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Climbing Khan Tengri. Edges of risk are pointing to the Summit

Story about Khan Tengri expedition, successfully realized by MSC AlexClimb team in 2010. Author - Founder of the MCS AlexClimb mountain School - Alex Trubachev.

Only automatically translated version is available at the moment, sorry for the inconvenience.

Our Khan Tengri climbing program here!

Deep in the heart of the Tien Shan, at the intersection of the borders of China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan throws defiant sky top of a fantastic regular shape - slim semikilometrovaya pyramid of Khan Tengri ... At sunset, the tops of the dome of the mountain reflects the crimson light of the setting sun, perhaps it is this mountain phenomenon owes its name - Kang-Too - (Blood mountain). Another version of the name - Khan Tengri - translated from the Chinese as the Lord of Spirits ...

For the first time the existence of this mountain is mentioned in Chinese chronicles 6-7 centuries. The first attempts to get closer to the foot of Khan Tengri were taken in the mid-19th century, and made the first ascent of the Soviet expedition led by Mikhail Timofeevich Pogrebetskiy in 1930.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

For mountaineering at the time it was an event of exceptional importance, which opened a new era in the history of the sport. At present, day of Khan Tengri, in spite of its inaccessibility and technical complexity, is extremely popular among climbers from around the world an object for climbing.

1.

No sooner had the helicopter wheels touch the glacier, the pilot has hospitably opened the door of a flying machine, actively inviting us to quickly get out in a cloud of snow dust raised by the screw. Kicking out backpacks, we plopped down on top of them, and barely managed to bend their heads - helicopter screamed, and somehow sideways, clumsily pulled away from the ice and left in the direction of the pass.

Noise screws verse and reigned over the wide glacier unreal, ringing silence - literally ringing - somewhere faintly rang a silver bell - quietly but persistently tiny creek begins its long journey to the ocean ...

A bit on the side, on the side of the moraine of the glacier could be seen lightly dusted with snow tents Base Camp - a place ready for the next three weeks for us to become the center of world civilization, or simply - home ...

Well, we have to tread among the scattered backpacks, and dragged them to the side of the camp. Close like, but a little step to accelerate - and breathe already - height until akklimatizirueshsya, on the head immediately beats, relentlessly and viciously, and there is no salvation apart from outright resistance. Height drives you down, and you climb up, and whose stubbornness stubborn, and he won, otherwise nothing.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Base Camp at the foot of the Northern Inylchek North Wall Khan Tengri - the place is very hard to reach, all communication with the outside world is carried out with the help of a helicopter. On the turntable here all the equipment is imported, food and fuel, since in addition to diesel and gas, there is nothing here even a mug of warm water. The season is short, consider only the month of August makes it relatively safe to move closer to the top, whose cranky disposition and changeable mood are known to the whole world of mountaineering. During this one-month adventurers come here from many countries, to challenge a worthy opponent. On average, people camp for a season of 300 passes. Of the three hundred, luck will smile less than half, and who is not, and will smile at all, and even vice versa.

To our arrival to the elongated moraine stood for about fifty tents. We poked over the rocks, found a place relatively smooth. That's our camp. Nearby spread someone's tent, clearly kitchen forwarding. Come get acquainted. Well, what do you think ?! A person something - all the friends! From Moscow, the guys in the past year on Moskvina Glade under Communism Peak is also near the camps were. Great peace, but too small, especially in the mountains. Several people have returned from the mountain, climbed to the top ... The joy in the camp!

You look at the faces of black, happy and radiant, and jealous of this happiness black envy. After all, they already have something that even the best of friends do not share, something that can only be in the absolute personal property - fabulous wealth, inexhaustible.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

But we do not have yet. And who knows if, in fact everything depends on luck, and she a girl windy. Here we sit together, celebrate the joy of others, admire the Mount. And she - directly opposite stands - a huge pyramid of rock, with a flirty streaked under the top. North Wall. A right - we comb the whole classical route as palm, what is there so long, it would seem, do ?!

 

You know, in the mountains it is quite impossible to assess the scale of the objects, which, because of their remoteness easily covered look, but do not give a hint of its real proportions. And the score sizes vary greatly. Here's an example that we in Moscow tallest? Of course, our favorite tower, Ostankino, which hang noodles across the country, and even goes to neighboring countries.

