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Nuptse East summit push progress
11:45 a.m. EDT Oct 21, 2003
Valery and Yuri are on the route and going for it! Irina, down in Base Camp, sacrificed her plane tickets so she could stay there and report on the Russian duo’s progress – thanks Irina!

ExplorersWeb also received word today about the Americans, Fabrizio and Billy. They have switched routes from their acclimatization line, to their true line, just to the right of Valery and Yuri. So far they’ve reached 6000m on that route and will be going back up later this week to climb higher.

First message from Russian Base Camp, Irina Agarkova:

First day of the climb.

"Our climbing duo left Base Camp at 0730 hrs (local time). At 1330 hrs they were near a tent at 6200m, which is where they’d spend the night (– it’s a bottom of the tower – ed.).
Weather was clear today, however, yesterday there was strong wind and because of cirri we expected a turn in the weather. Fortunately nothing bad has happened. Now the sky is clear and we may even see an advanced camp of our team.

Next communication session will be tomorrow at the same time. Hear you soon, Irina.

October 20, 2003, 1620 hrs

A Russian and American duo are both going for Nuptse East, 7804m, this fall, one of the highest virgin summits. It is Valery Babanov's third attempt on the peak in one year. Prior to Nuptse, Babanov made a remarkable solo first ascent on northern wall of Meru Central peak (the "shark fin ") in 2001. Joining him this year is Yuri Koshelenko. Americans Fabrizio Zangrilli and Billy Pierson are also going for Nuptse East, however, they are acclimatizing on the Bonington route and then will be climbing a new line adjacent to Babanov's.

Image of Yuri and Valery's line courtesy of Bask.ru.

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