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Asia, Russia, Siberia, Agrada, East Face, Mirror for the Hero

Agrada, east face, Mirror for the Hero. In August our team established a new route on the 2,340m Agrada, Barguzinsky Ridge, Ulzykha River Canyon. Mirror for the Hero (566m, 6B) ascends the center of the east face. The route opened in a corner with a wide complicated crack. Above the crack, a couloir opened up with lively rockfall. The couloir ended on a cornice compounded by a huge boulder we had to climb over. A steep grassy ledge offered some relief before gaining a wide couloir, which was climbed without a safe belay: a station on a single bolt. Another series of steep grassy ledges brought on a monolithic slab with blind cracks. Ice hooks were very useful to climb this section. We reached a smooth plate with a very poor relief where we used hooks to climb between cracks. Above the hook moves we gained an inclined rocky ledge where we began to fix almost vertical ropes. We accessed a corner with poor relief, but we were able to bolt it without any problems. After another corner we reached a system of cracks and grass. The hooks came out to help again. We found a nice ledge for a camp.

Further up, we freed a wide crack in wet and chilly weather. A very complicated couloir ended by a cornice and a complicated overhanging corner. A long internal corner revealed big lively edges as we made a belay station on an anchor bolt and settled into another camp. We fixed the main rope near two slanting cracks, using hooks to overcome them. We were climbing on a half rope on unpleasant lively slabs. Yet another steep grassy ledge opened up a long corner leading to the ridge straight under the top. From here, an easy ridge brought us to the summit. We spent a total of five days on the route, and placed 10 bolts. Members: O.P. Kolesov (leader), Sherstnev Igor, Lyalin Sergey, and Sherstnev Igor.

Recommendation to climbers: The specialty of this region is wet weather, especially in August, because of its proximity to Baikal. There is a lot of grass on the route, even on vertical rock. Hooks are necessary, and the rock is very tough, so I recommend bringing several drill bits, even for a Hilti.

O.P. Kolesov, Chairman of Federation of Mountaineering and Rock Climbing Republic of Bury-atiya, www.mountain.RU