Chegem Valley, Ice Climbing Exploration. In February, an ice climbing expedition led by Alexander Kopylov made a reconnaissance of waterfall ice climbing possibilities in the Central Caucasus. It was the first time ice climbers had explored the Chegem Valley, which is one valley to the east from the popular and well-known Baksan Valley, which feeds into Mt. Elbrus from the south. Only a few icefalls were known about in the Caucasus, all in the Baksan Valley. Activity was concentrated on the Chegem waterfalls, a popular and well- known summertime venue. The rock face was discovered to have many routes in an area 200 meters long by 50 meters high. Only two other ice climbs in the Caucuses are known to exist of equal or greater length. The first ascent was made of the summertime waterfall Tymiauz (90 meters of vertical ice), and Kopylov soloed a 50-meter route. An article and photos on the fruits of the exploration can be found at http://mountains.tos.ru/ice_foto.htm.
Vladimir Shataev, Russian Mountaineering Federation