Young guns Maxut and Vassiliy SUMMIT Dhaulagiri Kazakh style

Posted: May 03, 2006 07:57 am EDT

( Yesterday young Kazakh climbers Vassiliy Pevtsov and Maxut Zhumayev summited Dhaulagiri around 3:45 pm, Nepal time. The pair has achieved the first summit of the season on Dhaula through a single push in fairly bad conditions.

"On the summit we faced a thunderstorm, with very strong wind and fog, the Kazakh team told via sat-phone. When we made it back to our tent (4th assault camp) it was 9:00 pm. We were so tired, we were barely able to set a tent right there. We hope to descend to C1 tomorrow (today).

The Kazakhs way

Whilst other teams on the spot reached BC by hiring a chopper, and are currently involved in acclimatization trips and setting up camps, Maxut and Vassiliy did it Kazakh style: First they trekked to BC in snow covered tracks and high passes, often breaking the trail in fresh snow in front of their porters. Once at the base of the mountain, they chose to launch a single push, all the way to the top, without giving a thought to weather forecasts or snow conditions.

According to plans, Pevtsov and Zhumayev will now move to Annapurna. Should they succeed there, the two regular climbing mates would end the season with 10 8000+meters peaks summited.

Maxut Zhumayev, although barely 30 years old, has summited nine 8000ers (including Kangchenjunga and Makalus West ridge) - all of them without supplementary O2. Vassiliy Pivtsov is Maxut's regular climbing buddy with pretty much the same track record.

The climbers are part of a National team of Kazakhstan climbers whose intent is to summit all fourteen 8,000m peaks in time to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the country's independence from the USSR this December 2006.

The Kazakhstan National climbing team has already summited Dhaulagiri, and while they want to help the team achieve their goal, Maxut and Vassiliy have climbing ambitions of their own. Regardless, Dhaulagiri is a good, close-by peak to get acclimatized on before giving a try to dangerous Annapurna.

Already in 2003, the Kazakh National 3 in 1 team, with Maxut and Vassiliy as members, managed to accomplish 2 of their 3 peaks in one summer, Nanga Parbat and Broad; the first of which they ascended in a scant 15 or 16 days. By then, the young pair had already summited both Gasherbrums, Shisha Pangma and the highly difficult Kangchenjunga.

In 2004, the Kazaks ascended Makalu's West Pillar. In spring 2005, Maxut and Vassiliy showed up on Cho Oyu (despite the air company losing some of their gear) and accomplished one of the first summits of the season. In summer they went for K2 and launched two amazingly bold attempts in very bad conditions. Finally they had to call the expedition off - not because the mountain won them over - but because someone stole much of their equipment in the peak's lower camps.


Image of the climbers courtesy of (Click to enlarge).

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