In the year of 2000 we organized several expeditions in the Himalayas, Kun-Lun and Caucasus. The weather conditions in the mountains were extraordinarily bad and did not allow us to realize all our plans. However, many of our climbers were lucky enough and could do the successful climbs.
We thank all our friends, colleagues and partners that helped us to do our expeditions - Mr. Jorma Alanen (Finland), Mr. Manuel Lugli (Focus World Expeditions, Italy), Mr. Nikolay Shchetnikov (Dostuck-Trekking, Kirghizstan), Mr. Kong Bao Cun (China Xinjiang Mountaineering Association, China), Mr. Johan Heersink (Alpex High Alpine Expeditions, Holland), Mr. Sean Disney (Adventure Dynamics, South Africa) and others. Also, due to the help of Mr. Arkady Klepinin of Risk Online , the editors of Mountain RU and CET Neva we had very nice publications in Internet.
FINNISH-RUSSIAN CHO-OYU (8201 m) EXPEDITION
The expedition worked from April 2 till May 21 and included five climbers from Finland (Mr. Jorma Alanen was the Finnish team leader) and four climbers from Russia. Mrs. Marina Ershova was the leader of the expedition. In Nepal and Tibet the expedition was served by Thamserku Trekking and Tibet Mountaineering Association.
The expedition used the normal climbing route from the North-West and erected three camps on 6400, 7000 and 7400 m. ABC was on 5700 m. The expedition did not use high altitude porters and the members did all work themselves. It was a really hard work because of the extremely bad weather in the Himalayas this spring.
Three Russians could overcome all difficulties of the weather and high altitude and reached the summit of Cho-Oyu, 8201 m. On May 10 Marina Ershova started from Camp 2 at 04:00, reached the summit at 14:30 and descended to Camp 3 at 19:00. On May 12 Oleg Nassedkine and Evgueni Kouzmine started from Camp 3 at 05:45, reached the summit at 11:40 and descended to Camp 3 at 15:00.
Unfortunately, two climbers were lost on the slopes of Cho-Oyu. Noora Toivonen (Finland) and Pavel Bonadyssenko (Russia) tried to reach the summit on May 5. They started from Camp 3 and were seen on the altitude about 8000 m. But after mid-day the summit was covered by clouds and a very bad weather began again. Nobody has seen they or their footprints after that.
MUZTAGH-ATA (7546 m) EXPEDITION
This expedition worked from July 10 till August 1. It was a really international expedition because it included seventeen persons from Russia, Holland, Belgium, USA and Indonesia. The expedition was led by Mr. Andrey Ershov and Mr. Johan Heersink. In Kirghizstan and China the expedition was served by Dostuck-Trekking, China Xinjiang Mountaineering Association and the company of Mr. Kong Bao Cun.
The expedition started from Bishkek, crossed the Kirghizstan-China border and via Kashgar arrived at the Muztagh-Ata Base Camp on 4450 m. We used the normal route from the West and set our tents on 5300 m (Camp 1), 5800 m (Intermediate Camp), 6200 m (Camp 2) and 6800 m (Camp 3). The weather was very bad and almost every day we had clouds on the mountain, strong wind and very deep snow. Several times deep snow covered the site of Base Camp. Because of the weather the expedition members were forced to spend several days in Base Camp, Camp 1 and Intermediate Camp. There were many inexperienced climbers in the expedition and such extraordinary conditions were very hard for them.
Some of the members had no skis or snowshoes and deep snow on the slopes of Muztagh-Ata did not allow them to reach the altitudes more than 5800 - 6200 m. Several climbers used ski and they could reach the altitude about 7300 m. And only two climbers, Alexander Urbanskiy (Russia) and Wolfgang Hokenmaier (USA) could overcome all difficulties and summited Muztagh-Ata, 7546 m on July 27.
KONGUR (7719 m) EXPEDITION
The expedition worked from July 30 till September 1. It was a small group and this summer weather conditions did not allow them to have a success on Kongur. A lot of very deep snow on the slopes of Kongur made them very avalanche dangerous and Johan Heersink (Holland) and Michael Parker (Australia) were forced to stop the climb on the altitude about 6300 m. They gave up their attempts to climb Kongur and summited much more easy Kezi Sel, 6525 m. Probably, it was the first ascent of the peak.
ELBRUS (5642 m) EXPEDITION
Many of our clients worried about the war in Chechnya and cancelled their Elbrus trips. However, they were wrong. The Elbrus area is far from Chechnya and it is really a very quiet and safe region of the Central Caucasus.
Twenty climbers from South Africa with their leaders Mr. Sean Disney and Mr. David Ker worked there from July 26 till August 5. And they had the great success! Nineteen of them with the help of three Russian guides summited Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m. Also, after climbing programme they had very nice trips to Moscow and St.Petersburg.
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