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Author: Igor Savushkin

Far-Eastern Alpinist Camp Badzhal 2007 Resurrection

On the 28 th of April in Vladivostok 20 people came to a train bounding for the North. They were the members of Alpinist Camp Badzhal 2007. That way the newest history of alpinistic Badzhal started.

Group from Vladivostok before boarding
to the train to Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

First squad.

Second squad.

The trip was organized by Sergey Seriy (or Petrovich) the leader of mountain school that served as the base of resurrection of Badzhal, he also became the leader of the camp.

Alexander Krasnoltskiy (or Red, or Viacheslavovich) undertook controlling mountaineering process he became the leader of educational section, the commander of the squadron and the instructor of the second squad.

Alexander Kechinov (or Mikhalich) agreed to help teaching the beginners alpinism he was the leader of the first squad.

Persons who showed desire for learning alpinism in the first squad:

Anna Arkhipova
John Bogatirev
Ivan Zverev
Sergey Minkin
Larisa and Kate Skrinnikova
Sergey Tchaika
Andrew Chalenko
Masha Tchernova

Persons who showed desire for learning alpinism in the second squad:

Elena Kirichenko
Dmitry Medvedev
Igor Savushkin
Olga Safronova
Viktoria Sushkova
Natalia Tuzlukova
Elena Shkriabina
Nadezhda Jakovleva

On the 30 th of April all our squadron arrived to the station Gerbi. Just from there our hike started.

We had to pass about 50 kilometers in three days along the channels of the rivers Gerbi and Omot Makit, and came to the sources of the river Ulun. Approach like that was, to put it mildly, nonsense for alpinists, helicopter usually flew there, but at that time tourist hike was in store.

The first day:

We are going along the dry channel of Gerbi
Badzhal has saved water in snow

At the station Gerbi before
starting the hike

At a stop. We were going in
a regime 45 minutes of
moving and 15 minutes of rest

We are orientating ourselves

The first night-pass after
25-kilometers long march.

At the season channels of rivers presents stone ribbon with numerous blockages of trees. We were going in a regime 45 minutes of moving and 15 minutes of rest. Hard rucksacks, boys carried about 40 kilograms, girls about 30 didn`ot allow us to move quickly. We passed jumping on stones about 27 kilometers with stops for breakfast and dinner at the first day. We stopped to the night having already come to the gates of Badzhal in a traditional place for bivouacs named hold-down. At the place Gerbi looked like pressing to one of vertical rocks.

The second day:

Twenty people going under May sun
Fall down to the water of Omot Makit through ice

Channel of the river Gerbi along which our
way to the place of holding the camp lied

Extension 50 kilometers

We are having rest

The second day looked like the first one, only the mountains became higher, slopes steeper, the river narrower. Having turned to the confluent Omot Makati we were tirelessly nearing to our aim. We stopped in two hours of walking from the lake Omot near to the mouth of the river Ulun to pass the second night.

The third day:

Thicket of taiga in front of travelers
Way through range is long and hard

Overcoming the pass Gerbi

Ulunsky circus is seen forward

It was not easy for everybody,
deep snow and elfin
wood exhausted.

Along the straight line about 5 kilometers rested up to our camp. It was planed we would come to the place in the afternoon. There were several variants of approach. The first one lied along the river Ulun, Mikhalich told us about its impassability, basing on his old attempt of going by that route. The second variant presented ascent along one more stream, flowing into Omot Makit a little bit upper along the stream from the place of our stop, then through the pass Ulun. As for us, we had chosen the third way. We climbed to the range and went along it. Our way was crossed by snow and mountain pine under it. We came to the pass and descended to the river Ulun. Only by 7 o`oclock we went to the place where it was planned to make a camp. We, all being tired of such and exhausting march, made the camp. Nobody even spoke about the ascent on the next day.

The fourth day:

Circus of Ulun met us with fine weather
In its kingdom we found shelter.

"Raising" the flag

Leading membership

General formation

Ulunsky circus

Krasnolutsky Alexander, leader of
educational section, instructor
of the second squad

Snow lessons

Just that day was the beginning of our alpinistic camp. Grand opening of it took place, the Krasny accepted leadership. The squadron was divided into two squads of 9 people and instructor in each one. We equipped our camp, having built all we need most of all place for fire with sittings around them, toilets looking like snow wigwams.

And, at last, we began to get acquainted with the mountains.

