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Photo by Vassily Litvinov, July 2003

Mountain plots - 2003





Also two thousand third has come to the end. For this time we have become who wiser, who older. And someone probably has become happier. I want to believe that among climbers of Kazakhstan there are not few of such. And I shall allow myself to remind the reader the marks on which our climbing present developed this year.

I thank everyone who supported the two Kazakhstan climbers in winter expedition on Ê2 (8611 ́). This top of the world, the second on height, had drawn attention of Polish climbers, and headed by K.Wielicki they arrived under the northern wall of the notorious mountain. Many people were lost for all history of its conquest, and the nickname of the Mountain-killer reflects well the attitude to it. Into the team had been invited some sportsmen of the former Union, and among them two climbers of Central Sports Club of Army of Kazakhstan – Vassily Pivtsov and Denis Urubko. The word "bad" very precisely reflects weather conditions in the heart of winter Karakorum. A long period of the expedition at the bottom of the chained in ice mountain giant proceeded up to the end of February. Then the assault twosome Kachkan - Urubko retreated because of storm and illness of the Polish climber. Here at height of 7800m the assault camp had been established, and processing of the route up to this place was so hard that the majority of participants had fallen ill and got frost-bitten. On this the expedition broke off the work. By the way, the article on course of this ascent, published earlier in several magazines, is possible to find on

The winter also was marked by ascents in gorge Tuyuk-Su not far from Almaty and carrying out of sports gathering of CSCA in mountains of Kyrgysia in gorge Ala - Archa. The team of 9 climbers, having divided into groups, made ascents of the fifth category of complexity in extreme conditions, raising their skills. . Certainly, the routes for such purposes had been chosen far not simple, and each ascent was the significant moment in preparation of the team. As the fact can be stated that everything has passed at a good level, and snow-covered rocks of CIS mountains could not stop the push of our guys, - they accomplished two ascent of 5B category of complexity and three of 5À.
In March three Almaty climbers have made trip to Caucasus, and one of them, Artjom Skopin summited Elbrus (5642m). During the summit bid he was pursued by a strong wind and reached the summit already in darkness. In early spring on slopes of the highest mountain of Europe conditions are severe.

The complicated question of mountaineering - what is more important technical training or functional endurance, - as usually was solved in competition on climbing snatch combining rock-climbing and high-speed “vertical” race. The competition was held on April 20 on the rocks "Lesnichestvo" and a steep hill nearby. Denis Grinevich has won, as if by heart knowing relief, Nickolay Chervonenko has proved that knowingly contends for leadership having remained on the second place, and E.Shutov has achieved the third place in difficult struggle for an inexperienced person.

Vladimir Suviga, one of the most experienced Kazakhstan climbers, together with Valery Babanov has attempted the unclimbed summit of Nuptse East. On a southern edge of the top they reached height of about 7000 m. and turned back because of bad weather conditions of this year in the Himalayas.

The spring has demanded from Kazakhstan climbers mobilization of all their forces. Before Karakorum expedition there passed selection competitions on which opportunities of each sportsman were found out, and were revealed the best climbers for trip to mountains of Pakistan. By the way, the team of expedition has been expanded to eight participants that has been caused by powerful financing. The head of the expedition Baghlan Zhunusov has found the required sum and forces for the organization of the trip. And under decision of the main trainer of the team E.T.Ilinskiy the objects of forthcoming storms had been declared at once three tops above eight thousand meters - Nanga-Parbat (8125 ́), Broad (8046 ́) and Ê2 (8611 ́). For this purpose, as it is clear to the reader, preparation of sportsmen had to be on a high level.

Candidates for expedition were one and a half ten person, and to say that the Combined team of Kazakhstan worked hard, it means to say very little. Skeleton of the group was made by sportsmen of CSCA and thus worked how they used to work in army and for long years of training - trying to exceed their abilities. The team consisting of B.Zhunusov (leader), E.Ilinskiy (trainer), M.Zhumaev (captain), S.Lavrov, D.Molgachev, A.Raspopov, V.Pivtsov, D.Chumakov, V.Litvinov, D.Urubko at the end of May departed to Pakistan.

