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A triumph repeat - SIBERIA SUMMIT Everest North Central Face today!
image story

May 31, 2004 00: 04 EST
Truly great achievements are rare. And yet tonight, there was a second Russian triumph on Mount Everest.

Today, May 31, 2004 - Piotr Kuznetsov, Eugeny Vinogradsky and Gleb Sokolov from team Siberia summited Everest via the Central North Face!

Next, Victor Volodin (team Ermachek) and Victor Bobok (team Kosholenko) are going up to Camp 5 at 8600 m. Check the pictured map from yesterday's summit by team Shabaline (the actual route in the upper part, above 8600, was made slightly to the left of the line pictured, said the leaders from BC today).

Shabaline's group spent the night, had breakfast and continues to descend to ABC via the classic route.

The Everest Central North Face direct (The Russian NF Direttissima) opened yesterday is the most significant new route on Everest, and one of the most significant routes on any 8000 meters. It also marks the twenty year anniversary of the last new, clean route made on Everest; the Great Couloir 1984. Time to check the route map to your right (Chomolungma Nirvana) on the home page, we saved it exactly for this occasion!

Comments Eberhard Jurgalski of AdventureStats:
"This is the absolute highlight of the season! The two couloirs left and right are difficult enough, but the central pillar... This is something like the 'North Face Direttissima'."

The guys worked the route relentlessly through all weather and difficulties. They even survived oxygen bottles thrown at them. The final crux was unexpected. They hit 6 grade rock at 8600 m. This forced them to spend three days and two (!) nights at 8600 meters (camp 5), without sleepingbags, with only 2 os bottles each for survival. That is absolutely outstanding.

They reached the camp 5 carrying tent, ropes, gas and meals. The backpacks were very heavy for this kind of altitude. The fixed 5 mm rope on the rocks, which were so hard they bent the pitons. Because the technical, hard rock was unexpected, the guys didn't have enough oxygen and had to use what they had sparsely, working on minimal flow.

Yesterday was D-day "They will reach the summit, or descend - a fourth day at 8600m is impossible." But instead of going down, the Shabaline team, Pavel Shabaline, Iljas Tukhvatullin and Andrew Mariev turned up at the summit to make Everest history today May 30, 2004, at 10.00 am local time. Two more teams were heading up and today it was team Siberia's turn at glory. The next two climbers, Victor Volodin (team Ermachek) and Victor Bobok (team Koshelenko) are currently climbing to Camp 5.

Shabalin's group: A Russian Dream Team summit May 30.
Shabaline and his team (Shabaline, Tukhvatullin, Mariev) were responsible for the very difficult task of fixing the highly technical parts at 8000m and up, the Bastion. The rest of the team said earlier: “Everything depends on Shabaline's group working the Bastion, we are counting on them.”

Pavel Shabaline had earlier Ak-Su - 10 climbs, Khan Tengri, Northern face; and El-Capitan. Andrew Mariev had К2, and Nanga-Parbat. Iljas Tukhvatullin had Everest, Ak-Su (6 ascents), and Khan Tengri Northern face.

The Siberia Group: Summit May 31

Eugeny Vinogradsky has Everest four climbs (all with oxygen), three climbs on Cho Oyu, Fall double header Shisha Pangma - Cho Oyu.
Gleb Sokolov; High-speed solo to Khan Tengri (14 hours from base camp and back), Makalu, Lhotse, Lhotse Shar, Lhotse Middle.
Piotr Kuznetsov; Everest twice (the first time via the classic route, the second the North Face first ascent up to 6400m), Lhotse Middle, and Khan Tengri.

Ermachek's group: Victor Volodin in Camp 5

Yuri Ermachek was winner of the Piolet d’or for the ascent on Makalu, Western Face, Everest, Lhotse Middle, Khan Tengri, Northern Face, and Annapurna. Victor Volodin has done Everest before. Nickolay Zhilin is the winner of the Piolet d’or for the ascent on Makalu Western Face and Khan Tengri.

Koshelenko's Group: Victor Bobok in Camp 5

Yuri Koshelenko, nominated for the Piolet d’or four times, the winner of the Piolet d’or for the ascent on Nuptse East; first ascents on Ak-Su, Khan Tengri, Petit Dru, Trango Tower, leads the third group. Victor Bobok has Shisha Pangma and Alexey Bukinitch. Alexey is the youngest member of the team, he has experience with ascents on 7-thousanders, He has Koshelenko's recommendation. Bukinitch won't work at the wall however - the doctor won't let him - 'he's too young for the high altitude' said Dr. Bytchkovsky.

Kuznetsov, Sokolov and Ermachek, Vinogradsky, Koshelenko, Volodin and Zhilin, coached by Cherny, were members of the team that successfully summited the "last unclimbed 8000er" in the world - Lhotse Middle, spring 2001.

This is a severe, technical climb to the left of the Hornbein/Japanese couloir. The guys are going straight up, on a clean and lofty face. The technical difficulty of the route along with the extreme altitude makes this one of the most difficult challenges in mountaineering.
The 20-member team of Russian climbers is supported by the Russian Mountaineering Federation. Many of the climbers were members of the team that successfully summited the "last unclimbed 8000er" in the world - Lhotse Middle, spring 2001

Image of the route (red line, above 8600 slightly to the left or red line)), Camp 5 (red dot), rock crux (orange line) and teams positions on first summit day May 30, (dots) RussianClimb/ExplorersWeb

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