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They are going to the mountains again. And again to Pakistan in spite of they failed twice there and lost their friend. Masherbrum Northeast Face, remaining still unclimbed is their ambition...

Odintsov's team, the fans of virgin northern walls.

Full information about expedition

News of exepedition

Membership of expedition:
Alexander Ruchkin
Alexander Odintsov
Project head
Evgeny Dmitrienko
Mikhail Mikhailov
Oleg Khvostenko
Mikhail Bakin
Sponsors and organizers:

Era-Cross (group of companies)

Petzl (gear and techniques for mountaineering)

MSR (tents, snowshoes, camping equipment )

BASK (cloth & equipment for sports and outdoor activity)

Lowe Alpine (rucksacks)

Men's Health
Information sponsor

Information sponsor

Verticalny Mir
Information sponsor


Information sponsor

Canon (foto&video equipment)

Read on Mountain.RU:

Jannu North Face.
"BASK - Latok III" expedition.

Masherbrum Northeast Face


News of exepedition
Masherbrum. "Pakistan is the good country, but the native land uncontrollably beckons us to come back"

"We absolutely get nicely left, only Odintsov sends abusive letters.
By the plan we take off from Karachi on July 29 in the evening, and accordingly on the night of Saturday/Sunday we hope to arrive.

Like the real international heroes we are sitting here sober and nostalgic. Pakistan is the good country, but the native land uncontrollably beckons us to come back".


Odintsov. Briefing session before expedition
(Foto by courtesy of Karrar Haidri, Member Executive Council
Alpine Club of Pakistan,
Дата изменения: 27.07.2006

Masherbrum. It is decided to call off the expedition.


After the latest in a series of works on the route and stiff reflections it is decided to call off the expedition.

Principal cause - the objective danger of the route repeatedly increased after 4-day snowfalls.

Weather is unsteady. After 2 last days of quite good sky, today overcast is again. It is raining from time to time. The forecast informs about possible improvement, but we do not set eyes on that.

During last setting off we did not reached even the top camp, having decided that the life is not worth left gear and a bottle of cognac.

It would be possible to wait (having prolonged permits and visas), but the probability of a successful ascent reduces every day, and the probability of traumas of team's members increases.

Generally, we were as green as to imagine that we can shoot a gap of Masherbrum wall for complexity is equal to Jannu but for altitude and objective danger precedes it.

Five years ago, on July, 19 2001 during an ascent on Latok-3 Igor Barikhin was lost. Remember him, the very good man.

And the last: as a doctor, I think, that the overall objective of the expedition is attained: all of us are safe and sound.

Michael Bakin.

Alexander Ruchkin:

Greetings Friends,

As it is sad, having combined all pluses and minuses, we decided to throw it in.

The wall did not admitted all our efforts to organize an assault camp died on feet due to bad weather and snowfall lasted for 4 days.

The situation is very similar that one on К2. The half-meter - everything around is cowered with snow blanket and we hardly managed to find only a few ropes from 25 ones that we had fixed over hanging seracs up to the assault camp.

And the not safe way on the ridge turned to Russian roulette after snowfall. Having played it a little we recollected the words of well-known trainer Ilyinsky, that the good climber is a live climber, and decided not to pull tiger's tail any more.

We have lost the equipment given by the courtesy of our friends sponsors.

We express them the special gratitude for their assistance in expedition's organization. And also to all our friends helped and followed us.


Weather has broken faith with. At night and in the morning it was snowing, overcast was low. Sometimes we could see the sun appeared through sky breaks. But the clouds formed a veil over the mountain from 5000m for 5 days.

Yesterday, when the sun hardly warmed the slopes, constant avalanches were collapsing.

Today, if weather becomes better after afternoon we will try to set off in the top camp to see how the situation stands there and to work further.

Situation is enough difficult as we do not have a lot of time but have still a lot of work on the route....


15.07.06. It has been continuous snowing for three days.

13.07.06. Weather goes in full conformity with the forecast: fog, heavy snowing.
We act according to the weather, i.e. have a rest.


The team is in BC having a rest. Weather started to spoil today. Clouds are banking everything around. It rained. After two attempts we almost reached Masherbrum North face. About 500 meters of snow terrain remained. It is decided as soon as weather allows we will make a summit push.

