newsclimbski & snowboardadventurephotossearch


Mountain photos - amateur and professional photos of mountains.
Climb >

"Russian Extreme Project" represents:

Amin Brakk (Great Tower) B.A.S.E.-climbing expedition, Karakorum, Pakistan, June - July, 2004.

The head: Valery Rozov


Lastochkin Alexander

Kovalev Sergey

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, photos).

Russian Extreme Project History

Previous expeditions" on Mountain.RU:

Valery Rozov . B.A.S.E. Interview for Mountain.RU




Amin Brakk (Great Tower) B.A.S.E.-climbing expedition, Karakorum, Pakistan


Expedition News:

Russian Extreme Project History
"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..."

Amin Brakk (Great Tower) B.A.S.E.-climbing expedition, Karakorum, Pakistan



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!

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.


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 night!"
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.

19.07.2004 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 form).

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!


Valeriy Rozov reports:
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!

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.
13.07.2004 We lead the route via "Czech crack". We will see where to head further. Some variants are possible.

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 the wall.
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.
Rozov 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 a B.A.S.E.-jump.
We wish to embrace and kiss all intimates and our beloved and send them our greetings!


The rout

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).

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 above yet.


Valeriy 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 :-)

А.Ласточкин на обработке маршрута.(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.

А.Ласточкин на обработке маршрута.(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!

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 me...

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.

It seems the weather just decided to check how much serious are our intentions. It has been snowing and sleeting for three days.
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. Fortunately 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. Valery.

Hi, everybody!
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.


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

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!


© 1999-2007 Mountain.RU
Mail to:
Рейтинг Rambler's Top100