K2 West Face Direct Russian National expedition: the Bastion has been climbed! but the West Face climb will be continued
30.07.07, 15.30 Victor Kozlov called from base camp: Now two groups: a trio led by Sokolov and four climbers led by Shabalin are working on the route above. Yesterday they reached the top point of fixed ropes at about 16.00 and climbed 1,5 pitches more. Today - 6,5 pitches more are done. The expedition team finally reached the snow terrain. The bastion has been climbed! But the West Face climb will be continued via snow, ice and rocks. Tomorrow the guys will try to climb further and set Camp 6 on the safety place under the rocks.
27.07.07 Shabalin's group, Chorny and Bychkovsky left from BC to ABC. Sokolov's group will climb in camp 3 if weather allows.
26.07.07 Sokolov's group made a cargo-climb from camp C1 to C2.
25.07.07 Sokolov's group made a cargo-climb from ABC to Ñ1 and rehabilitated the camp. The support group left BC.
24.07.07 Sokolov's group climbed from BC to ABC.
23.07.07 The groups led by Bolotov and Totmyanin descended to BC.
The support group visited BC.
22.07.07 Bolotov's descended to ABC, Totmyanin's group made a cargo-climb to camp 4 and descended to ABC too. A big powder avalanche collapsed via the couloir from the left of West face bastion coursing destruction of the tents in camp 1 by blast: the outer canvas were torn and rods - bent. The equipment inside tents remained uncrippled by the avalanche.
Camp 5 has been set, but the bad weather put the breakes on the climb
Pavel Shabalin called from BC:
Greetings to all! We're in the BC. The Camp 5 was set on the route 3 days ago by Bolotov's group at the top point of fixed by Sokolov and Vinogradsky ropes. Altitude - about 7500 meters according an altimeter. The real altitude is difficult to fix because of appreciable difference data for the same place of some team's GPSs. During the last cargo-climb we brought 9 ropes and climbing gear to set C5. After setting C5 Bolotov's group managed to climb 1,5 ropes - difficult overhanging rocks again... Yesterday very bad weather prevented them to work. Today the group is descending. Totmyanin's group set off. In case of a strong wind they'll wait it out in C3 - at a very comfortable tent. Nikolay Cherny ascended to the col and made some pictures of the upper part of the route not visible yet from Camp 5.
We'll reach the snow field soon...
21.07.07 Weather deteriorated. Snowing and a strong wind. The two-man team Bolotov - Kirievsky reached the end of fixed ropes, but could not o work further. Totmyanin group made a cargo-climb to C3. The forecast for all the week is bad.
20.07.07 Bolotov's group made a cargo-climb and pitched a tent of C5 in 7 pitches above camp C4. Korobkov and Bolotov made 2 pitches more upwards. Climbing was very hard again. The group led by Totmyanin made a cargo-climb from ABC to right to C2.
Vitaly Ivanov and helping him Vladimir Kochurov arrived to Moscow. Vitaly will get treatment in one of the Moscow clinics.
19.07.07 Bolotov's and Totmyanin's groups are working on the West Face.
Shabalin's group descended to BC for rest. The weather has settled at last. Bolotov's got to Ñ4 lifting a gear and strengthened the tent. Group led by Totmyanin climbed to ABC.