From the city of Islamabad where all organizational meetings and actions were carried out, the Kazakh team arrived to the small town Chilas which is situated nearby to mountain Nanga-Parbat. After several days of trekking the caravan consisted of more than a hundred porters, on first of July has arrived to Base camp, and work on a route began. Except for kazakhstans some foreigners took part in this expedition (S.Moro, E.Viesturs, I.Ochoa, J.Lafaille and other). For an ascent the team chose the rib of Kinshoffer, the German climber who led storm in 1975 on this way. Sixteen days climbers, risking under icefalls and rushing through the bad weather, worked on mountain, and on June17 the first assault group has reached the top of Nanga-Parbat (8125 ́). On June 18 the other guys have summited. Only one of the team, D.Molgachev, being ill could not climb to the top and had to go home, to Kazakhstan.

By the way, the leader of the expedition B.Zhunusov after managing of organizational and financial problems also returned to Kazakhstan. In the summer he traveled to Caucasus where with his wife climbed mountain Elbrus (5642 ́).

In depth of mountain gorges of Karakorum the huge glacier Baltoro lays. Its boards are framed by legendary tops, and among them there are four, exceeding 8000 meters. The passage is difficult and continuous, and few travelers risk to storm the mountain giants. Even less they come back home. And here the team of Kazakhstan climbers has arrived after an ascent on Nanga-Parbat. They wanted to test their abilities in ascent on tops of Broad and Ê2. To a word, in 2001 the majority of participants of present team already had been here, having climbed Hidden and Gasherbrum-2.

On twelfth of July climbers established Base camp and in two days left for storm of Broad peak. With acclimatization after previous “eightthousander” the ascention was supposed to be made in Alpine style. Therefore all the team went at once. Certainly, as always, there were some events changed initial plans. The team divided into two groups before the Third camp (7200 ́) where arrived only four members. The others have stayed at night below on a slope. Besides, in Camp 3 a Frenchman was ill, and one of the Kazakhstan team had to go down with him to help at descent. Thus on sixteenth of July threesome Zhumaev-Pivtsov-Chumakov reached the top of Broad (8046 ́). Next day ascended Raspopov, Lavrov, Litvinov and a day later Urubko who had gone down with the sick Frenchman made it to the top.

The summit bid of Ê2 began with even smaller group. V.Litvinov was ill and had left, the Kazakhstan climbers remained only six. By that time attempt of an ascent had been undertaken by the Swiss group, but having lost one climber at height of 8350 m, they turned back. Strengthening of the wind and strong snowfalls on the mountain stopped the Kazakhstan team at height of 8100 meters. And even repeated storm failed - the mountain has beaten off the attempt already from 7700 m. After that the expedition was finished and participants came back home.

At the end of July nearby to Almaty a high-sp
eed ascent on peak Nursultan (4376 m) has been held. This traditional competition has been organized by CSCA of Kazakhstan, Rescue Service of Almaty (051) and " Asia - tourism " company. Participants were about fifty. “Start” was given on Chimbulak, and sportsmen finished at the rocks of the top. The climber of CSCA Artjom Richkov has shown the best time, for a long time aspiring to show his high level.

In the summer of 2003 in mountains of Tien-Shan has been held the International Mountain Festival "Khan Tengri " which idea belongs to R.Khaibullin and the general managing is under his control. The Festival has attracted more than four hundred people, and many of them have made an ascent on the highest mountain of Kazakhstan. On the slope of Khan Tengri (7010 ́) up to height of 6500 meters with descent to base camp a high-speed rase has been organized. The winner has become the representative of foreign mountaineering, C.Kellog with the result of 6 hours 11 minutes and 40 seconds. More over in the same days on the Central Tien-Shan the International Meeting of Rescue crews of the CIS has taken place. Sharing experience, rescue groups imitated actions on rescue in mountain conditions and coordination of services.

