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Jannu North Wall: three climbers injured; expedition goes on
image story

May 18, 2004 05: 34 EST
Odintsov called and informed the latest news:

”Bolotov's three-man team climbed up to the last summit cornice, but they did not overcome it completely because of traumas of climbers (Alexey Bolotov, Sergey Borisov, Michael Pershin were injured). I hope that they have already descended into the base camp, called home and informed their relatives about their health states. The doctor renders the guys first aid.

Three-man team led by Ruchkin (Ruchkin-Mikhailov-Pavlenko) went to change leading group and to climb the cornice and three last pitches left after it.

According to Ivan Samoilenko this year a monsoon is coming early. It is not as usual. But before arrival of the monsoon the team should have some days of good weather more during which the leading three-man team will be able to make the last pitches, summit and descend before bad weather begins.

The expedition should be completed till June, 1.”

In the autumn of the last year the Russian climbers managed to reach the record altitude - 7200 meters, this year they have reached 7000 in two weeks. So far they are ahead of last years record attempt. But the team led by Alexander Odintsov does not consider that record the victory they strove for. Only a completely laid "Russian" route can satisfy them. They are sure that such an ascent will become a symbol of the highest climbing achievement, a combination of brilliant techniques, hard work and high altitudes.

Recalling their trip through the ice-fall last year, Alexander Odintsov, the team leader, said, “It was terribly terrible. It is indescribable! Every time, you had to force yourself to move. You reached the safe part on the serac, and there was something to the right and to the left of you. You thought that you had only to traverse that way and to climb the serac, then to rappel from it to a crevasse, climb the next reeling serac and then to rappel again into a crevasse. Then there was another serac and you needed to move to the next serac on fixed rope… It was indescribably terrible. The seracs were really hanging above you, above your head, here - just about ready to fall… And the most interesting thing is that they were falling with certain regularity. There were 15 collapses a day as Ivan Samoylenko counted.”

The Russian Big Wall project was born 10 years ago. The Russian dream-team lead by Alexandre Odintsov aimed to establish 10 new routes on the hardest Big Walls. Six of them have being completed already. Last fall they attempted Jannu for the first time, but the weather was just too rough.

Image of Jannu North Wall agains the sky, courtesy of Mountain.ru.

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