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Author: Alexander Lavrinenko, Odessa

Ak Kaya in winter

Ak-Kaya Massif ( 3367 m ) (translated from Turkic as "White Rock"), is situated above Bezengy village , not far from the earth road, going from Bezengy to Chegem through the pass. For the first time it appeared in mountaineer's community in summer 1979 during the USSR Alpinist Championship. On the southern face of Ak-Kaya Massif mountaineers climbed several 15-22 pitch routes (depending on the ropes). The nearest route to the center of the massif is Vasilyev's route (SW face of Ak-Kaya) .

Since then the face has been forgotten for 24 years. In summer 2003 it was chosen again for Russian Championship. In February 2003 party of two from St. Petersburg - Valery Shamalo and Alexey Gorbatenkov made second ascent of Vasilyev's route, and their colleagues (group of Kirill Korabelnikov) climbed the right variation, connecting Vasilyev's route in the upper third.
Today we have as many variations of Ak-Kaya Central part, as on the moment of ascent, so lines of many routes can differ from each other and from the source Vasilyev's variation in 1979.

Third ascent of Vasilyev's route was made in August 2003 by Magnitogorsk team.

Mountain.RU has two more articles about Ak-Kaya and Vasilyev's route ascents :

Vasilyev's route by free climbing, July 2005 - Mountain.RU team (Max Kostrov, Alexey Osipov and Kirill Filchenkov). Here the descent is well described.

Vasilyev's route in 10.5 hours, spring 2007 party of two from Moscow (Vladimir Belousov and Alexandr Novikov). Here boulders at the foot of Ak-Kaya are described.

First ascent described below (A. Lavrinenko, T. Tcushko, A. Homenko, March 06-13 2009) coincides with the classical part of Vasilyev's route on sections 6-9 (compare lines on photos in the end of this article and in the articles above).

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For the first time in recent 10 years Ukraine organized a winter championship, and I decided that it was time to ascend Ak-Kaya. Though, competitors chose higher and longer routes, but we had first ascent, and winter is a lottery "sent / not sent".

The main thing is that it's interesting, a new region and, according to many opinions, a great field for first ascents.

We reached Ak-Kaya quickly thanks to Ali Huseevich Anaev. Four of us arrived three mountaineers and one person as observer, doctor, and colonel.

It was snowstorm when we started to bring our gear on the mountain and discovered a giant overhanging stone with a wind-protective wall.

Our home will be here.

In the morning it was sunny and frosty, the face was beautiful. Glanced over the route and saw that it had many overhangs, especially in its upper part.


Before start

Start

Two days we were fixing ropes, it was no more sun, and strong wind was blowing. On March 8 we started. By the evening we were already on pitch 9 (night was on the ledge on pitch 7)

On March 9 we started well, but the weather was severe with lots of snow. After two and a half pitches we hided in a platform for bivy (it was the only night it proved useful).


Taras is climbing

Bivouac

In the morning the weather was good, though everything was covered with snow and it didn't melt the air was frosty. Nevertheless we reached the upper part and made a good bivy. The summit was just at hand, judging by deion of Vasilyev's , but a series of cornices was above us, with no visible line.

Struggle with the cornices took 2 days, terrain was quite poor. We ended on March 12 after dark, and decided to push the summit in the morning.

On March 13 we were on the summit, looked around, took pictures and rapelled. I don't recommend anyone to repeat this it is better to bypass along the couloir (rockfall danger, it's difficult to pull the rope)

At 17:00 we were on the ground. Igor (doctor) became wild a bit, but he was very glad to see us.

What happened :


Sanya is climbing

I am climbing

Face

On fixed ropes

Cornices

Ak-Kaya ridge

the route

ASCENT PASSPORT

1. Russia, Caucasus.

2. Climbing class.

3. Central Caucasus. Bezengyregion( .2.5.1)

4. Ak-Kaya Peak (3367m), by the bastion of the left side of South-Western face.

5. Proposed grade 6 , first ascent.

6. Route classification:

heights difference: - 550 m, extension - 725 m

extension of 5-6 grade sections 595 m

6- grade sections - 320 m

average steepness of the main part of the route 85

Start of the route summit 75

7.Pins placed (including aid in denominator):

climbing nuts bolts sky hooks

102/56 59/15 18/18 (+15 belay) 33

8. Climbing hours 51 and days 8

9. Leader: Lavrinenko A.V., Master of Sports

members: Tcushko T.V. Master of Sports

Homenko . . Candidate to Master of Sports

10. Team trainer: Gorbenko Mstislav Mstislavovich, Master of Sports

11. Start of the route: March 06 2009

summit:March 13 2009

The region is very interesting - Ak-Kaya 5- 7 km wide, and 2 mountains behind it: Kara-Kaua and Lamuta- Kaua. These mountains are higher they have no routes at all. The region is potential for first ascents, with free climbing.

Best time for ascents is winter and spring, snow on the face is enough, water isn't necessary.

Terrain and rocks are similar to Fans and Dolomites, with some poor rock.

I guess, the popularity of this region will rise.


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