Mountains of Badzhal stretched in the north of the Khabarovsk territory. When BAM was opened they became accessible for visiting. At first 90 alpinists explored the region of Ulunsky circus and several alpinistic camps had been held there. Then ten years long pause came. And in May 2007 alpinistic camp Badzhal was held again. 8 summits could be seen from the Ulunsky circus. Summit Northern Ermolaeva 2163 meters above sea level, summit Ermolaeva 2158 meters, summit Clover 2118 meters, summit Frigate, summit Morion, summit Ulun 2221 meters above sea level, summit of Mountain Girls from Khabarovsk 2166 meters above sea level, summit Golden Horn. From that place three passes to the south of the pass Ulun went, pass Edelweiss went to the west and to the north the channel of the river Ulun went.

Routes of up to 4A grade of difficulty we passed and evaluated there. We were in for the ascents along routes of 1B, 2A and if we would be lucky along 2B grades of difficulty.

After theoretical lessons we came to practical ones. We polished ascent and descent along snow slopes of different steepness and also learned how to stop ourselves on snow slope from different positions.

The fifth day:

The highest point of Badzhal Ulun
Mountain ranges at its feet remain eternal silent

Ascent to Ulun

Summit Ulun 2221 m

Moving in teams

Summit Morion

Sky of Badzhal

Second squad is
making ascent to Ulun

Here you are rake there

First squad is making ascent to Ulun

Snow is changed by rocks

Summit Northern Ermolaeva

Summit Ulun, the ascent along
the left counterfort was made

Dinner on the shoulder

Belay on the snow

Joy of ascent

The boots like these we had

On the top of Ulun

Descent form Ulun against a
background of the summit
of Mountain Girls from Khabarovsk

Alpinist starts from the first test ascent, for us it was ascent to the summit Ulun along the easiest route of the lowest grade of difficulty named 1B. For most of us counting out of our alpinistic activity began on the 4 th of May 2007. Set off from the camp took place at 6 o`oclock in the morning, along solid thin crust of ice over snow we directed to the bottom of the summit. The route we learnt in the previous evening began to come into reality.

We had to pass 1.5 kilometers with 500 meters high climb on the route and made descent of the same length. Extension of the whole route from setting off from the camp to turning back equaled about 7 kilometers. Ascent was made along the Northern-Eastern edge. We moved in three-man teams, belaying each other in turns. Then we went of ascending simultaneously. On the strips that were difficult to pass we fixed ropes. The second squad reached the top at 2.30 in the afternoon. The first one at 5.30. View to all Badzhalsky range opened from the Ulun. Later there was descent along the couloir dangerous for avalanches and returning to the camp.

The sixth day:

You can cognize your friend only being in one team
Communicating shortly neatly and clearly

Analysis of flights


River Ulun

According to the results of the previous day ascent that day was define as day-off and day of training how to move in teams. Having slept as much as we wanted and dried as it was possible, waited till snowfall was over, we set off for the training. Having walked in teams along the snow with mountain pine raising from it for two hours, we turned back to the camp to prepare for the next ascent.

The seventh day:

Our way lied from Tsoi to Mountain Girls from Khabarovsk
We were climbing for a long time to the steep wall

From the summit of Tsoi

We are making traverse

The weather is not wonderful

Instructor`os encouragement


Morning met us with fine weather, that day the second squad made traverse from the summit of Tsoi 2130 meters above sea level to the summit of Mountain Girls from Khabarovsk. It was the route of 2A grade of difficulty, 3200 meters long, with elevation change 450 meters. We set off from the camp of 5.30 o`oclock in the morning. Ascent to the summit went along the North-Eastern edge on the summit of Tsoi through the wall 1942 m. We moved wearing crampons, simultaneously belaying each other in a team. To the summit of Tsoi we went according to the schedule at 8.30, by that time the weather had become bad, strong wind started blowing, sometimes it was snowing. Further we went on moving along the South-Eastern edge. We moved in teams, at first simultaneously, than in turns, belaying each other. The range was strongly indented and rather sharp in its upper part. In especially dangerous places we fixed horizontal ropes. The key strip of the route, presented by the wall of 60 degrees steep and 45 meters high we reached at 2 o`oclock in the afternoon. To the top of the summit of Mountain Girls from Khabarovsk the squad climbed only at 4.30 in the afternoon. The weather went on exhausting us, all of us got wet and cold, but we had completed the traverse. Further we made descent along the North-Eastern edge at first by the ropes and then by the couloir and at last turned back to the camp.

