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Russian North Face awesome images from 8000m
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May 13, 2004 10: 38 EST
Just take a look at these images! Last time we heard from these guys they were working the rock bastion (7900m-8500m); 600 meters of shear vertical face. It is truly the fortress on Everest. Today they are fixing ropes on the difficult lower part of the bastion starting at 8000m.

Shabaline and his team are responsible for the very difficult task at 8000m and the rest of the team is counting on them. “Everything depends on Shabaline's group working the bastion.”

Another team is hauling loads up to 7800m where they have set a third tent; this camp is on a tiny ledge that was literally hacked out of the ice wall. The Siberia team will come back to BC from their “chic hotel” in the green zone today and replace the teams on the massive wall.

The final word: “We continue our ascent. We still have a small stock of time.”

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 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.”

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.

The expedition is a Russian dream team. There are previous Everest summiteers, Golden Ice Axe winners, and many, many 8000m veterans.

Images from Everest Central North Face team courtesy of Mountain.ru.

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