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  Everest 2007:  Alexander Abramov 7 Summits Club Everest expedition: The Russians vent


©EverestNews.com

DENALI - FORBIDDEN MOUNTAINS. WHY ?

For Ludmila Korobeshko - Denali is closed

Dear Mountaineering Society !!!!

I’d like to draw your attention to the question of climbing Mt McKinley and abnormal situation with commercial groups. Every year Denali rangers arrest and impose fines on respected people: representatives of respected companies, Alpine clubs. Very often their charges have no real ground. What is in fact going on: 6 companies captured the right to control Denali climbs. Only 6!

Even the majority of American companies (successfully working all over the world – Himalaya, Karakorum, Antarctica) have no right to work with their clients on McKinley. So people are deprived of the right to choose their favorite guide, favorite company. Next: these 6 companies are unable to provide their services for all those wishing to climb Denali. Rangers give permits for about 1600 people a year, but these 6 companies can really work with no more than 600.

For the remaining 1000 people rangers joyfully suggest going “in a sport style”!!!! Without guides!!! Though the majority of these people need if not guides, than at least experienced leaders.

1000 mountaineers, who have never been to this severe and very specific region, are forced to go alone without experienced friends. Because as soon as you come to Denali for the second time and bring 1-2 friends with you, you get immediately under suspicion and penalty up to deportation from the USA. Doesn’t it look like a nightmare or “Witch hunting”?

The only thing this unreasonable law comes to is the fact that travel agencies send new guides and leaders with their clients, who don’t know the region and important details of the climb.

Rangers catch them and impose fines. There doesn’t exist any similar strange rule in any other part of the world. On any mountain they welcome experienced outfitters and experienced and famous guides, who bring clients every year, who are very familiar with the peculiarities of the region and who can guarantee safe climbs.

I’d like to give our 7 Summits Club as and example. Right now we have 209 members in our club. 209 people fascinated by the idea of 7 Summits.

Every year our members climb Denali.
These are Russian mountaineers, who set the aim to climb all 7 Summits. It’s a common knowledge, that Russians started traveling abroad only 15 years ago, when Communists opened the boarders. The majority of Russians didn’t speak English at all, so they lack the knowledge, which is almost essential for the USA. In attempt to help these climbers, our club used to send a leader-interpreter with them. For two years Ludmila Korobeshko acted in this capacity. She has special University degree – the teacher of English. Once rangers even asked her to help them interview 2 Russian mountaineers, who didn’t understand a word in English.

Ludmila has never been to the summit of Denali !!! She is not a professional guide !!! She hasn’t any kind of guide certificate. She has only University degree in English. And what was the result of her two trips? Rangers fined Ludmila for 300 dollars suspecting her to work as an illegal guide !!!

After this case we stopped sending our representative with our 7 Summits Club members. Instead we agreed with the rangers that they permit us organize only logistics for our club members. So we worked in this way last season, though the absence of the leader in groups has a negative impact on the safety of the climb.

For safety reasons the majority members of our club want to climb 7 Summits with Russian leaders or guides. That’s why they turn to other Russian travel agencies or to private guides who are not as much well-known as “7 Summits Club” who agree to take all the risks for offering Denali climb with Russian guides.

This year we only gave a consultation for 10 of our club members and they started the procedure of asking for the Denali permit themselves. No one from them has been to Denali before. But the rangers refused to give them the permit suspecting that this is a commercial group…

How long is this outrageous situation going to last!
Why people wishing to climb 7 Summits and not breaking the USA laws are suspected not in espionage, not in terrorist actions against the USA government, but in the fact that they want to spend their own time and money for reaching the noble aim – reaching the highest point of North America.

Furthermore, why the Rangers need this monopoly:
Let’s compare prices for the services:
6 happy companies offer prices of about $5000 per person for the guided ascent. This price includes services started from the flight to Kahiltna glacier only.

When we sent the group with the leader-interpreter, the price of the trip for the club member didn’t exceed $2500 per person starting from lodgings in Anchorage, then transfer to Talkeetna, lodgings in Talkeetna and then the flight to Kahiltna glacier. That price was also inclusive of the leader’s airfare from Moscow, lodgings and board.

It’s obvious that it was not commerce, and a leader went not as a ‘professional guide’, not for salary, but for the love of the mountains and Alaska region. Why is it that rangers forbid even this kind of activity?

Why they follow up and impose penalties on people who come to Denali for the second time?

Why 3 people, who come for the first time and hence have no experience, have the right to climb?

And why 3 people and 1 more who has already been to the mountain and can help them safely climb McKinley, have no such right?

It’s only 1 example. But they are numerous. And there are many companies who have negative experience dealing with Denali rangers. Not any other of 7 Summits can boast such a strange and illogical rule. On such a famous and internationally important mountain it is necessary either to forbid commercial activity altogether or allow it to companies satisfying certain (not local!!) but international standards.

We respect the laws of USA and those of Alaska State. But we believe that such a rule is profitable only for a very small number of people and is harmful for a big number of climbers all over the World. All those who are moved by this article, who suffered from Denali Rangers and from this particular rule, please contact 7 Summits Club!

