long it was
snowing and a strong gusty wind blew. All the ropes became
ice-covered. On July, 15 the weather improved a little and
there was a good visibility that allowed Dmitry Lifanov to
make photo- and video-shooting of team's work on the route
from below using teleoptic devices. For this day we made tree
pitches more and reached the foot of the summit ridge. The
generator is still not working. Because of that we have no
opportunity to send new photos. We hope that tomorrow or the
day after tomorrow the sherpa will return from below and bring
us spare parts to repair it. We are in a brave mood.
Our kind greetings to all of you.
After short rest in the base camp our team finally took
off the foot of the mountain and now all the participants
of the expedition spend the night on three portaledges, fixed
on a vertical wall.
Weather constantly varies. Snow and fog prevail, therefore
visibility is bad and snow fills microrelief, that makes further
climbing very difficult.
13.07.2004We lead the route via "Czech crack". We
will see where to head further. Some variants are possible.
11.07.2004 Just last time we wrote about the good weather but in
the same evening it deteriorated. Last two days on July 9
and 10 it was practically continuously raining, sometime sleetting,
and it became rather cold. It became practically impossible
to work on the route because of continuous snow streams along
Nevertheless working above two-man team Lastochkin-Kovalev
and Seregin - Lifanov-Dorfman, that climbed from below, tried
to make anything to haul gear to the upper pitches. On
July 9 a strong rockfall collapsed right along the route line
and the fixed rope was broken in several places. We spent
half of the next day to restore it and then descended having
become wet and cold.
Today on July 11 we at last gathered all together in the base
camp again. We decided to have a rest and to take off tomorrow.
The forecast seems to promise the weather to improve a bit.
feels better though he is not completely recovered yet. But
we have no time to sit below. We've got more than 800 meters
of the vertical wall ahead. For today we made 12 pitches (the
top site is in the photo). Five of us are going to make a
summit push (Rozov, Seregin, Kovalev, Lastochkin, Dorfman),
Dmitry Lifanov will stay below for communication and for shooting
We wish to embrace and kiss all intimates and our beloved
and send them our greetings!
8.07.04 Man proposes and God disposes. Our planned taking off
for today failed. Rozov fell ill and got a sore throat and
high temperature. Probably he should descend to the base camp.
A two-man team Lastochkin-Kovalev works above. For two days
they managed to make one pitch on a very poor relief. The
cracks that look not bad appear deaf and do not help to climb
on the practically smooth wall.
Tomorrow Seregin-Lifanov leave upward. We will continue to
fix the rope using all available ropes.
The further plans depend on condition of the participants.
We hope that the delay will be short.
Weather is adjusted again.
Our route line for the evening on July, 8 - 11 pitches in
total. It is hardly less than half of the main wall! (not
including the roof and the bottom pitches on the ice sites).
6.07.04 Having spoiled on July, 4 the weather still remains bad.
Practically it is raining all the day, and for last three
days we have not gone-ahead even a meter. Wet and warm enough
weather provokes rockfalls and icefalls from above along and
without that not so safe our route. Yesterday we made hauling
of water and other gear upward, all of us got wet and cold,
but the main thing we are moving ahead little by little.
Hoping for weather improvement we plan to take off for July
8. All of us are adjusted resolutely and are ready to make
a summit push (see a photo). The Camp I remains at the fifth
pitch for a while - we have not found any enough safe place
Rozov reports: The route becomes not only more difficult, but also more
dangerous. After afternoon when the wall catches the sun,
ice and stones start to fall from above. You feel like under
bombardment. We even discussed a variant to work at night
that would be safer. It is practically impossible to lead
the route somewhere aside, because of exclusive poverty of
the relief. In other words, there are simply smooth walls
from the left and from the right . Even on the present route
we had to connect two cracks bolting the whole pitch (spits
through three - four sky hooks). Certainly, it does not please
us. We hope that the top part of the route would be easier
and we can use a natural relief climbing further. In total
we made 9,5 pitches for today.
Yesterday Seregin - Rozov worked ahead. Today Lastochkin-Kovalev
started fixing the rope. Working ahead two-man team leaves
for two days and spends the night on the portaledge fixed
at the end of the fifth pitch. Dorfman - Lifanov were engaged
in full food carry. It is rather problematic to haul the luggage
using the rope because of the bottom five pitches rather strongly
lay. The guys had to lift it on themselves.
