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Asia, Russia, Caucasus, Mt. Shkhelda, Second West Peak, North Face, New Route

Mt. Shkhelda, Second West Peak, North Face, New Route. In the beginning of January, I started my new project, “Open Caucasus,” the goal of which is to promote an interest in the Caucasus region through a series of extreme first ascents from 2001 to 2003. Victor Bobok (Moscow) and I did the first ascent of the north face of Shkhelda’s Second West Peak (4310m) in the Central Caucasus. This face had challenged climbers for many years. The main problems of the face are the dangerous icefalls that shoot through the lower and middle parts of potential routes. The upper part of this route is 17 pitches of ice and mixed climbing. It is 1700 meters from the foot to the summit. The first ascent took two and a half days.

Yuri Koshelenko, Russia