The first squad went on training in the camp that day.

The eighth day.

Hooks sang the song of belay,
Tourists learnt the nuts and bolts of alpinism.

That day was fixed as one more day of learning and day-off for the second squad. We learnt how to hammer in and out hooks, used nuts, tied stations. Within the limits of learning we made ascents to the Northern edge of the summit Golden Horn. When we were discussing the previous day ascent, we were said that not everybody would be able to make the next ascent. As a result, the team of Olga and we was brought to the first squad, under the leadership of Mikhalich, that was making an ascent to the summit Ermolaeva along the route of 1B grade of difficulty that day. They at first climbed along the snow couloir, then along the most right counterfort to the edge, then to the summit and descended along the same route.

The ninth day.

Even plateau met those who went along the range Ermolaeva
Way to the summit was strewn with sharp rocks.

That day there were made two ascents. The first and the second squads went along different routes but of the same grade of difficulty to the same summit Ermolaeva. The second squad made ascent along the route of 2A grade of difficulty and ascended almost straight upwards along the North-Eastern counterfort. As for the first squad, it made traverse of 2A grade of difficulty via the summit Northern Ermolaev. Having begun ascent along the second from the left counterfort, we came up to the first summit. It was surprising to see even like football fields plateaus after steep slope. Having had dinner on one of the plateaus, the squad went further. The edge was strongly indented, at first we went belaying each other by turns, then fixed ropes. Soon we heard the voices of another squad. The second squad reached the top earlier. Two hours later the first one climbed to the top, too. Returning to the camp was very hard. Crumbly snow took on water and we often came down. The first squad turned back to the camp in gloaming.

The next day we planned to make an ascent along the route of 2B grade of difficulty.

The tenth day.

We congratulated with the song alpinists turned back from the mountains
Having got the third class on the day of Victory Day

The last day on the camp. Group of 4 people leading by Viacheslavovich set off early. They had to make the most difficult ascent of the ascents we made while the Camp was held. It was ascent to the summit Ermolaeva along the route of 2B grade of difficulty. Moreover, they had to complete it within the time bounds. The group had to turn back to the camp by 4 o`oclock in the afternoon. They managed to do it. People in the camp prepared for meeting with them, they cooked a cake and composed a song. They met the alpinist staying in a line and singing a song. All of the four mountaineers got the third class.

All the beginners were sanctified, having called Ulun by fire oath
They were given an opportunity to name themselves "alpinists".

Everybody was given alpinistic certificates and sanctified by simple ceremonial. We began to prepare for turning back home.

The eleventh day.

Joy of turning back home was darkened by difficulty of the way
Mountains, saying good bye, spilled miserly tear in a rain.

We planned that way back home would take us two days. During the first day we had to come to the place when we passed our first night. While we were descending, we saw spring coming. Rivers overflowed, but paths appear along them, so we passed the route we had planned. It rained in the evening. We could not believe that everything was coming to the end and that it was our last night on Badzhal.

In the river-bed all the collective, all who rested in the circus, and who went to the lake Omot, and visited the base on the lake.

The twelfth day.

Smelting stones of Badzhal by feet, we ended the way on station Gerbi,
Everybody got new feelings.

Thus, the last day of Badzhal came. The squadron quickly passed kilometers may be, because it felt that the end of way was not far, or, may be, because interior reserves were opened. Nobody was looking for wades, crossing the river in the place where way was shorter. We stopped to have dinner after 6 hours of walking only, and there were left about 6 kilometers before the station. Having got power, we reached the station in two spurts. There was civilization. At first we visited the shop with food and different nice drinks, just after bath. Railway station of Gerbi cordially gave refuge to us.

That way the alpinistic camp Badzhal 2007 was finished.


Alpinistic camp Badzhal resurrected after long oblivion. And all of us took part in its resurrection. Of course, there were minuses and defects, by it is not accepted to judge winners. Alpinistic camp was held, so we won! See you on Badzhal 2008.

Author of the photos used in the article: Tchaika Sergey, Bogatirev Evgeny, Chalenko Andrew, Krasnolutsky Alexander, Sushkova Victoria, Jakovleva Nadezhda, Kirichenko Elena, Minkin Sergey, Medvedev Dmitry.

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