We plan to make 2,5 pitches more and only after that to draw
away. To tell the truth, it is impossible to settle the next
camp on the top point because of the danger of rockfalls,
therefore we will set it somewhere between the 5th - 6th pitches.
After that we will have free ropes to continue our way upward.
We can see a system of the big cornices above, and under them
we plan to settle down in the future.
Today the weather sharply deteriorated. Since the morning
there is a strong rain and became cold. The forecast, which
we received, is unfavorable for the nearest 2-3 days. All
of us are healthy.
Despite of the bad weather we try to think positively :-)
(2.07.2004) Hi, everybody! We managed to make two pitches more today. We already work
on the basic wall. The surface while allows to move upwards
without bolting. In total we have got eight pitches made
and a portaledge fixed at the fifth pitch that allows the
advanced two-man team to spend the night already on the route
not spending the time in the morning for approaching and ascending
the route beginning. We plan to make four pitches more and try to prepare a
B.A.S.E.-jump right away from the portaledge as there aren't
any ledges on the basic wall in principle. While the weather
favors, we want to reach as high altitude as it is possible
to do, and only then to haul all the gear and food.
(1.07.2004) We continue fixing the bottom part of the wall.
Weather has become settled and began to remind almost
summertime, at least in the afternoon. Yesterday we made two pitches, but today could do only
one. Steepness of the bottom part of the wall is about 70
degrees. But the rocks are ice-covered, and their structure
reminds "mutton foreheads", that means it is required a tension
insecure mixed climbing on poorly adhered ice with hard-won
rock gear for protection. Plus, one more unpleasant surprise
we have got - the bottom part starts to be badly fired after
afternoon by ice and stones crashing down. Yesterday a small
avalanche covered working tree-man team: Lastochkin, Kovalev
and Dorfman. All of them are safe and sound, but it scared
them stiff! Avalanches collapse from the roof and a bend place,
where the wall is vertically directed downwards, avalanches
seems to jump out in the air, and this wave of snow flies,
actually not touching the wall, directly on you. At least,
from below it is difficult to estimate either it get right
away on you or pass by. And it happens in such way some times
a day. We even named these small avalanches - "White dragon".
In 1-2 pitches the wall becomes vertical or even a little
hanging, and we hope, that bombardment will go past. But for
now our work on the wall becomes very dangerous after afternoon,
and we have to stop fixing the wall and descend. The nearest two days we plan to continue fixing the rope
and lead the route, and also to haul gear and some food upwards.
Our greetings to everybody!
(29.06.2004) Hi, everybody!
We have got two significant events today. The first one
is Arcady Seregin's (in the photo) birthday. With all
our heart we congratulate him and wish to live in clover and
to visit mountains. I'm going to finish the message and to
run back to continue our celebration. And the second event
- we, at last, started to work on the route!!!
Yesterday we managed to make route reco and to choose the
route. It is the first day of normal weather today, and we
at once began fixing the rope after a lot of infinite conversations
how and where to climb. Finally
we chose the west face for our ascent (in the photo). In our
opinion, there is no logical route from bottom site up to
the summit via the northern face. Any possible variant means
a huge bolt work especially in the bottom third of the wall.
Plus, in its average part the wall is less abrupt, that basically
calls opportunity of B.A.S.E. jump into question. We plan
to lay a new line between Spanish and Czech routes on the
west face. Upper two thirds sites looks logically enough,
the bottom third (that is typical for all the mountain) has
extremely poor surface not readable from below. Today we could made 3,5 pitches via the bottom belt of
not so abrupt, but ice-covered rocks. We hauled up the
gear and got organized to lead further. The wall seems to
be not such terrible any more if to stand near by. But its
sizes and extremely poor relief are simply amazing! We are
in excellent mood and healthy.
Well, I have to finish and our celebration is waiting for
(28.06.2004) There is bad weather in mountains, bad weather...
Yesterday all the day long we stayed in the camp, the snow
did not stop falling for a minute. Today since the morning
we had a trip under the wall aimed to haul the rests of the
gear, to try to fix some ropes on ice and to make out local
rocks. On distance the bottom part of the wall looks a continuous
monolith, without cracks as far as eye can see. But a snow-storm
started again and did not allow us to look close the wall,
and we had to go back with nothing for our pains. The abnormal bad weather of the last five days still does
not allow us not only to begin fixing the wall, but also to
be defined with our route.
