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Asia, Russia, Siberia, Altai Range, Pik Vector, First Ascent

Pik Vector, first ascent. From March 7-23 Aleksey Avdienko, Maxim Brits, Vitaly Ivanov (leader), and Igor Slobodchikov made the first ascent of Pik 3,716m in the Mushtuajri valley not far from the highest peak in the range, Belukha (4,506m). The team climbed the middle of the northwest face in capsule style, using portaledges. They named the peak Vector. Their route, graded 6B, is probably the hardest yet established in the Altai.

Paul Knott, New Zealand, and Anna Piunova, www.mountain.ru, Russia