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Alpinism: Kazakhstan climbers won gold in Mountaineering World Championship's High Altitude class

29 november 2012, 12:36
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Summit pic by the Cross on top of Khan Tengri. L/R: Gabbasov, Sofrygin, Pivtsov. 10.06 am. August 20, 2012.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Summit pic by the Cross on top of Khan Tengri. L/R: Gabbasov, Sofrygin, Pivtsov. 10.06 am. August 20, 2012. Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Alexander Sofrygin, 7.24pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Alexander Sofrygin, 7.24pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Vassily Pivtsov. 6.58pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Vassily Pivtsov. 6.58pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Ildar Gabassov. 6.58pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
Ildar Gabassov. 6.58pm. August 17. Photo courtesy of explorersweb.com
The team with coach Iljinsky just after the summit of The North Face (showing in background). L/R: Ildar Gabassov, Ervand Iljinsky, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Alexander Sofrygin, August 21, 2012. Photo cour
The team with coach Iljinsky just after the summit of The North Face (showing in background). L/R: Ildar Gabassov, Ervand Iljinsky, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Alexander Sofrygin, August 21, 2012. Photo cour
Three renowned Kazakhstan mountain climbed became gold winners of the Mountaineering World Championship in High Altitude competitions class, Vesti.kz reports. Vassily Pivtsov (leader of the team), Ildar Gabassov and Alexander Sofrygin scored 7 points for their ascent of Khan Tengri peak (6 995 meters) along the center of the North Face, a 6B difficulty route.

They made the ascent on August 12-20. It was the first successful climb of the mountain’s North Face since 2005.

A direct line on the wall has never been climbed by a westerner, a mountain climber outside the former Soviet Union. The route posed a serious challenge even for the seasoned climbers from mountainous Kazakhstan like Pivtsov, Gabassov and Sofrygin. Especially since conditions were definitely not favorable this season.

The Kazakhstan team's ascent route on the North Face of Khan Tengri


Vassily Pivtsov, the leader of the team, is quoted by Explorers Web as saying that "the aim was to make the line of ascent as close as possible to a directissima following the logic of terrain and maximizing the beauty of the route", meaning that the line of ascent was to be as close to be direct line from the bottom of the wall’s triangle to its top as possible.

The climbers set seven camps on the wall during the ascent. The first one was located at 5000, the last one, just before the summit, at the height of 6950.

The ascent was greatly complicated by massive amounts of snow on the face of the mountain this year. “The wall remained white the entire season, it never turned black, there was too much snow in the whole region. Two strong teams canceled their attempts due to excess snow at the south side of Pobeda, in the Khan Tengri region. Only four climbers summited Pobeda this season. Even on the normal route from the north side of Khan Tengri, there were unusually few successful attempts. The weather was cold in general and there was lots of snow,” Alexander Sofrygin is quoted by Explorers Web as saying.

Ukraine’s Dmitry Venslavovsky (leader), Vladimir Klebansky, Dmitry Romanenko, Fyodor Mityukhin (coach) were ranked second. They ascended Khan Tengri from the South-West Face and along the left side of South-East Ridge of the mountain and scored 4.82 points for their 5B difficulty route.

Russia’s mountain climbing team that consisted of its leader and coach Andrey Lebedev, Mikhail Babich, Ivan Zhdanov, Vladimir Lavrinenko and Yuriy Maksimovich, became third in the class. The Russian mountain climbers got 4.52 points for their ascent of Lenin Peak (7 134 meters) along the South-West Face of the Western Ridge, 5A difficulty route, first ascent.

Azerbaijan’s mountain climbers got the fourth and fifth places. Sirkhan Mamedov (leader and coach), Rufat Godzhayev, Firuz Dadashov scored 2.7 points for the ascent of Ismail Samani peak (7 495 meters) from the north center of Walter Glacier, 5A difficulty route. And Ismail Askerov (leader and coach) and Rufat Godzhayev ascended Lenin Peak (7 134 meters) from the north side via Razdelnaya Peak and scored 2.06 points for their 5A difficulty route.

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