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Valery and Yuri start another bid on Nuptse East
11:22 a.m. EST Oct 29, 2003
ExplorersWeb has just received word that today Valery and Yuri will be heading up to 6200m on Nuptse East, and then continuing on tomorrow towards the summit. For the past four days they’ve been down in Deboche resting for this attempt.

The recent snowfall has blanketed the mountain, not making anything easier for the duo. There’s no definite timeline, however, this just may be the last opportunity for the Russians to make their ascent this season.

The forecasted windspeeds for the upcoming days fluctuates greatly. Starting off in the 20 m/s range, they'll drop down to the teens and even single digits, before rising again on November 2nd to in the 30 m/s range. Then the winds are forcasted to drop back into the teens on the 4th.

It's really going to be a roll of the dice for teams reaching to the summit as each day might bring something new.

This is three expeditions in the making that Babanov has tried to summit the world’s highest known unclimbed peak. The unfortunate news is that no one is down in Base Camp, so we’ll have to wait a couple of days until the climbers come down to know how they fared.

Message from Base Camp:

Good evening,

Yesterday we returned to our base camp after a four-day leisure in Deboche. During these days, weather was hard here; heavy snowfalls had covered our camp with a thick snow blanket. Mount is booming: there are hurricanes above 6500 m. Nevertheless, we got an optimistic forecast so we are up for a next push to summit. On the 29th of October we are to ascend up to 6200 m, then to 6900 m and, if everything will go fine, on the 31st –1st we’ll try to climb Nuptse East summit.

We’ve recovered, our spirits are high and we are looking forward to climb it. Americans have finished their expedition. On the 25th they were in Deboche, on the 26th in Namche Bazaar and it seems that now they are in Katmandu already. They are nice guys, it’s a pity they had ill luck.

There will be no connection with us during our summit bid, but we promise to call you as soon as we are back in a base camp. We hope for victory. Our kindest regards to those who think and pray for us,

Valery and Yuri.
Nuptse base camp, 28.10.2003”

It is Valery Babanov's third attempt on the peak 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 this year is Yuri Koshelenko.

Americans Fabrizio Zangrilli and Billy Pierson were also going for Nuptse East, however, they were acclimatizing on the Bonington route and wanted to climb a new line adjacent to Babanov's. They have since started traveling back home

Translated dispatch and iImage of Babanov courtesy of Bask.ru

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