AAC Publications - http://publications.americanalpineclub.org

Asia, CIS, Cherskiy Mountains

Cherskiy Mountains. Michael Doyle, Simon Inger, John Kentish and I were the first western climbers to visit the Cherskiy Mountains of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in northeast Siberia. They lie near the Arctic Circle 400 miles northwest of Magadan. We flew via Moscow and Yakutsk to Ust-Nera and were helicoptered on July 22 to the junction of the Kiureter and Leker Rivers. On July 24, we completed load carrying to Base Camp at 2100 meters on the Leker Glacier in the Buordakh Massif. After setting up Base Camp, we crossed the nearby Volgogradskiy Pass (2580 meters) to camp on the Tsariegradskovo Glacier, where we made six first ascents: P 3000 via snow route from Sasyrskiy Pass by Doyle, Knott on July 26; Peak east of Volgogradskiy Pass via snow route on west side leading to summit rocks by whole team on July 28; P 3033/3035 via rock rib on east side leading to highest summit by Doyle, Knott on July 28; Peak south of Omskiy Pass via snow/rock from Omskiy Pass by Inger, Kentish on July 28; Peak between P 3033/3035 and P 3029 via rock rib on east side by Inger, Kentish on July 30; and P 3029 via rock rib from southeast, one rib right of the summit by Doyle, Knott on July 30. Next we moved over the Shatier Pass (2450 meters) to camp on the Sumgina Glacier below the north face of Pobeda. On August 2, the whole team en route climbed Yubilyeiniy (2890 meters), an elegant snow peak, via north ridge from Bukovinskiy Pass. This had been previously climbed by a Belorus team. Snow fell and we returned to Base Camp on August 5 in unpleasant conditions. On August 7, we evacuated Base Camp and moved over the Shatier, Bukovinskiy (2550 meters) and Kiureterskiy (2500 meters) Passes to the Obruchev Glacier, ascending en route previously climbed Sovetskaya Yakutiya (2885 meters) via north ridge from Kiureterskiy Pass. Inger, Kentish and I made the ascent. On August 8, Doyle and Kentish made the first ascent of Bieliy Parus (2821 meters) via the north face, while Inger and I climbed a probable new route on Gora Pobeda (3147 meters), the highest in the region, via a couloir from the south leading to the west ridge. All heights are the “traditional” ones. These appear on all maps and information available until recently, including the sketch map of the 1990 Polish team and the 1988 Russian trekking guide. They differ from the formerly secret Russian survey maps and were found inconsistent with altimeter readings. The walk out to the Pobeda gold mine lasted nine days and was a gruelling slog across tundra. A strict daily schedule had to be maintained to ensure meeting the Yakutsk flight on August 17; on most days this meant doing 25 kilometers.

Paul Knott, Alpine Club