Alexander Odintsov (St.Peterburg, Russia) - Master of sports of International
class, the leader of the project "Big Walls: Russian Routes"
Alexander Ruchkin (Omsk, Russia) - Master of sports of International
class, Multi-champion and prize-winner at the Championships of CIS,
Russia, bronze in the Championship of the USSR
Mikhail Devi (Ekaterinburg, Russia) - Master of sports of International
class, 25 ascents of the highest category of difficulty, 10 first
ascents, Multi-champion and prize-winner of the Championships of the
USSR, Russia, Army Forces
Alexander Klyonov (Ekaterinburg, Russia) - Master of sports of International
class, 24 ascents of the highest category of difficulty, 9 first ascents,
one of the best technical climbers in Russia
Valery Rozov (Moscow, Russia) - Master of Sports in Mountaineering,
professional BASE-jumper and sky-surfer. The leader of the "Russian
Extreme Project", www.ruexp.ru
Ivan Samoilenko - cameraman
Lev Dorfman - cameraman
Mikhail Bakin - doctor
Dmitri Lifanov - correspondent and photographer
Read about the previous ascent within the frames
of the project "Big Walls: Russian Roues":
"BASK - Latok III expedition",
information and out-door wear sponsor -
"BASK" company (Moscow)
- "IRBIS" company (St.Petersburg)
Photo and video
equipment - "CANON"
is organized with the help of "BARS" bridge-repairs company
Sponsors of the two members from Ekaterinburg:
- "Spasextreme-Vysotnik" ltd.
"Ural Real Estate Chamber"
"Bask - Great Sail
Great Sail Peak, Baffin Island
Projects "Big Walls: Russian Routes" and "Russian
News from the expedition. Great Sail Peak explorers
have returned to Toronto
On the fifth of June two last groups of 'BASK - Great Sail Peak'
expedition reached Toronto. On Sunday they will fly to Moscow..
The members were getting to the Continent separately. Firstly, an
advance team of Alexander Odintsov, Valery Rozov and Ivan Samoilenko
flew to Toronto. They spent there two days, arranged everything
for their triumphal press-conference, took two cars and went to
an airport to meat their friends.
All climbers were deeply impressed with green grass, which made
a harsh contrast with snow-white solitudes of Baffin Island. The
athletes are save and sound. First flush of victory helped them
to withstand extreme fatigue after climbing the Face of Great Peak.
Alexander Klenov was laconic during his phone call:
"The route turned to be very handsome; coherent and extremely
difficult. We got exhausted and prostrated with fatigue. Though
we were impressed with the beautiful nature, with such views -
Bolts were used only for fixing a portaledge and once for a pendulum.
We worked in one shift as Arctic day enabled us to work till 3am.
We send our greetings to all who was with us during these days,
who helped us. The best regards to our sponsors, who were permanently
A telephone call from Valery Rozov. The
wall has been climbed!!!
"During the night from May, 26
to May, 27, the entire team reached the summit! 1500 metres of absolutely
new route has been covered. The ascent lasted about two weeks. The
climbers spent over 24 hours on the top waiting for the good weather.
On May, 28, Valery Rozov performed a BASE-jump in a "wing suit"
from the highest point of the wall. Everyone is feeling fine.On
May, 29 all the guys descended. They are planning to have some rest
and will soon leave for the Main Land."
Our heartest congratulations to the winners!
Ivan Samoilenko reports from the Baffin Island
"May, 21. The preparatory stage
of the ascent was succesfully finished yesterday. The team untied
the lower ropes. The whole group disassembled ABC and carried all
these loads - about 140 kg - to BC. The situatuion for today: the
team climbed seven ropes to the ledge, where the portaledges are
hanging now. Everyone is busy providing water. And six more ropes
have been fixed on the main wall. There are still four more ropes
left, which can be used for the work on the wall. The guys climb
three ropes a day. The work starts at 1 p.m. and goes on till 11-
12 p.m. There is no night. Everyone is in good health. As it is
always a habit with him, Odintsov was struck with a stone on his
knee. But today he reported that he is Ok. In BC it is a rest day
today. For breakfast we had fried eggs with red fish, coffee with
rum and chocolate.
We are getting close to nature. Volodya went fishing and brought
40 ikalus - local kind of fish. We had a real holiday: our ration
was enriched with salted, fried and boiled fish. Volodya managed
to become friends with a couple of polar foxes by feeding them with
fish. He videotaped them. Dima Lifanov, the cameraman, is disappointed
with being unable to film the herds of polar bears. We are trying
to comfort him. Though we are all a bit afraid that a bear will
visit us some day - we saw his footprints not far from the BC. Everyone
got used to cold. The only thing we are depressed by - is being
unable to wash our dirty clothes. Ten more days - and we will return
News from the "BASK - Great Sail Peak"
expedition. Sergei Porodnov - guest from the Baffin Island: impressions
from the first hands.