You look at it, and the spirit is already at the bottom of captures. But take that same TV tower, and, for example, to the same side of Khan Tengri bailiffs. You then her with the magnifying glass will look, and do not immediately notice. Like a blade of grass it will be compared with the Mountain. Here's your assessment on the eye. A big mountain does not seem to catch the eye not for that, here and please indefinite object size. In the photos, for example, how many people on the mountain looks and not even remotely presents that there is no human greatness, even human ant can not be compared on the side of a giant. Natural cosmic philosophy.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Initially, the plan pondering climb Khan, after all we had planned to fly to the "South". But someone else's phrase, accidentally fell on the ears in a moment of hesitation, changed the decision in favor of the camp, "North". Although I already knew this, how that version of the route from the South was easier, so he was also dangerous. There are constantly people were killed. In the North they also died, but in a different proportion, and for other reasons.

2.

A few days before our arrival in base camp, when you try the descent from the peak Chapaev died climber from Germany. What happened, it remains only between him and Mountain. He climbed to its limits, after several days of waiting for the weather. During this time, the team with which he got up, went down, refusing to assault. The most resistant participant decided to wait a little more and try their hand at it alone. Luck smiled grimly to it, and the weather has given a chance to climb, but the chance to be a trap, and a smile Good luck - mockery. Recent strength elderly climber (he was 50), depleted long stay at a high altitude, went to the difficult hours of the assault seven thousand mountains. Exhausted climbing climber, however, decided not to go down the south side of Khan Tengri - where he was raised, and unknown to him the North side.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Strange as it sounds, the decision was quite common. In the few days that he spent in the assault camp, strong snowfalls loaded slopes of a huge amount of snow, and the descent to the south would be very risky. But to remain at the top climber could not. In difficult conditions the weather turned bad again, he single-handedly tried to climb the Peak Chapaev, where begins a long, steep, but safe from avalanches way of life. Already at the very top, extremely emaciated, dying man could not find the key to his salvation - clue - the beginning of the railing rope, fastened at the top. Ropes covered with snow, and a death trap shut.

Meanwhile, season climbing Khan Tengri went on the decline - the strongest teams have already celebrated their successful ascent to Base Camp, while climbers, overestimated their strength, sadly removed and lowered down the upper camp. Fewer people wandered along the taut and snow peppered with fixed ropes - they have worked their season.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

It so happened that this year we arrived a little later others. However, mountain climbing and adventurous - the concept is the same root. Why not try where others are not lucky? In beauty fun mood is constantly changing - who knows, maybe today we are in favor?

3.

You know that thing in high-altitude mountaineering ?! If you do not know, do not guess. Patience. Carrying loads to the first camp, descend, overnight, again the first camp, overnight, descent, a short rest, zabroska second camp ... So, very slowly we are approaching the point where it will be possible to make a sharp jerk and catch the mountain by surprise - to get before its holy of holies - to the top.

Ten days later, the monotonous hard work, everything was ready for the final throw - at an altitude of 5600 was a tent, stuffed with food and fuel, the second tent was also there - waiting for his moment to be in the assault camp 6100 - the decisive boundary between a safe height and the zone of death - height, where the lifetime of a person confined to a few days.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

After resting and promayavshis boredom for two long days in Base Camp, having played 1000 games in the bum, reading out to Playboy holes and get acquainted with all our neighbors, we have decided to no longer put off the moment of truth.

It - when taken within the rigid decision to go to the top. Complex psychological trick, but the feeling of coming out on top - the most crucial moment in mountaineering. A little bit of hesitation or doubt made - all is lost. There will be no success, no luck. It may end badly. The main thing - completely tuned to the fact that all the forces, all the will and the capacity of the organism will be collected into a single force - the assault. Details - this technique. just you and the mountain, your enemy in the world. Your advantage - the ability, tenacity and cunning. Gore - is the element, which confront on an equal man has no power. It can not be overcome or conquer, this is absurd. Gore can outwit or to earn her respect. First - it is dangerous, and the second - an incredibly difficult and manage units.

