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Babanov swinging away up in Canada
13:15 p.m. EST Mar 23, 2004
Coming off his first ascent of Nuptse-East last fall, and his recent second Golden Ice Axe win, Babanov has headed to Alberta, Canada. His Nuptse teammate, Yuri Koshelenko, is headed to the North Side of Everest right now.

Up in Banff Park, Babanov and Raphael Slavinsky made the first winter ascent of The Sphinx Face on Mount Temple, 3543m, “Despite the fact that the relative height of mountain is not very large, even by Alpine standards, the drop in the 1100m wall is significant, with the crux of the route lying within the last 200 meters…we made the first winter passage of this route.”

A Canadian climbing author writes about the route, just in the summer time, “The nature of the rock is such that a summer ascent would be a lottery. The first ascent party required one bivi on the face and one on the descent.”

Babanov met up with Tomaz Humar, from last year’s solo attempt on Nanga Parbat’s Rupal Face, in Calgary and also might meet up with Carlos Buhler, and American climber who’s climbed 6, 8000 meter peaks and recently had a first ascent on Sepu Kangri, in Tibet.

This past fall was Valery Babanov's third attempt on Nuptse East in one year. Prior to Nuptse East, 7804m, Babanov made a remarkable solo first ascent on northern wall of Meru Central peak (the ‘shark fin’) in 2001. Joining him for this third and finally successful ascent was Yuri Koshelenko.

Image of Babanov swinging away courtesy of Babanov.com.

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