A group of CSCA with Yuriy Gorbunov as a leader has gone to Kyrgystan in order to storm Lenin peak(7134 m). It took half a month for fourteen members to climb this "seventhousender", and on July 16 four of them (Richkov, Grinevich, Brodskiy, Skopin) though storm-force wind reached the summit. Unfortunately, the others had to turn back because of fatigue and threat of frostbites.

Two climbers of CSCA Vadim Khaibullin and Alexander Rudakov also worked on their program in Pamir. In the middle of the summer they ascended on E.Korzhenevskaya (7105 ́) and Lenin (7134 ́) peaks.. S.Brodskiy after climbing Lenin peak has summited Muztag-Ata (7546 ́), on which he ascended with Spanish climber. The highest top of the Alpine mountains, the motherland of mountaineering also has obeyed to a group of Kazakhstan climbers. This time on Mont Blanc (4806 ́) have been six person under Valiev's leadership.

The autumn has brought deserved rest to Kazakhstan climbers. The summer season demanded considerable physical and nervous efforts, therefore it was necessary to be restored before new ascents. Though already on September 25 D.Urubko and S.Moro have summited Elbrus (5642 ́). This ascent has not demanded from the twosome serious preparation and has taken quite little time.

On the fourth of October has passed the traditional Day of Memory organized by Fund of Mountaineering of Kazakhstan. The meeting of mountaineers took place in gorge Tuyuk-Su on the memorial « to the Perished in Mountains ». As it was noted, a hard blow of the last year was death of V.I.Popov, the remarkable person and organizer who had given a lot to the development of mountaineering in our country. And on the other day was held a sport race from Medeo up to the Memorial devoted to the Day of Memory.

On seventeenth of October the group of climbers from Almaty under the initiative of a priest Alexander Ziryanov has ascended on peak of Jesus Christ’s Birth (4360 ́). This top from blessing of the orthodox church doicese was named so in 2000, yet nobody of priests summited. And father Alexander was the first who with support of sportsmen - climbers has reached the top.

On December 28 the final sports action of the year was held - the High-speed ascent on Amangeldy peak (3999 ́) where all interested persons were invited. This becoming traditional competition is devoted to memory of one of the best mountaineers in the world, Kazakhstan climber A.Bukreev. The first place with time of 1 hour 15 minutes and 44 seconds has taken D.Urubko, and among women S.Sharipova achieved victory for 1 hour 58 minutes and 28 seconds.

The youth of climbing sections regularly goes to the mountains, making sport ascents. Trainers A.Raspopov, D.Molgachev, Y.Gorbunov, S.Samoilov develop teaching techniques and tactics of mountaineering. Physical preparation of sportsmen accompanies qualification growth, and it is obvious that many of them in the future can represent our country on the world scene. Now many Almaty people make ascents on mountain tops not far from Almaty. And winter cold seem only to add passion in their reaching the goals.

The fund of Mountaineering carries out the action for attraction of children to rock-climbing for this rock stands are erected at schools. Training on them guys get the first skills and notions about techniques of movement on vertical relief. By this time 19 rock stands have been established and operate in common schools. In plan is building of one big artificial rock wall of the international class on which competitions will pass.
On results of the year it is possible to see that any significant achievements in sport, able to become a bright page in history of world and Kazakhstan climbing, has not taken place. It is clear that any sportsmen able to exceed achievements of fifteen - ten years' prescription of our fellow countrymen ( Khrishatiy, Valiev, Bukreev, Suviga, Gorbunov, Moiseyev) are not revealed yet, however lacks of organizational work are observed. As positive factors there are tendencies to closer cooperation between climbers, wide popularization of mountaineering that for certain will bring results in future.

Who is interested in more detailed information on development of the Kazakhstan mountaineering can receive it on web sites and where the majority of the mentioned events are reflected.
I wish success and health to all lovers of sports!

December, 30, 2003 Denis Urubko

The central Sports Club of Army of Kazakhstan
SALICE, La'sportiva, BASK,