American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States, Russia, Caucasus, Kiukiurtliu, Lukashbili Route

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1998

Kiukiurtliu, Lukashbili Route. Climbers from Dagistan chose Kiukiurtliu, a mountain located on the southeastern spur of Mt. Elbrus (4.5 kilometers from the west summit), for their entry in the high altitude class of the Russian Climbing Championships. They made the fifth ascent of the T. Lukashbili route, climbing it in 54 hours from August 4-8. The route is probably the most difficult route in the Caucuses for the technical class and very rarely attempted. The main difficulties come in the remoteness of the mountain, the large frozen area around the cold wall, and the fact that the route starts at 4000 meters. The sun hits the wall at 2 p.m. Due to its steepness (there is snow only on one section on the middle part of the route), there are problems with water. The region is known for its harsh weather; usually it clouds over and snows in the afternoon. This complicates the ascent and creates psychological tension. The wall is composed of volcanic rock. On the ascent, the pro barely held; half of the stoppers protruded out from the surface. The approach beneath the wall via the headwall ice was 45°. On their bivouac, the climbers used pipes to make a “greenhouse” one meter wide and two and a half meters long. It made it possible to put their bivouac bags inside, and although it gathered condensation, it was relatively comfortable.

Vladimir Shataev, Russian Mountaineering Federation

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.