Oleg Khvostenko answers some questions we got by e-mail:

· The Mountain, certainly, is severe. The most important thing is the absence of safe approaches. It collapses down from everywhere. Therefore we chose a route on the northern buttress. The main crux in the top part - the yellow rocks, located higher 7000. There are some really abrupt sites.
· The mischief of it is that it is hard to reach the buttress. First- via a couloir. We can safe reach it only at night. Then we need reach the cofferdam at 5400. It takes 5 hours to get it from BC with gear. If to set off for example at 22.00, at 3.00 - we will get the cofferdam. Then we have to traverse a big gendarme via deep snow and hanging right on the slope seracs. We thought to run them, but had to fix the ropes. And fixed about 1 km for 2 attendances.
· When the sun comes out it is impossible to work: first of all it becomes dangerous due to hanging seracs, and the second- sunshine is ferocious at this time. So, we work from 3.00 am till 11.00 (the sunrise is at 5.00, but we are in the shady side till 12.00). Then we get into a tent to sleep. Since 18.00 we can work on the route again and descend only at night too. We are built this way of such routine.
· After the buttress we got over the next cofferdam 5800. It is already under the wall. Camp 1 was set there. It is still 500 meters from it via snow site to the beginning of the rock terrain of 45 degrees: first the belt of black rocks and then a yellow belt. The good surface everywhere is looked there are sites of snow and ice, but the fall and altitude are impressive... We have reached 5800 but the mountain has not begun yet.
· We have got acclimatized up to 6000. But everyone feels OK. And nobody knows what will be higher 7000 :)
· In BC everything remains like at Inylchek glacier. We pitched it on a moraine, the moraine on ice. But we feel more bored here. There is nobody around here.
· All the expeditions take stand under К2, Broad, Gasherbrum I and II. It takes minimum 2 days to get there. We communicate only among yourselves and a cook, a kitchen and a liason officer. There is a cinema, music and a computer.
· Odintsov has got infectious hepatitis. In Saint Petersburg he was at once taken to the intensive care unit. He is overcoming illness, feels well, continues be on treatment.
· The incubatory period is 3 weeks he obviously had got infected before expedition's start. Just his luck at the expeditions for some years.
· We work four together by two two-man teams: Ruchkin-Mikhailov, Dmitrienko-Khvostenko.

We are in a good mood and of a good health too. Everything depends up only the weather.
And it will come out as well.

Oleg Khvostenko

10.07.06. ABC is pitched at 5800 meters. As it was already informed, the planned direct route to the corrie under the wall appeared very dangerous. The team decided to pass around from the right. The safe but much longer way took some days. And finally ABC was pitched at 5800 meters. The ascent on the wall starts right from the camp.

Tomorrow in the morning the team plans to return in base camp and after some rest will already continue the ascent from ABC not descending in base camp.

Weather while is good.

Mike Bakin

8.07.2006. A two-man team Dmitrienko-Hvostenko sets off at night to finish fixing the assault camp on the ridge at about 5600-5700m where a safe approach to the wall is looked and where the team plan to make the summit push.

7.07.2006. Alexander Ruchkin informs: "We are fine and safe. Just returned from the first reconnaissance of the mountain. One may say it was first steps to the summit. We took a detached view and acclimatized before. But this time we understood that the mountain is not simple and do not want to let us climb for no particular reason.

Masherbrum North face is unapproachable at present, in the narrow corrie avalanches constantly collapse and hanging ice seracs fall and block all the bottom of the wall. Therefore we decided to climb the less dangerous northern buttress splitting northeast and northwest walls.

We wanted to set a safe assault camp on the ridge crest, but the mountain showed severe character, we were dug in vertical snow and a labyrinth of crevasses never really got the ridge this time.

We climbed about 11 pitches, reached 5550mand descended further, failing in snow and crevasses to the safe cofferdam at 5400m.

06.07.06. Unexpected difficulties to set ABC cropped up. Actually there is not any suitable site for it. Today the guys climbed up to 5500, then descended to 5400 for organization spending the night.

At night they plan to descend BC.

05.07.06. Actually we started our attempt to climb Masherbrum. The route directly in the corrie of the mountain through the throat is dangerous because of constant collapses of hanging glaciers. Therefore the more safe approach from the right along a rocky ridge is chosen. For today the team gained 800 meters of altitude and wanted to organize ABC. An avalanche-dangerous in the afternoon couloir is ahead. Next time we plan to set off at 2.00 am to safe run it and to work on the route maximum highly. Weather while is good.


4.07.2006. Everything is all right in BC. Sunny day. Weather varies every day, sometimes several times a day. The forecast is unpredictable.

3.07.2006 Alexander Ruchkin informs:
“We are fine, safe and sound. Every day the weather presents surprises. Since the morning it was snowing. Then- snow and rain. And that fact makes allowances in our plans.

Today in the morning we descended BC after acclimatization spending the night on the ridge at 6000 m instead of planned 6500 m. We rested against a lot of dangerous cornices.

In our plans: rest in BC for couple of days.

All photos (количество: 3)

Дата изменения: 1.08.2006
Masherbrum. "We are leaving base camp in the morning".

Hello, friends!
We are leaving base camp in the morning.
Weather completely proves our hard decision. It does not want to improve at all and today it has been raining all the day long in base camp, and, accordingly, in the mountains - snowing.