The good thing: a generator is repaired, but we don't know
how long time it will work: when working it sounds suspiciously.
A correspondent and an operator of NTV, Denis and Andrey,
stay here and today they finally managed to put on the air
via the videophone the real picture and sound directly to
Moscow. The guys speak that nobody has managed to do that
in such conditions before.
All of us are healthy.
(24.06.2004) It seems the weather just decided to check how much serious
are our intentions. It has been snowing and sleeting for three
In rare breaks of overcast we manage to see our great mountain,
and at once we resume our discussions concerning a choice
of the route. To tell the truth, we have not managed to make
high-grade reco yet owing to bad weather and bad visibility,
so the question about the route remains open for the present
moment. Last two days we did the first full carry and hauled
the gear and food directly under the wall. We could view the
Northern face a little. It is not nice-looking: obviously
shorter than the western one and on all the extent it is problematic
for a jump (its average part has rather small lapse rate).
But as soon as the weather allows we will examine it better.
In the nearest couple of days we plan to finish full carry
and finally to determine the route. Yesterday our generator
refused to work and NTV News couldn't make direct broadcast
from the base camp. It was possible to pass only a sound.
In two - three days we are going to repeat. And now we try
to repair the generator.
All of us are in a good health state.
Hi, everybody! After two day trekking along a very beautiful, narrow valley
finally we reached the base camp. Wherever one looks there
are huge rocky walls, but no one of them does not have a simple
route of ascent. So it seems I won't be able to B.A.S.E.-jump
before our ascent. Distance up to the base camp is not such
long, but the way presents constantly steeply elevation ascent.
The weather is bad. All the day long with small breaks it
is raining and it's rather cold. Locals speak that the real
summer has not come yet.
The base camp is settled on a moraine of the glacier, which
is going down with the upper valley. Amin Brakk towers direct
in front of us (it's in the background of the photo). It
is approximately 1,5 - 2 hours of trekking up to the beginning
of the route: we have to go down from the moraine and to cross
the glacier. Let's see tomorrow as it will appear. All
of us are healthy. Valery.
Our greetings to everybody! 6 hour-way to Kande that we had expected really took the
whole 12! The road site of 30 meters was completely washed
away by a mud flow suddenly rushed down in the morning.
Instead of the road we saw a boiling dirty stream. The thought
about any travel further on jeeps in really foreseeable terms
could not be discussed. Somehow we could get over the stream
and organized a rope ferrying of the luggage and ourselves.
in Kande we managed to hire a car that met us on the other
side and at some go we together with our luggage were delivered
to our destination. Kande is a small village that is located
in the upper of the same gorge. It was raining a half of the
day, but by the evening it was cleared up, and we were astounded
at the tremendous view of Masherbrum. We have two days
of trekking up to the base camp ahead. There is a huge
crowd of the porters wishing to get tomorrow work already
clustered before our small house where we have lodged. Since
the morning we are going to pack our luggage and move forward.
After 30 hours of almost continuous driving, along so-called
"Karokarum highway", we reached up to Skardu. It is
the administrative centre of northern Pakistan territories
and the capital of Baltistan. The
streets are dusty and dirty as in Islamabad here, but it is
perceived somehow differently, as a part of local colour.
We are coming to our senses, buying need food and tomorrow
in the morning, we move forward to Kande on jeeps. The good road comes to the end there, and further we will
trek up to the base camp. Almost all of us are in Pakistan
for the first time. In our opinion, it is similar to our Central
Asia. Locals are rather friendly, despite of their often rather
gloomy kind. Valery.
(18.06.2004) The guys are in Islamabad. It's very hot there.
Our greetings to everybody! We are in Islamabad. We managed
to solve the question about our luggage marvellously quickly,
painless and not so expensive. So we have got all of the luggade
and tomorrow morning we leave to Skarda.
All the day long we bought need food, a generator, gas and
other important things. All of us are healthy, everything
is OK, except for the heat of 37 degrees. 16.06.2004 Valery
(15.06.2004) On June, 15 "Russian Extreme Project" team departs from
airport "Domodedovo" to Islamabad.
The film crew of NTV accompanied the team is going to send
documentary about the expedition going on in the real time
shot by a videophone. Follow the news of NTV and sites of
information sponsors. Let's wish the REP Team good luck!