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Maksut Zhumayev starts Mount McKinley conquest

04 june 2014, 10:23
0
Maksat Zhumayev. Photo from personal archives
Maksat Zhumayev. Photo from personal archives

Kazakhstani mountain climber Maksut Zhumayev has successfully started his solo climb of the North America’s highest mountain peak ‪Mount McKinley‬‬, Tengrinews reports.

Zhumayev’s expedition started in a small Alaskan town of Talkeetna. But the adventurist Zhumayev was not able to take off to the glaciers as planned due to poor weather conditions. So he spent a couple of days in the town getting to know local rangers who gave him recommendations for the climb. There have been 800 people who dared to climb ‪Mount McKinley so far, but only 16 of them reached the summit. Two of these sturdiest mountain climbers are Kazakhstani Alexey Raskopov and his wife Asiya.

Photo © Maksut Zhumayev

Local rangers gave Zhumayev a portable loo. “You cannot use any place as a toilet on the glaciers. You have to carry it with you and then return it back. And God forbid they lose one of them,” Zhumayev jokingly explained.

He also met a local celebrity and the mayor of Talkeetna - a 16 y.o cat named Stubbs.

“The mayor of Talkeetna might have lost his tail in a battle with a dog”. Photo © Maksut Zhumayev

On June 1st, despite poor weather conditions Kazakhstani mountain climber set out to the glaciers. “There were only two of us on the small plane, me and the pilot. That was some hair-raiser experience for me. Due to poor weather conditions we took higher and got above the clouds, circled the airfield trying to find a slit in the clouds to slip through the passage to the glaciers. All in all I have successfully reached the destination. The trip added some gray hair, but that's OK,” the mountain climber said.

Photo © Maksut Zhumayev

Right after the arrival, Zhumayev set off and reached the relay point in four hours. After a sleepover, Zhumayev hiked to the first base camp that is situated at 3300 meters. From the camp he contacted Tengrinews with an update on his trip.

“Today it was a very bad weather. It was windy from the early morning. It continued throughout the day. The climb took around eight hours. Despite limited visibility, I reached the camp. The wind and cold take lots of energy. It was much more difficult that I thought it would be. Even walking itself is difficult. besides, I had never pulled a sledge packed with gear before. (…) But all in all, everything is going as planned,” Zhumayev told Tengrinews.

During his climb, Zhumayev befriended other mountain climbers who are also travelling to the summit of Mount McKinley‬‬. “As it turned out, solo climbing is very dangerous here. Lifeguard rangers advise against climbing solo because there are a lot of cracks. They recommend climbing in groups but I am climbing on my own. But in some areas I have to climb with others to avoid cracks,” Zhumayev said.

Photo © Maksut Zhumayev

After resting for one day, the Kazakh mountain climber is going to climb to the ranger camp that is at the height of 4200 meters. There he will wait for a better weather to start his Mount McKinley ascent.

Reporting by Vladimir Prokopenko, writing by Gyuzel Kamalova, editing by Tatyana Kuzmina


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