K2 Kazakh young guns: Silence due to dead batteries?

Posted: Aug 16, 2005 06:14 am EDT

It is now around 36 hours since the young Kazakh climbers left camp 4 (7700 m) for the summit of K2 (8611 m), and there has not yet been an update from them. A possible explanation just arrived ExWeb from Alma Ata. Apparently, before they headed out on their summit push, Maxut told the coach Ervand Iljinsky, that the battery in their phone was a bit low.

As they are the only ones left up high, it is possible that the team is silent simply because they can not communicate or send messages due to dead batteries. In that case, the boys might be coming back down to BC about this time. All of Alma Ata is praying for the climbers, and wished for this possible explanation to be known.

The Kazakh climbers left camp 4 Sunday midnight. Hungarian Eross Zsolt, who joined the summit push two hours after the others, turned back after ten hours climbing at 8200m due to atrocious weather conditions. Also both the Polish climbers Anna and Darek turned around due to very deep snow and high wind.

The young guns continued up, trodding in snow that was up to their chests, facing winds over 100 km/h. They spent five hours to cover a very small distance, reported the Hungarians. The climbers are, in spite of their young age, very experienced: Leading the climb, and the Kazakh army team of 4 is Maxut Zhumayev: Not even 30 years old, Maxut has climbed eight 8000ers (including Kangchenjunga and Makalus West Pillar) - all of them without supplementary O2. Vassiliy Pivtsov is Maxut's regular climbing buddy with pretty much the same track record.

The two other Kazakhs are Damir Molgachev, who climbed Hidden Peak, G II, and Kangchenjunga between 2001 and 2002, and Serguey Brodsky who also did Kangchenjunga with the guys.

The Kazakh's are as usual coached by Ervand Iljinsky. The climbers are part of a national team of Kazakhstan climbers with the intent to summit all fourteen 8,000m peaks in time to commemorate the fifteenth anniversary of its independence from the Soviet Union, coming up in December 2006.



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The four Kazakh young guns are back in BC! Image courtesy of RussianClimb.

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