New big walls discovered in Siberia

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 29/09/2014
Basil Brush (left) and Turilov Route on The General. Chris Warner

Australians Chris Fitzgerald and Chris Warner have climbed six new routes up to 10 pitches in length on four separate granite walls in the Chukotka region of far eastern Russia.

To their knowledge these towers, north of the Arctic Circle, have never been previously climbed, the area remaining off limits to both Russians and foreigners until 20 years ago.

The pair got wind of the towers when a friend of Warner showed him a picture taken by a client, illustrating his local walking area.

From the small town of Bilibino the pair travelled 60km on quad bikes, then shuffled gear a further 4.5km to the base of a peak named Komandnaya (Commander), where they camped for 23 days.

They first climbed two routes on a wall named The General. The 375m Turilov Route (6a+) followed a continuous crack system and was climbed in a single push using natural gear

The rather more demanding Basil Brush (465m, 7a) breached the central prow and was climbed over several days, with a number of sections requiring bolts. This is a stunning line in a fine crack and corner system.

Epaulette (280m, 5c) on the shoulder of Komandnaya gave pleasant climbing using natural gear, while in the adjacent valley Gardening Australia on Launch Peak gave 305m of climbing up to 5c, again with natural pro.

A direct line on Komandnaya was thwarted by heavy rain after five pitches (up to 6b), the two unable to finish it before their pick-up team arrived. The headwall above their high point featured perfect rock and looked amazing.

Their final climb was a granite dome to the northwest of Komandnaya, which gave a single pitch of 4a.

During a little paragliding and walking through surrounding valleys they saw many towers and walls, giving potential for hundreds of new routes in this compact area.

With no glaciers or massive scree slopes, approaches are straightforward and the local people most friendly, making the trip possible through their kindness and hospitality.

The area is extremely isolated: its nice to know the world is still hiding some places.



« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 1922 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

NEW: Helvellyn winter conditions monitoring system
2
NEW: Helvellyn winter conditions monitoring system

A new winter conditions monitoring system has been setup on the Red Tarn Face of Helvellyn, providing hourly temperature data for air and turf to help winter climbers assess likely conditions before arriving at the crag.
Read more »

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1
Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants
1
Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants

The following teams received grant aid from the BMC for expeditions taking place during 2017. Most are still to leave the UK; some are currently in the field, and some have recently returned, though the results of their endeavours are presently unknown. In general, only the designated expedition organiser is named.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

NEW: Helvellyn winter conditions monitoring system
2

A new winter conditions monitoring system has been setup on the Red Tarn Face of Helvellyn, providing hourly temperature data for air and turf to help winter climbers assess likely conditions before arriving at the crag.
Read more »

Galvan and Zerain disappear while attempting second crossing of Mazeno Ridge.
1

Hope of finding the noted partnership of Argentinian Mariano Galvan, and the Spanish-Basque Alberto Zerain, who were attempting an alpine-style ascent of Nanga Parbat's Mazeno Ridge, has now faded after an aerial search on the morning of the 1st July.
Read more »

Where are they going? The BMC Expedition Grants
1

The following teams received grant aid from the BMC for expeditions taking place during 2017. Most are still to leave the UK; some are currently in the field, and some have recently returned, though the results of their endeavours are presently unknown. In general, only the designated expedition organiser is named.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »