Author: Dmitry Podgorny, Yalta
Again 2 grade route or Exotic alpinism in the Lost World (Cape Aya.)
We installed the camp, bathed and began to look for the route.
3 routes, described by Sevastopol alpinists, we didn't try because of too destroyed and dangerous terrain. We didn't find any more deions, so we decided to ascend the Western part of the massif which is located to the left from the couloir, to the west from Small Kokia-Kaya mountain.
1.5 km of difficult climbing through the bushes precedes the route. The routes in the Lost World are known for their “comfortable” approaches. Start is near the big juniper.
Max is leading. He decided not to put on his climbing shoes and ascended in trainers.
Gena is ascending the rope.
I am ascending the last, gathering the gear.
R0 – R1 –Traverse several meters to the left to the small juniper. There an interim point is. Then go upwards along the crack. Bypass a big overhang on the left. Next point is on the big juniper in the upper part of the overhang. Then the corner starts, the slope became more abrupt. Here climbing begins.
Go to the big pistachio tree and make belay there. Attention! Many moving stones.
R1 – R2 –First half of the second pitch is a crux. Max estimated it as 5b. Climb the red corner along the vertical crack. Good holds are in the crack. The crack has narrow and wide sections, where you can use middle stoppers or small friends (we used stoppers and one small friend).
Approximately in the middle of the way to the ledge there is a small tree where an interim point can be made. Climb along the crack and go to the ledge. A small traverse to the left and then go downwards, and easily climb along the nail but inclined slope to the big pine-tree. Here belay is.
R2 – R3 – The 3 rd pitch is easy but dangerous because of moving stones. There are bushes everywhere, but they are not reliable to hold. The sole reliable point is on the juniper growing in the crack in the middle of the way. Very attentively pass the second half of the third pitch and go to the big ledge with trees and glade. There belay is on the big juniper.
R3 – R4 –This pitch goes along the ledge (glade). There are many trees. I belay Max who later makes a belay on the big pistachio tree and fixes horizontal lines up. Gena goes second and I am the third.
R4 – R5 –This pitch is the last. From the pistachio tree go to the left, make belay on the pine-tree, and traverse to the left under the big overhang. Go between the wall and a big pine-tree. On the tree make belay point. Then a section of quite difficult for us climbing begins (Max estimates it as 5b-6a). Go to the small pine-tree growing in the crack, make a belay and go to the right and upwards diagonally under the overhang. A good crack goes along the entire overhang. Then go to the plateau.
The plateau isn't the end of adventures. The characteristic feature of the Lost World is the absence of footpaths to the sea. There are two ways to return back from the plateau: to bypass the rocks and to swim by sea, or to apseil. We chose the second variant. The apseil is quite dangerous because of moving stones. Descent is possible only in dry weather. In rainy weather mud flows and rockslides flow down the couloirs. We apseiled in the darkness, with the help of our lanterns. In several places we didn't know if the rope was enough. Max leaded. 60-m rope we folded double and tied to the belay by 8-loop. If the rope won't be enough, we could ascend the rope and search for other way. But the rope was enough on all the sections, because they were short. The last third part of the couloir we walked on foot. Apseil took about 2 hours.
Several more minutes of moving through the rockslide – and we were in our camp, tired but happy.