Just a couple of hours ago Sergei Porodnov
- the eye-witness and member of the events on the Baffin Island
- was received as a guest at BASK. He told many breath-taking details…
Sergei Porodnov from Ekaterinburg called himself a sherp and at
the same time sponsor of the two expedition members from the Urals:
Klyonov and Devi. Together with the team he covered a difficult
way across ice and took part in carrying expedition loads from the
place where snowmobiles could reach to BC.
May, 10, when snowstorm broke under the Wall, Sergei left the inhospitable
Baffin, made a short but interesting trip round Canada, and on May,
16, landed in Moscow. In the airport he was met by BASK employees.
He still had several hours before his flight to Ekaterinburg, so
we could enjoy most entertaining details from the first hands (the
full story of the witness will be published pretty soon).
Sergei passed us a letter from Valery Rozov. Though the events described
in it are already known to everybody who follows the expedition
news, still the lines written on the other end of the Earth are
of great value.
Valera Rozov called this morning. Four rope
pitches are done. Valera performed the second BASE jump.
"Klyonov and Devi are on the wall
of the Great Sail Peak now. The guys work 14 hours a day. All in
all four rope pitches are done. The guys plan to reach a ledge by
tomorrow, and the rest of the team will shuttle loads to this point.
Yesterday 14.05 Valera Rozov, Lev Dorfman and Dima Lifanov once
again climbed the neighboring peak (the new name is "Peak Pobedy"/"Victory
Peak") and Valera performed his second BASE jump from the top.
The weather is cold, true severe winter, polar day, and amazingly
beautiful scenery around us - all this creates some strange feeling
of unreality. Today we caught a tub of fish in a fjord and cooked
delicious fish-soup. Right now we are sitting and eating it and
recollect home, our relatives and friends. We still fail to run
the computer and telephone - must be some problems with communications,
so, unfortunately, it looks like we won't be able to send a picture.
The guys are sending there hellos to everybody."
May,13. Valery Rozov and Mikhail Devi report
from Baffin Island. An unnamed peak has been climbed, and Valery
Rozov performed a BASE jump from its top.
"May,13. From the third attempt
Valera Rozov, Lev Dorfman and Dima Lifanov managed to climb the
unnamed peak situated next to Great Sail Peak, where the expedition
had already started to work on the new route. They named it "Peak
Pobedy"(Victory Peak) in connection with the recent holiday
- Victory Day! The aim of this ascent was BASE jump.
The previous attempts failed because of the bad weather and poor
visibility. It took the climbers 8 hours to get to the top, deep
fresh snow hampered the way up. If it were not for the ski-tours,
the ascent would have been next to impossible. We made it happen:
the first BASE jump from the unclimbed peak! Indescribable feeling,
true revelation! We are happy!
The height of the peak is 1480m, BC is at 50m above the sea level,
the height difference of the wall is 800m of pure overhanging part,
free falling time is 40 seconds in "Krylo" (Wing) suit.
Though the weather was sunny, it was cold - about 10 degrees below
zero. There are many faces like this good for BASE jumping in the
vicinity of our camp. The only problem is very changeable rather
cold weather and vast distances."
Today Odintsov and Ruchkin continued their work on the route on
the Great Sail Peak. Fresh snow made it difficult to get to the
wall from ABC. It took the climbers 3.5 hours instead of 1 (as it
was during the first ascent of this part done by Devi and Klyonov)
to cover the height difference of 500m. They managed to climb one
more rope pitch before the evening. Tomorrow Odintsov and Ruchkin
will continue their work on the wall, later Klyonov and Devi will
replace them and, most probably, will organize portaledge bivy to
save time and strength wasted on the way from ABC to the wall. The
weather is changeable. It is warm only in BC big tent. Everybody
is healthy and in high spirits, sending hello to all relatives and
friends and to all those who is following the news from our expedition.
Alexei Myasnikov, www.alpclub.ur.ru
May, 10. Ivan Samoilenko reports from Baffin
Island. The first rope of the route has been fixed.