Of course, we would like to tell that Masherbrum cries saying goodbye, but probably it does not cry, but cares not a snap for our climb.
Who knows? We could not see the mountain for a week.

Well, tomorrow in the morning all of us will give a wave of our hands at parting...

Дата изменения: 3.07.2006
Our greetings! We were much put about by the emergency evacuation of our leader Alexander Odintsov, but life goes on...

Today we have a rest day after an acclimatizing climb.
Just relax and prepare for tomorrow's climb.
We plan to make an ascent a peak of about 6500-6700 and to spend the night there for better acclimatization.

Mike Mikhailov

Doctor Bakin informs: Masherbrum. Living and working under the plan.

27.06.06. Today in the morning the sports group in structure: Alexander Ruchkin, Mike Mikhailov, Oleg Khvostenko, Evgeny Dmitrienko set off for the first acclimatization ascent to one of the nearest mountains and climbed up a saddle at about 5500 meters where the guys were going to spend the night, and descend to base camp the next day.

By the plan, after some rest, they plan to make the second acclimatization ascent in order to climb one kilometer more. But, unfortunately, the weather being all these days faultless became insincere. So the plans can be changed.

M. Bakin about Odintsov's state of health: "He is already in Moscow, and today about 18.00 arrives to Saint Petersburg. He feels much better but at once after his arrival will head to hospital."

Russian team on Masherbrum peak: change of leader.

On June 28th team leader Alexander Odintsov returned to Russia due to the possibility of serious liver disease. The team remained in camp to continue the expedition under the leadership of Alexander Ruchkin.

Problems started when the team was on its way to base camp. Odintsov felt sick and weak, and with +40C weather not improving the situation, he felt worse with each day. However, the team leader managed to reach base camp at 4400m and only after establishing a camp was an evacuation helicopter called.

On Sunday, June 25th, Odintsov arrived in Skardu, and on the following Wednesday in Russia. Four people remained as part of the expedition: Alexander Ruchkin, Michel Michailov, Oleg Hvostenko and Evgeni Dmitrenko.
Ruchkin has decided to climb the mountain on the northern face instead of the north-eastern face.
Currently, the group is climbing a neighbouring mountain in order to acclimatize to the conditions.

Masherbrum Peak (7821m) is located in the Karakorum mountains, on the south-western side of the Baltoro Glacier. Its north-eastern face is almost identical to the northern face of Jannu Mountain. They are like twins, but one of them is famous and successful thanks to the French expeditions, and the other one lurks in the shadows waiting to be revealed to the world.

The team is working with Petzl equipment, Tendon ropes. Burners, tents and snowshoes are supplied by MSR.
Mountaineering equipment, warm coats and all other necessary equipment is provided by BASK, which has been equipping "Big walls, The Russian way" for the past six years.

All photos (количество: 2)

26.06.06. Good afternoon! There in nothing important for today and I would like to describe a little our life here.

As it was earlier informed, Base camp is settled on Yermanendu glacier. Hardly closer to one of the glacier walls there is a moraine line where actually the camp is located.
The glacier is rather serious, with a lot of crevices and not fit for walking. We were luck very much that when approaching to BC many crevices were closed by snow fuses and the porters managed get the base camp site. The way back seems probably to be more difficult.

If to look downwards, we can see a pyramid-shaped mountain К2 that towers above all mountains.
To get it takes for 2 days, but even from such distance it looks rather impressive. And desired Masherbrum is above us. I don't feel equal to describe it. Just look the photos.

Today all the climbers set off for a reco of the acclimatization route, safe lines of approaching to the wall.
The earlier planned variant now appears to be dangerous. I hope that the new information will come soon.

Dr. Bakin

Masherbrum. "Russian way - World Wall"

Hello all those who follows our expedition "Masherbrum - Russian way - World Wall" We left Moscow (11.06) for Islamabad (12.06).
With great satisfaction we inform you that they started serving up with bear at the local restaurant and not only in capital's one. Our point of view - it is significant step to the progress

0n June, 16 we arrived in Scardu, the sacred place of all project start-up.
By the way, our hotel calls "Mashabrum" (Russian play on words: Masha is the popular girl's name).
We leave Scardu today, 18.06.06, and are going to the Mountain. And soon we will know if we will have "Masha" or she will do us.

Everything is going right way.
Doc. M.Bakin

Дата изменения: 19.06.2006
Russian comes :) Fresh news from Odintsov's Team

They are in Scardu, everything is going well: cognac has being admited, cargo has being got, so the fellows feel fine

Read more: Masherbrum. Before departure. Portfolio

About expedition

Дата изменения: 20.06.2006
Masherbrum. Before departure

Photo report >>

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