If we join our forces, we can change the current situation!

Alex Abramov
Director of "7 summits club"

Earlier: News from 7 Summits Club & Alpindustria Everest Expedition 2007

From the leader of expedition, Alex Abramov

Everest Base Camp from the North, 5200м.

Today we have celebrated Day of the Victory. 12 participants of travel on motobikes (a route Lhasa - Katmandu) have risen to us in the base camp. They arrived yesterday in Rongbuk, and today came to us to dinner. Dmitry Rysin and Igor Kulishov (heads of expedition) told us about their adventures on road from Lhasa. Some accidents have taken place, basically because of collision with animals. Anybody from bikers has not suffered seriously. They were forced to leave their motorcycles in Rongbuk - any type of transport, except for horses and special jeeps could go through the Chinese check-point .

A festive lunch was perfect, with toasts for the Victory, for Mountain, for "mad people" (i.e. people such as climbers and motorcyclists), all team was photographed at finish. Then guys have left to Rongbuk camp.

For the evening dinner we have called for Russell, Jamie, Ronnie Muhl - the member of our last year's expedition from South Africa. Russell has brought a message that this day 17 Chinese have reached the Everest summit. Though the strong wind complicated an ascent. Ronnie, Jamie and Mr. Chvan came a bit later. There were again toasts for the Victory, songs about war and peace. And when it darkened, we have arranged fireworks in honour of a holiday.

May, 10 - day of rest and preparation. May, 11 all team goes upward. First in АВС, then - as soon as weather will allow - upward by two groups. Today after breakfast, doctor Sergey Larin has made medical survey of all participants who have come back from rest. All is normal, everyone can go on an ascent.

Lyudmila Korobeshko from BC the Everest, Tibet, 5200
 

Earlier: Seems like the first Everest summit this season has just taken place!!! One our ago 6 p.m. Chinese time our friends Vassily Pivtsov and Maxud Zumaev called Alex Abramov on the radio and said that they had successfully reached the summit of Everest (they started from 7900 last night at 10 pm). NO OXYGEN, no Sherpa support!!! It's their 11th 8-thousander (each of them has 10 already). Vassily said they will try to go down as low as possible - in the worst case they will sleep at 8300. The weather is more or less ok now, no strong wind. We are wishing safe descend all the best to our friends - Vassily and Maxud!!! Congratulations!!!

Alex Abramov, 7 summits Club Everest expedition leader

Earlier: News form Everest Expedition 2007: From Alex Abramov. 7 Summits Club

NEWS FROM 29TH OF APRIL

Hello! Today April, 27, Friday. Sergey Larin with his friends finishes the program by an ascent on the North Col. A Day before Dmitry Zjuz' has reached height of North Col also finished his program. Those who goes up to the top, have spent the night on North Col. Now we have a small rest in АВС. Under the plan we leave tomorrow again up to the North Col. Spending the night, then we would rise higher than Peak Communisma at height of 7600 meters.

In area of ABC we have met Dutch climber Vim Hof, which in blinkers and with a naked body goes to the Everest. The second meeting, is Norwegian climber Pedersen, which in the childhood has lost both hands. He already went to the South Pole - a full campaign, about 1000 kilometers, and now has arrived for an ascent to the Everest.

Our friends Maksud and Vasily from Kazakhstan were forced to turn back, not to reach the Everest, because of a strong wind.

Best regards ! Alex

Earlier: April, 22 2007 Everest АBC from the North, 6400м.

April, 22. Two days of bad weather. And so we had to change our plans. Our Sherpas could not finished their work on the Saddle. We have made a training in seracs near the camp. Horizontal – vertical fixed ropes and abseiling.

April, 23.: Today we made a good outing to the base of the North Wall. All 15 persons are in good form, everything is OK. Sherpas have finished their work on the North Col, our cook Pumba was left to watch our tents.

Maxud Jumaev and Vassily Pevtsov came again to our camp. They decided to have one day more of rest. It seems that they will start to climb Everest. As usual, without O2.

Tomorrow morning guide Sergey Larin with his mini-team Rafael Nagapetianz and Alexander Kibalko (the well-known skater) have left to ABC camp.

We plan to reach tomorrow the North Col and to spend a night on 7100м.

Earlier: Tomorrow we leave upward, in АВС and our plan for 10 days will be the following. For the beginning we go to 6400 meters. There we spend two days of preparation, and then we climb on the North Col and go down again to ABC on 6400м. After rest, we again climb on the North Col and there we spend a night. From there we leave for acclimatization on 7500-7700 meters. And after that long, 10-day`s campaign we should go down in base camp. Approximately it will be May, 1-2.. In general everything goes normal, though some person already have gone home. Basically on family circumstances. Some on a state of health.
All others are healthy, our Sherpas work, they already have put a camp on the North Col.

Earlier:

We are sending you the latest info from our expedition on Everest from Tibet side. 7 Summits Club.
 