"The North wind is blowing for
the third day. It is cold. The pressure is dropping. Klyonov and
Devi fixed the first rope of the route yesterday. Today they returned
to BC. Valera Rozov with his friends made a reconnaissance trip
to the plateau on the top. They discovered deep snow and vast polar
fields there. It became clear that we would have to spend one night
on the route on our roundabout way to the top. Though there is no
night here - simply the temperature drops by 10 degrees. When will
the spring come as Inuits promised us? We are sitting in the Inuit
tent waiting. Preference, chess, books. Nobody has any health problems.
The doctor gives us vitamins and alcohol".
The latest news from Baffin Island. Alexander
Odintsov made a call
May,7.Alexander Odintsov called
from Baffin Island (Polar Canada):
The team organized BC on the SE bank of the inner lake where the
Great Sail Peak is situated. The profile of our wall can be seen
and it really impresses.
Yesterday 06.05 eight people carried some equipment for ABC to the
foot of the wall. The distance from BC to the mountain turned out
to be larger than we had hoped for - about 2.5 hours along the frozen
Today we will make sort of sledges from skis and continue carrying
loads to ABC. It snows every day, today it became warmer - 15 degrees
below zero. We melt ice to get water.
Everyone sees incredibly vivid dreams, we are haunted by the feeling
of unreality. We are missing our relatives and friends. Everybody
is healthy and energetic. "
May,4. Alexander Odintsov reports from
Baffin Island: "The team is in several hours walk from BC.
Snowmobiles didn't reach BC. We are in for a several days' work
of carrying loads to the wall. Our camp is in a picturesque place
with bear's footprints. Everything is OK.
We are planning to start working on the route May, 6-7. The weather
is good, 10 degrees below zero. A bit cloudy, sunny. Best wishes.
We love you."
Valera Rozov called on the 2nd of May and
reported the following information:
Everything is Ok with the team. Yesterday they took a flight to
Clyde River and stopped in some wooden hut for a night. The temperature
was 10 - 15 degrees below zero with very strong wind. The team hired
six snowmobiles with sledges and six local Eskimos, who will live
for a couple of days together with the expedition members in the
Base Camp, and then they will leave the guns with the team and return
home. Tomorrow morning our guys are heading for the BC. They are
sending their regards to everybody.
May, 2. Misha Devi has just called from Canada.
Email still won't work…
"Today the team is in Clyde River village. This is the
last civilized place on the continent. The weather is sunny, but
the wind is strong and the cold is bitter - we nearly got frostbitten
when moving on snowmobiles! Tomorrow we are leaving for the Base
Camp. It will take us one day to get there provided snowmobiles
In this area even in the most remote nook there are proper hotels,
internet, telephone. You can get connected with any place on the
globe for a small amount of money - 19 cents per minute.
Our expedition is escorted by two Eskimos, they are adamant on being
called Inuits, but they resemble our Chukchi men a lot …"
According to www.alpclub.ur.ru
April, 28. Alexander Klyonov reports from Toronto:
Alexander Klyonov: "All days are filled with organizational
moments, all day today we were busy buying different stuff in Toronto.
We have the impression that Canada is full of Russians - conversations
and signs in Russian are everywhere. It's rather cold here. We are
horrified to think what awaits us on the Pole. We'll spend tomorrow
here, and then leave for Ottava, and take a flight from there to
Clyde river on April, 29, and further - on sledges. We all experience
the time shift. And I am the only one who got used to new time."
Alexei Myasnikov, www.alpclub.ur.ru
April, 26, the team "BASK - Great Sail
Peak" left Moscow for Toronto (Canada)
"BASK - Great Sail Peak" expedition.
BASK company press-conference
April, 25, BASK company press-conference devoted to unique expedition
BASK - Great Sail Peak" to Baffin Island, took place in Moscow
The start of the "BASK - Great Sail Peak"
expedition will be in time. Canadian Embassy issued visas for the
team of Odintsov
April, 26, as planned, the expedition members are leaving for Canada.
Russian Embassy in Canada is getting ready with press-conference
for this project. All the expedition news will be delivered for
the Russian audience in real time via satellite connection, provided
by the team's sponsor - "BASK" company
The start of the "BASK -
Great Sail Peak" expedition in under threat. Canadian Embassy
hasn't issued visas yet for the alpinists
Further delay in the Embassy can cause
additional expenses and also additional risk for the team. If the
climb completes too late, the sea now frozen will be opened and
it will not be possible to return using frozen sea - the only known
way to the Great Sail Peak. In this case the team will have to retreat
across the Baffin Island which is vast and absolutely unexplored
"Russian Way - The Walls of the World".
The next stage of the project.
The team of the climbers under the leadership of Alexander Odintsov,
master of sports of the international class, starts the next stage
of the project "Russian Way - The Walls of the World"