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Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States (C.I.S.), Russia, Caucasus, Kiukiurtliu, Northwest Face, Lukashvilly Route

Our special thanks to Vladimir Kopylov (http://mountains.tos.ru) of the Russian Mountaineering Federation for his invaluable help on this section.

Kiukiurtliu, Northwest Face, Lukashvilly Route. From August 21-27, a team of the Moscow Mountaineering Federation led by Alexander Abramov and comprising N. Vlasov, L. Dorfman, O. Milenin and I. Turchaninov climbed the 1981 Lukashvilly Route on the northwest face of Kiukiurtliu (4639m). Kiukiurtliu is situated in the Elbrus group; the ascent is one of the most difficult routes of the Caucasus. The team climbed during bad weather with a lot of snowfall, fog and cold. The route goes along the left part of the headwall on completely vertical terrain. The rock face is about 1000 meters high with a very steep average incline. The problem of this face is that the rock is not very hard and in order to make good belay points it is necessary to use long, specially-made pitons of 15 or even 20 centimeters.

The same team had tried to climb a new route on the face in December, 1999, but the weather conditions were very terrible. The team spent more than a week waiting for better weather, but received only deep snow and fog.

Vladimir Shataev, Russian Mountaineering Federation