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Asia, CIS—Caucasus and Pamirs, Diklos-mta, Addala and Addala East, Dagestan

Diklos-mta, Addala and Addala East, Dagestan, Caucasus. This British- Ukrainian expedition climbed in the Snegovoy and Bogosski ranges in the remote western part of Dagestan in the Eastern Caucasus from August 11 to September 8. We made three first British ascents and two new routes. German Gottfried Merzbacher first climbed here exactly 100 years ago. After him and Hungarian Mór Déchy in 1897, there had been no further climbers from outside the Soviet block. Alpinists from Dagestan and other parts of the Soviet Union added to Merzbacher’s nine routes, but the area had really seen little climbing. On August 19, Mike Doyle and I made a new route variant on Diklos-mta (4285 meters, 13,730 feet), a new couloir and a new direction of traverse. Most of the team opted for the established route on the east ridge. They were forced by white-out to turn back just below the summit. Doyle and I, having climbed a couloir to the south ridge, were committed to traversing the mountain via a long and highly dubious crenellated ridge of crumbling shale. On August 27 Doyle, Ewan French, Adam White and I, and Ukrainians Mikhail Bogomapov and Yuri Cherevko climbed the normal northwest ridge of Addala (4151 meters, 13,619 feet), mostly rock. The shale was mainly frozen for the climb but thawed, allowing a rapid sliding descent. Moving to the northeast side of Addala, we found an impressive cirque of peaks. A snow-and-ice line on Addala East (4025 meters, 13,205 feet) looked inviting. It had the advantage of avoiding the shale. On August 30, Doyle, Bogomapov, Nikolai Drobotenko and I completed this new route. The summit message showed the only previous ascent had been in 1986, by the north ridge.

Paul Knott, Alpine Club