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August 19, sunset, 6.48pm. Last day before the summit. Alex Sofrygin says that this picture shows well the average steepness of the Yellow Rocks section - see rock wall line at left part of the pic.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Khan Tengri North Face and the Kazakh route. A series of ice falls on the right flank of the wall stretch from ~4200 up to ~5700. Meanwhile, a large “pie” of ice is hanging on the top of the left flank, at approximately 5400. A climber is exposed to falling debris from the two ice-falls. The danger starts actually near BC and continues up to the bottom of the wall. After the "2 hours of fear" in the approach you get to the wall itself, where falling rocks take their turn.
Image by Kazbek Valiev's archive/Graphics (route line) by A. Sofrygin courtesy Kazbek Valiev's archive/Graphics (route line) by A. Sofrygin
Snow and rock parts at middle sections of Black Rocks, Yellow Rocks are seen on top of the pic. 4.18 pm, August 16.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Summit pic by the Cross on top of Khan Tengri. L/R: Gabbasov, Sofrygin, Pivtsov. 10.06 am. August 20, 2012.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
The debrief in chronological pictures. Start of the wall: ice, snow and continuous rock fall from above. August 12, 7.13am.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Start of Black Rocks, Pivtsov is leading, Sofrygin at belay. Picture shows the loose, soft stone of the Black Rocks. August 13, 10.32 am.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Scaling difficult section of Black Rocks. 9.31 am, August 15.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Black Rocks. 2.09pm. August 15.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Snow and rock parts at middle sections of Black Rocks, Yellow Rocks are seen on the top of the pic, 4.18pm. August 16.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
A sitting bivvy site. Guys are preparing to leave the spot after spending grueling night at the narrow shelf. 8.47am, August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Vaso Pivtsov ready to climb 12.07pm. August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Vaso approaching the border of Yellow Rocks. The picture shows the clear line between the yellow and Black Rocks. 5.41pm. August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Entering the Yellow Rocks, 11.56am. August 18.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Yellow Rocks mid section, showing the average steep inclination. The top of the small triangle above marks the summit. 5.35pm. August 18.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Difficult chimney at Yellow Rocks. 11.58am. August 19.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Final section of the route. 4.27pm. August 19.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Summit was achieved 10.06am. August 20, 2012.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
The team with coach Iljinsky just after the summit of The North Face (showing in background). L/R: Ildar Gabassov, Ervand Iljinsky, Vassiliy Pivtsov and Alexander Sofrygin, August 21, 2012.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Alex Sofrygin, 7.24pm. August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Vaso Pivtsov. 6.58pm. August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov
Ildar Gabassov. 6.58pm. August 17.
Image by Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov courtesy Alex Sofrygin, Ildar Gabassov

Khan Tengri North Face Direct Debrief

Posted: Sep 27, 2012 04:44 pm EDT

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(Andrey Verkhovod/edit TS) It has that rare combination: altitude, difficulty, and cold. A direct line on the wall has never been climbed by a westerner. Even for the locals, a seasoned trio of Kazakh climbers, Khan Tengri North Face presented a serious challenge. Here goes their debrief, with plenty of pics, should you feel the urge to try your luck there one day.Khan Tengri North Face Direct. 2012 Kazakh Climb By Andrey VerkhovodKazakhs Vasiliy Pivtsov, Alexander Sofrygin and Ildar Gabassov started the climb on August 12...

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