April 18 our team of 15 members returned to BC, 5200, from the second acclimatization hike when we reached 6400 - ABC.
April 16 we walked to North Col face - the ropes were already fixed and we saw a group of 4 climbers on the face.
In the evening of the same day we had a visit to our camp by two famous Kazakh climbers - Maxud Zhumaev and Vasilii Pivtsov.
They are going to climb Everest without oxygen. In June 2007 they are planning to climb K2. They already have climbed 10 out of 14 8-thousanders.
April 18 we returned to BC, where 4 our friends were awaiting us - guide Sergey Larin (Everest summitter 2003) with 2 members and guide Sergey Kofanov (Everest Summitter 2006). They left for ABC on April 19.
 
The rest of the team is having rest in BC, getting ready for the last acclimatization bid, playing ping-pong, taking sauna and driving a motobike which Alex Abramov, expedition leader, rented for the period of the expedition to be able to drive to Rongbuk and back.
 
Tomorrow we are living for ABC, planning not to descend to BC for the next 8-10 days, spending 6-7 nights in ABC, 3 nights on the North Col and making 1 acclimatization hike abouve 7500.
 
Best regards
 
Ludmila Korobeshko, Everest BC, 5200, Tibet

Earlier: Alex Abramov News from Everest Expedition of 7 Summis-Club 12.04.07

A lot of events. First, we have gone down from Intermediate camp, having spent a night on 5800м. We all are alive and healthy. Night has passed almost without any problem. Only one of yaks has lain near tent where Sergey Batura was slept. And Sergey was forced to try to get it away all night using a thermos, but at daybreak he has decided, that with yak is even warmer.

Second, when we have gone down in BC, we were met by doctor Andrey Selivanov, guide Sergey Kofanov and Armen Rshtuni. Sergey feels quite normally after his illness.

Third, well-known climbers from Kazakhstan Vasily Pivtsov and Maxud Jumaev came to us on a visit. They already have 10 eightthousanders without oxygen. Now they are going to climb Everest, also without oxygen and very quick (as soon as possible). And in June they already want to leave on К-2.

Fourthly, we have started to mark Day of Astronautics since morning, and then Birthday of our comrade Ilya Gruzdeva. He will gather our team to climb Everest next year. Now a tennis match between Kazakhs and Russians goes in sports tent.
About results - in the following message.

Ludmila Korobeshko from BC, Everest, Tibet, 5200 m

Earlier: Arrival in base camp.

Yesterday, April, 8 the main group (14 person + Lyudmila Korobeshko) has arrived to the Base Camp at height 5200 m. We were met by Sergey Kofanov, Alexander Bichenko, Andrey Selivanov, which here already about one week here. They had time to prepare all camp with the maximal comfort for our arrival. Here was also Alexander Abramov, he has arrived in BC day prior to us that to be convinced of readiness of camp.

In the evening we have sat behind dinner in honour of the official beginning of a sports stage of expedition. Before it we had time to put a special tent ("sports hall") with a tennis table inside and even have carried out some matches.

The first night on 5200 m was disturbing. The guide Sergey Kofanov unexpectedly fell severely ill. Early in the morning, doctor Andrey Selivanov has gone together with Sergey on a jeep in Xegatse, to the regional hospital. There is a suspicion on appendicitis though it is possible, that this simply strong food poisoning. His friend Armen Rshtuni accompany them. If it will be necessary he will stay with Sergey, and doctor Andrey Selivanov should return in BC. Today in the morning April, 9 Armenak Tigranian has left our expedition. To regret, he has fallen a victim to mountain illness. Anything dangerous. Soon he should arrive to Moscow healthy, though tired.

Other members of expedition feel like more or less normally: today since morning we have taken a walk down to Old Rongbuk. The day after tomorrow we leave up to 5800 m - Intermediate Camp - and there we spend a night. Then we shall go downwards and after rest we shall go on 6400 m – to АВС.

The list of participants of expedition:

- John Delaney, Ireland
- Maxim Shakirov, Russia
- Israfil Ashurly, Russia - Azerbaijan
- Andrey Zajtsev, Russia
- Andrey Ivanov, Russia
- Sergey Dashkevich, Russia
- Sergey Batura, Russia
- Hannah Shields, British
- William Hazelton Tyler III, USA
- Curt Myers, USA
- Dirk Feige, German
- Armenak Tigranian, Russia
- Dmitry Zjuz', Ukraine
- Armen Rshtuni, Russia
- Bruce Matthews, New Zealand
- Rafael Nagapetianz, Russia
- Alexander Kibalko, Russia

The head: Abramov Alexander (Alex)

Guides:
- Sergey Kofanov, Russia
- Alexander Bichenko, Russia
- Sergey Larin, Russia
- Lyudmila Korobeshko, Russia

Doctor and base camp manager:
Andrey Selivanov
 

Everest 2007: Alexander Abramov and his 7 Summits Club expedition returns to Everest in 2007. Alex, unlike other low budget expeditions, brings a very large Sherpa team to the mountain. The expedition is expected to attempt the North side of Everest again. His Everest 2006 was heavily promoted by some as the the "$10000 expedition", but clients died....  Alex who works closely with the other big commercial expeditions has had mixed results on Everest with a large number of Summits but also deaths.  Alex by all accounts is a nice fellow... Stay tuned for Everest 2007...

Hundreds of other climbers are expected to attempt Everest again this year...

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