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Interviewed by Anna Piunova, Mountain.RU
Translated by Anna Samodelko, Mountain.RU

 

 

 

Timur Ahmedhanov and "the Russian Extreme project " in Greenland
Interview for Mountain.RU

Part 1

Mountain.RU (M.RU): How did the idea to make an ascent in Greenland occur to you?

Timur Akhmedkhanov (T.A): We were going to climb Aminbrak via the Spanish route which is considered as the most difficult. We discussed with Valera Rozov, that it would be good to make the joint project. The main problems, certainly, were the civil war in Pakistan and the fact that it was very difficult to escape from Moscow for a couple of months. Therefore we all searched for a spare variant as Madagascar, Venezuela and something like that. We choose Greenland absolutely unexpectedly. We met some photos of the Greenland walls periodically in Climbing but as the truth, very seldom. We couldn't find enough information, but thus, in all responses they consider that place as a new fashionable area combining the complexity like at El-Captain with the weather conditions like in Cerro-Torre in Patagonia. Have slightly dug the information more deeply (Arcady, basically, was engaged in it, he has the magnificent abilities to logistic of travel and gathering of the information) and at once we found the grandiose objects for an ascent, for example, a Wall Tequila, 2400 meters. There was the only not good thing. Its gradient is insufficient to jump B.A.S.E. We had to refuse this idea. The following big wall was Nalumasortoq. The difference of altitude is about 1000 meters. When we saw a photo of this wall in profile, our reaction was unequivocal: " Yeah! Probably, it would be interesting! " At least, it looks exiting! The expedition, certainly, would be expensive, but the first Russian would visit Greenland to climb and to make the first B.A.S.E. jump in Greenland. To reach that place we should pass over the oceans on ships, rafts, everything, only not on foot and not on donkeys as it is usual. The wall is still insufficiently climbed, we can see on photos the route we would made the first ascent. As it was turned out, actually, we made a beautiful and logical route. At last, we gathered and the expedition began.

When we were swimming through to area, it became visible these walls, and the first we could see was Ulumasortoq Wall. This wall is much more assimilated then others. It is also located closer to a fjord. And it makes a very strong impression. . At once we decided not to reach up to Nalumasortoq, and to climb this wall, if we could find a couple of cracks for the beginning.

Then having seen Nalumasortoq, it became clear, that there the gradient on all Wall is much bigger. The difference of the altitude is identical, but the wall is practically vertical, there isn't any site where you can lean on.

We settled the base camp, then another one; as a result, we carried the gear closer to the wall. To stay at the coast certainly would be good: fishing, a lot of fish, it was but very far to go to the Wall: for five hours to reach it. From the very beginning, tactically, we were planned to work for a long time on the Wall. Have taken three hundred meters of the static rope, three dynamic cords and a little more, we expected to process about 400 meters. In result, we processed about 300. It depended of that fact that the wall began not with that place where it was possible to approach on foot, there was the rocky zone like the "mutton foreheads" where we should to fix the rope. Therefore we processed less, than we expected. After that zone there was an ideal ledge for the camp where the working two climbers could descend for the night to have a rest. It was not spoken anywhere, but basically, I think, anything confidential in it is not present, that, actually, we started to work on the other route. Initially, having seen the Wall, we have decided to pass via diretissima. We tried to ascend via diretissima for two days climbing on the first fixed rope. It was very difficult: both an unfamiliar relief, and an unusual structure of the Wall.

Firstly, having looked, I thought, that it reminds very much the El-Captain' granite. Even, when we had came under the Wall, I thought, that the granite was class, habitual, on which we would feel ourselves very well. But by touch it appeared like a marble breed, crumbling, with the top layer very strongly blasted, besides, that the wall was abrupt. The relief, that we could look through from below, even thin cracks, appeared very complex for working. To make a station or to use the fixed pro we should clean the cracks for a long time, because the top layer was a marble crumb, perilous very much, and you did not understand, this point would hold you or would not hold. On the other hand, from first days it became clear, that if to speak about "aid-climbing" techniques you could involve there the all arsenal of modern technical equipment and opportunities. Climbing on the first rope we used everything in general. We used also easy stoppers, both hexes, and copperheads. We with confidence spoke ourselves, that if the relief ended and we would began to work only, we would start to bolt, to work using our skyhooks. Expecting thus, we found out that to bolt appeared too uneasy for the all route that there was marble breeds.

In general, we became thoughtfully, what we were doing. Having spent for two or three days for the first rope of a prospective route we decided to climb first two ropes on another route of Swedes (much more to the left), then to go on an original variant. We disputed much enough, particularly about the reasons for the beginning of the route and about the weather. It was not absolutely clear about it, that time it was good, and what would the weather be like in a week?

Part 2 >>

 

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