Russians summit Everest by new North Face route
At 09.15am on 30/05/2004 three Russian climbers, Pasha Shabalin, Ilyas Tuhvatullin and Andrey Mariev reached the summit of Mt. Everest via a demanding new line up the Central Pillar of Everest's North Face.
|At 09.15am on 30/05/2004 three Russian climbers, Pasha Shabalin, Ilyas Tuhvatullin and Andrey Mariev reached the summit of Mt. Everest via a demanding new line up the Central Pillar of Everest's North Face. In doing so they have added a significant new route to the highest mountain in the world. And today, a second group comprised of Viktor Volodin and Viktor Bobok made another successful summit bid. |
The highly organised Russian expedition arrived at Everest Base Camp the end of March, and immediately started working in rotating teams of 2-3 climbers, forging a direct line up the 600m high rocky bastion. Despite heavy snowfall, high winds and poor visibility, the expedition worked incessantly, fixing ropes to above the Yellow Band and placing Camp III at 7800 meters, Camp IV at 8300m and Camp V, directly beneath the famous Second Step, at 8600m. According to details published on www.mountain.ru and www.explorersweb.com, the successful trio spent three days and two nights above 8600m, without sleeping bags and only 2 oxygen bottles each for survival!
This was the Russians third attempt in three years at forging a direct new line to the left of the Hornbein Couloir. The last new route up the North Face dates back to 1984, when the Australians Tim Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer climbed one of the most direct lines, the Norton Couloir, without oxygen.
With impressive new routes on Everest, Jannu, Nuptse East, and a nigh successful winter ascent of K2, mountaineers from the old Soviet block are currently very much at the forefront of world mountaineering.
Everest North Face expedition Spring 2004
Victor Kozlov, Expedition leader
Nikolay Chyorniy, Senior trainer
Alexander Pyatnitsyn, Coach
Sergey Bychkovsky, Doctor
Igor Borisenko, Sergey Shakunin, Videooperators
Vladimir Kuptsov, Photographer
Everest North Face, the routes:
1. North Ridge to Northeast Ridge, 1960
F.A. Qu Yinhua, Wang Fuzhou, Gong Bu
2. Messner North Face Route, 1980
F.A. Reinhold Messner
3. Great Couloir Direct (or Norton Couloir Direct), 1984
F.A. Tim Macartney-Snape, Greg Mortimer
4.Hornbein Couloir Direct (or Japanese Route), 1980
F.A. Tsuneo Shigehiro , Takshi Ozaki
5. West Ridge/Hornbein Couloir, 1963
F.A. Willi Unsoeld, Thomas Hornbein
6. West Ridge Direct, 1979
F.A. J. Zaplotnik, A. Stremfelj, S. Belak