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  K2 2007: Russian K2 West face 2007 Update


Expedition diary June, 25 - 30


25.06.07 Totmjanin's group had changed Bolotov's group and continued the climb above C2: the party Nickolay Totmjanin - Valery Shamalo climbed 3 ropes and reached the snow ledge, where they managed to set the tiny tent "solo+", while Victor Volodin and Alex Komarov were hauling up equipment from C2 to C2. The trio spent the night in that tiny tent in C3, and Komarov descended to C2. Sokolov's group hauled up equipment from ABC to C1.

26.06.07: Duo Victor Volodin - Valery Shamalo climbed 3 more ropes above С3. Totmjanin - Komarov have brought loads from C2 to C3. Three climbers spent the night in C3.  Gleb Sokolov and Vitaly Gorelik reached C2.

27.06.07: Tomjanin's group climbed 1 more rope, hauled equipment to the end of the fixed ropes, and descended to ABC. Sokolov - Gorelik spent night in C3. Vinogradsky - Ivanov hauled loads from C1 to C2.

28.06.07: Sokolov - Gorelik climbed 1 more rope and descended to C2, Vinogradsky - Ivanov spent night in C3. Tomjanin's group returned to BC, Shabalin's group ascended from BC to C1 in spite of worsening weather. ;It was rain in BC in the evening, and the snowfall in ABC and above it, with the strong wind. ;

29.06.07: Sokolov's group returned to ABC, Shabalin's group ascended to C2 during the bad weather.

30.06.07 The weather became better; the snowfall has stopped, there're less clouds. Shabalin's group ascended to C3, did the ledge under the ten more comfortable and set large tent there - now 6 persons can rest there. The duo Sokolov - Gorelik stayed in ABC for a while for the safety of the leading party.

Tomorrow Shabalin's group will continue to climb the route, if the weather will stay the same, and Alexey Bolotov's group will leave BC for ABC. 

After the first extremely steep rock band on the bastion, which can be compare with vertical rocks on Jannu North Face, nor less complex rocks are on the next, middle part of the bastion, at the altitudes above 7000 m. The climbers need not only the excellent climbing skills, but either be under the altitude and cold pressing. Hope, the rocks relief and the weather will give us the chance to climb free further. The rock is hard, there're many long vertical cracks and inner corners, covered by ice - the good drytooling poligon.

All are brave. Victor Kozlov and Nickolay Totmjanin - from the Base Camp, June, 30, 5 p.m.

Earlier News from K2 West Face: June, 23, 2007 BC called (0-20 p.m., Moscow time): Yesterday we had a funny party - congratulated Pavel with his grandson. We wish him a granddaughter too! There's too hot in the BC - we can't enter our small tents, only big mess -tents save us due to its good ventilation. All guys who are back from the wall, use banja today and are washing their clothes. Our banja on the river's bank is very comfortable - you can open the tent and jump into the icy river! We'll call with news from the route just after the evening radio contact. The weather's good, guys are working. Bye! 

June, 22, 2007 Evening: We got the message on 5-30 p.m.: "Pavel Shabalin became a grandfather today: His grandson was 4180 g, 56 sm!!!" Congratulations!!!

And only 5 minutes later the happy grandfather returned to BC. Drinking the first glass for his grandson's health, he has reported: 

"Our push was partial during the bad weather. June, 19 we carried loads, removed our Camp 1 from 6000 m to 6200 m. June, 20 the weather improved, so Iljas Tukhvatullin and Andrew Mariev fixed next 5 ropes on the route. June, 21 they work together with Bolotov's group and fixed one more rope and found the place for the Camp 2. Then descended to 6200.

Alexey Bolotov and Gennady Kirievsky spent the night in Camp 2 (6750). Today they have fixed next 2 ropes. "Wow! It looks like Jannu!", - said Gennady climbing one of the cornices. The team believes the lower part of the bastion could be the most difficult part of the route. "The wall looks like a composition of Everest North Face with Jannu North Face - so steep rock wall on the high altitude" - said team members. 

Nickolay Totmjanin and Valery Shamalo carry loads for Bolotov's group, who will spent the night in Camp 2 today (4 persons). Tomorrow they will continue their work and then will descend, and Totmjanin's group will replace them on the wall. Gleb Sokolov's group will climb to Camp 1 and begin to help them. 

Temperatures on the lower part of the wall are really crazy, pending from -13C at night, up to +49C midday at 6200 m! There're extremely hot and very difficult to work. But at 6800 it's better - we can live there, because there's the wind... In ABC it's very hot from midday till 3-30 p.m. We use snowshoes on the glacier. 

Victor Kozlov called from BC early morning today: 

"Three days we couldn't call by sat phone and had no internet, but now all's OK. The weather improved from June, 20. 

The results (from June, 21 evening radio relations, 6 p.m. local time): Two groups work at the bastion - Pavel Shabalin's and Alexey Bolotov's. Camp 1 has been moved from 6000 to 6200 m. Camp 2 set at 6750 m, ropes fixed till 6830 m. 

Today morning (June,22) the group led by Nickolay Totmjanin left ABC and is going up to change Shabalin's group on the bastion.


Earlier: June, 21, 2007 Victor Kozlov called from BC early morning today:
"Three days we couldn't call by sat phone and had no internet, but now all's OK. We had to change the sim-carte. The weather improved from June, 20.
The resuts (from June, 21 evening radio relations, 6 p.m. local time): Two groups work at the bastion - Pavel Shabalin's and Alexey Bolotov's. Camp 1 has been moved from 6000 to 6200 m. Camp 2 set at 6750 m, ropes fixed till 6830 m.
Today morning (June,22) the group led by Nickolay Totmjanin left ABC and is going up to change Shabalin's group on the bastion.