For the second day we are on the route, which at this time we need to continue to the top, on the second attempt did not have time. After spending the night in the camp 5600, load a tent and food for two days storm, topping the top adjacent to the Khan Tengri Peak Chapaev, we went down to the saddle a bit above that crashed assault camp 6100 - cold, without any hint of convenience tiny snout between cliffs, where hardly fit several tents. From here the road only up - the steep rocks ridge to the summit, which seems to become close, but in fact it just is not available, as well as from the bottom, from the Base Camp.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

4.

An hour before the alarm clock, I was awakened by the rattle of stones under whose the cats. From the corner of his eyes looked out of the narrow hole the size of a penny - the hood of the sleeping bag was properly tightened, the tent was a real frank Dubakov. It dawned. Izvernuvshis snake in a sleeping bag, I looked at the clock - 6 am .. Who suffered so early, when the air is still ringing from the night cold ?!

- Hey, good morning!
- Do not speak Russian ...

These were two Iranians who, in spite of the serious cold night, came out of the camp on the saddle before dawn - it is a selfless act, taking into account that the thermometer dropped to below -30 that night ...

But the example is contagious. After lying still for fifteen minutes in a sleeping bag, I decided to also start gathering. But to solve this one ... If you try to get out of the sleeping bag I almost filled up with the collapse of frost, the frozen thick layer of the walls of the tent the night. And, as usual, the largest piece of natural hit by the collar, and then disappeared the last vestiges of sleepiness.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Viciously popihav elbow partner, I received a reply from the tightly tightened downy cocoon categorical statement that anywhere today he does not go, and do what he's up there ... forgot to insist is useless, the decision is made every man for himself.

 

Without much appetite, I whip up a breakfast dried apricots and barely warm tea from a thermos, he pulled down his pants, boots, sleeping bag rolled up and put away - not was soaked when the sun came out of the summit, prigreet tent and frosting inside begins to melt. Then he gently undid the zipper frosted. The flow of cold air hit in the face. Compared with the temperature outside, -10 in the tent were simply resort. While getting out of the tent and fastens the cat, the camp went up another two, this time by the French.

They went with a break of one hundred meters, a fairly rapid pace, and soon confidently out of sight amid the chaos of the crest of the rocks. A sense of national pride was the last straw, which lacked to make a last effort to fasten shaggy rope Jumar and start climbing.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Black mass peaks above his head lit up with sunlight shining halo - the sun rose on the opposite side of the mountain, and about to bask in its rays at least until noon, could not even think. Muttering to himself, the words jammed in my head vulgar songs, I slowly slid the rope Jumar and rearranged heavy, like a diver's boots. Steps five, no more, until the organism wakes up and does not adapt to the load. Five Steps. Breathe. Another five. And so on. Soon, indeed, it became easier. Gone need for respite, just measured a leisurely pace.

 

Yeah, and that's Frenchies. One sits, his head rested on his knees, bad man. I kicked him awakened. He explained that sleep is necessary to go down, it's not the place. The Frenchman nodded his head and did not seem to really listening to my words. Okay, he had a partner up on the mountain, that's okay, in a pinch, will pick up on the way down.

Coming on the sly. Some time later, I see the second paddling. Even amused, that's certainly the height of the brain kills. Hanging currently Frenchman almost peretёrtoy rope on a steep rock, a rocky ledge, scratches stone cats, hanging, can not do anything. And why there has got even can not explain. The fact that a flat path dumped wind the rope on the right side of the cliff, you just have to throw them back and had to go in peace, and this idiot why the forehead climbed ... Well, we had to bail out foreign tourist. He went down, threw a rope, missed me - smiling, thanks. Offbeat but good. I gave him for it from my thermos to take a sip - it is necessary to care for others, for it helps us to God.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

A ridge becomes steeper still, the top can be seen the beginning of the couloir Pogrebetskiy - there should be sharply right away, because the ridge goes into the cliffs atop the tower, do not climb there, and on the right popolozhe glacier, and climb on it, you can almost to the tops of the rocks.

Weather, judging by all appearances, gave, can not 100%, but still fairly certain chance of climbing. Horizon clear, but here and there began to assemble small elongated cloud - not a good sign.

5.

