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Everest North Face team reaches the Bastion
image story



May 11, 2004 13: 57 EST
The Russian Everest Central North face team today reached the rock bastion at 7900m. From here up to 8500m the climb is nothing but vertical rock wall.

“The team's working at the key part of the route – getting past this will be the defining point of the expedition's success. The key is the rock bastion between 7900 and 8500 m," said Victor Kozlov.

If they reach 8500m during next week the team will be in a very good position for a summit attempt. When reaching the snowfield at 8600 the climbing should be easier and no fixed ropes needed.

"The two parties responsible for fixing the ropes on the bastion include such technical stars as Pavel Shabaline, Iljas Tukhvatullin, Yuri Koshelenko, Andrew Mariev and Victor Bobok. Yuri Ermachek's group left base camp May 7 to set camp at 7900.”

The challenge is tremendous; not since 1991 has anyone succeeded in climbing a non traditional route on Everest without the use of oxygen support. Only 15 people have ever achieved this, and these guys are going one harder; mapping a brand new route.

Image: 7750m – present high position, 7900m – rock bastion, 8300m – yellow band, 8600m – gray band, 8650m – snowfield, 8750m – summit pyramid.

The most exciting expedition on Everest this spring is the Russian Central North Face team.. This is a severe, unclimbed, technical route 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 expedition is a Russian dream team. There are previous Everest summiteers, Golden Ice Axe winners, and many, many 8000m veterans.

Top image of route courtesy of russianclimb.com compiled by ExWeb.

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