Earlier: June 15, 20007: team descended to Base camp

June, 14, 2007 The team set Camp 1 at 6000 m, overcome berg and began to climb rock on the West Face. 6500 m

Nickolay Totmjanin called: 

"We've just returned to BC. Together with Valery Shamalo we began yesterday to climb from the upper isefall pillow, reached the berg and crossed it, then climbed 6 ropes and have tought the rocks. There was snow-covered ice, and rock bastion begins further.  

Our group consisted of four persons - Valery and me fixed ropes and Victor Volodin and Serguey Penzov brought the ropes to us.  

We started from ABC (5600 m) yesterday, worked one day, spent the night in Camp 1, and now have returned to the base.  

Berg is huge, but we found the serak overhunging the berg, so crossed it without problems. 

The wall is very steep - I had to lift up my head to look at it. And it's obviously that it's the same further. But the bastion is not dangerous - there're no falling stones, no stones treks - absolutely clear wall, only snow streams are falling down.

The wall's exposition provides the sun during the whole day on the whole wall, from the bottom to the top, from 8-9 a.m. Extremely hot! We worked in the base layer only. But it's too difficult to choose the right clothes - if you are in the shadow - it's very cold. We're experimenting with our equipment yet.  

All is healthy, but we are coughing, of cause - the air is too dry on the altitude. Doc treats us in the BC.

We don't work on the route on our power limit yet because our acclimatization is not completed. And carrying heavy loads is very hard on the altitude, and it's too hot... I think we'll do faster soon, after our acclimatization will be completed. 

The weather's fine. But the snow began here, in BC. But it was better on the wall - no snow. Today Gleb Sokolov, Vitaly Gorelik, Eugeny Vinogradsky and Vitaly Ivanov carried loads to the end of our ropes and have fixed 2 ropes more.  

Camp 1 is on 6000 m, but we have to remove it to the more convenient place

Earlier: Pavel Shabalin, Iljas Tukhvatullin, Andrew Mariev, Gennady Kirievsky, Alex Korobkov and Vadim Popovich set ABC camp (two tents)

Earlier: The team have reached BC yesterday- the first expedition's stage is over successfully 1 day earlier than planned. Six climbers have already gone to reconnaissance Savoya glacier - they've marked the way to Japanese camp and are going back.  

Victor Kozlov's call from K2 BC (4-50 p.m. Moscow time): "Yesterday we arrived to K2 BC. We are respectively luck with the weather - today it's better, as the forecast predicted.  We got up early morning, on 5 a.m., and after tea began to go to BC. Reaching the place, we gave bonus to our sirdar and porters - they were satisfied. Yesterday evening and today we do our camp comfortable.
In the morning 6 climbers have already gone to reconnaissance Savoya glacier -  they've marked the way to Japanese camp and are going back.

We set the huge antenna and have now BGAN terminal connection.
Than we lifted Russian flag, and Pakistan flag too - for our LO pleasure. The "official opening" of the BC will be tomorrow -we'll stay
under the flag and sing the song "Varjag" (the famous Russian ship - ed. note) - it's our tradition.

Except six climbers who work on the glacier, others work in BC. All's OK, we are 1 day faster than is in our timetable because we thought that had to spent one more day in Askole.  The loads which had been stayed there will be in BC soon. We have not yet to cook the  cucumbers, tomatoes and cabbage but do it as soon as possible
(we cooked only one barrel in Askole)" 

Nickolay Totmjanin: "We have to do a lot  now to do our camp comfortable. But the weather's ideal, and our souls need already to work at the route... Yesterday we have set living tents, today - the technics tent, smoothed out 0,5 ga of the terrain.
Our technics works already, and we hope it'll be work on 100 percents tomorrow - so, don't worry. 

We have built the sauna (Russian banja) on the bank of the stream, with kerosene stove - all's according to our plan. 

The Mount is in perfect conditions, as on classic photo. Now it's covered by the snow -  after last days snowfalls, but there's no a lot of snow in the region.  We see American-Czech camp not far from ours, but have not met yet.  We saw two rescue choppers yesterday - they picked up one man to the board. 

Greeting to all".

Background: Victor Kozlov - the expedition leader, Nickolay Cherny - the coach

Climbers: Serguey Penzov (Severodvinsk), Victor Volodin (Moscow), Valery Shamalo (Saint Petersburg), Dmitry Komarov (Moscow), Pavel Shabalin (Kirov), Iljas Tukhvatullin (Podolsk), Andrey Mariev (Togliatti), Vadim Popovitch (Nizhny Tagil), Gleb Sokolov (Novosibirsk), Vitaly Ivanov (Novosibirsk), Vitaly Gorelik (Novosibirsk), Eugeny Vinogradsky (Yekaterinburg), Alexey Bolotov (Yekaterinburg), Nickolay Totmjanin (Saint Petersburg), Gennady Kirievsky (Magnitogorsk), Alexander Korobkov (Nizhny Tagil), Victor Pleskachevsky (Moscow) - the head of organizing commitee of the expedition, Serguey Bychkovsky (Yekaterinburg) - the doctor

News from K2 West Face Russian team

The team went up to Goro II today. There's the winter yet on the Baltoro Glacier. Members wearing all warm clothers which they have (to the contrast, they went in shorts two days ago). "It's difficult way for the sportsmen too, - said by sat phone Nickolay Totmjanin today - we hope that our porters will be able to reach the base camp. We have problems with porters every day - have to check the weight of the loads.

The weather's very bad. Poor visibility, clouds, mist, but today Masherbrum was cleared for the moment, and some of us could see it.  Our LO is great guy!  He brings a lot of books with him to the BC! We've bought the yak, and he goes to BC with us - Iljas Tukhvatullin cares about him.

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