Incredibly long snow dome tops began immediately after the release from the rocks. Six hours of continuous walking, plus the height of a seven kilometer - frankly do not want to move, rolls drowsiness and lethargy. Before the top of left some hundred meters, and despite the weather completely spoil to success only a few steps. By the time among whiteout loomed something strangeness expressive forms stand out against the harsh mountain landscape, it took at least an hour. Half snow-covered geodesic triangulation, hung with rags and scraps of flags. Vertex. Do not see any DIG. Sweeps. Moral and physical strength remains only on one experience - the joy that never-ending climb over, now only down there, and rejoice more thoroughly.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

... Adhere to the railing mitten - Ariadne's thread - let go and everything - will stay forever in a white whirlwind. No trace, not even a hint of any landmarks around there, only a dense flow of a blizzard rushes rushes on the chest, back drives. But no, I have now only the road down there, where is not a deadly height perched on rocks zhёltenkaya palatochka, and in it - a warm sleeping bag, hot tea and Sergei, a faithful friend. Gobble, I suppose, for the whole day, all products in the sleeping climbed, and even tea does not care for me ...

But not on a fine bytovuhe eventually founded a strong man's friendship! I gulls and myself will do, not the first time ...

Closer to the density of the rocks snow stream falls, and I see that on the snow dome to get out one of the French, who first went. That same stubborn man, will reward him for it today. Although it will have to work - I too, when got here, I thought that the top of next ...

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

We exchanged a few words, a greater force is not enough. He greeted me with a mountain, and I wished him good luck. While there is little that can change - if he reached here, to the top of the already popolzёt canines, are too high in the game. And I, with my heart and ease tiredness wild in the body, continue to go down. Rope burns gloves, but eight vstёgivat no desire - to push through razlohmachennuyu and icy loop in the trigger device is already beyond the capacity. In any case, a carbine fastens to quite down not fly. Run faster down to life and warmth. Clinging to the rope, in a few minutes to roll down to the top of the couloir. That's wonderful, when I was resting on the rise here, it seemed that quite a bit to the top ...

But what is that ?! Among the stones he seemed to head in a helmet, and climbed on the ice rink Iranian. And I have to think about them no longer, they were really bad in the morning, no chance. However, the chances of them has not increased and now. Looking closer, I saw that the two are not even in the last forces, and completely without them, one will ... Here, in fact, the devil.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

The boys fell on the ice and panting, saying it was not the strength. And then I saw something from which he was seriously scared. Iranian One cat was not on one of the shoes. Probably I lost. Mad Men, they still continued to climb. No cats here as a leg, and on the way down even worse. I began to explain to them the situation - that the weather worsens, the time for many, up to the top so far. AND ONE OF YOU WITHOUT CATS !!! Useless. On the petrified faces of the decision to go to the end, whatever the cost. Two barely alive mad corpse. I was the last person to have seen these guys. They do not come down or that day or the next. They were never found.

 

My pessimistic forecasts have not come true - in a tent on 6100 Seryoga sat and prepared tea. During the whole day doing nothing, he rested and gained strength - of me to say this could not be in any way - even to say hello really could not, and only removing the cats, I got into nirvana down sleeping bags, where in the next few hours I did not have to entice even the wonders of the world !

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

Our group was the last to climb this season. Passing an empty intermediate camps, we descended into the empty base camp without problems. There was only the staff, guides, and more zapozdnivshihsya climbers waiting to board the next.

Alone turned yellow on the moraine base tent, where we waited nemudrёnye, but still awaited, prepared for themselves gifts - a few cans of beer, banal, but such a desirable Dried roach and Playboy magazine ... What more should be tired winners ?!

6.

Two days later, we have frightened black terrible altitude Sun waitresses in the best restaurant in Almaty - the city - where the motley pattern harmoniously intertwined Asian heat, cool shady gardens, the freshness of the fountains and shining smile the world's most beautiful girls (after three weeks of communication with mountains difficult to say otherwise).

A close above the town of Mount frowned thunderclouds. But it did not matter. It was important to another.

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team

We took with him a mountain ... banal, slightly awkward sense of ownership. And pride. By immaterial non-existent ... Think about somewhere visited, so what ?! But a sense of inner enrichment and joy of victory prevails. And let only victory over himself, and all the wealth within, and not worth a penny ... But now we have a mountain. Quite differently start to treat grief, if it went on top of ...

Climbing Khan Tengri with the MCS AlexClimb team