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ISLAMABAD: A Russian mountaineering team has abandoned its winter ascent of Amin Brakk, the ‘Great Tower’ in the Nangma region of the Karakoram Range, after an avalanche buried much of their equipment.
Serguey Grachev, Alexander Shabunin, Eugeny Dmitrienko and Andrew Glen left for Amin Brakk’s base camp on February 7.
Planning to climb until March 7, they intended to follow the 5,850-metre Sol Solet (red) route in their ‘alpine-style’ ascent, using only light and essential gear. According to the team’s blog, they had fixed nine pitches and made deposits. The night before they were to begin, however, ‘a huge avalanche buried all our gas, food, and the majority of our gear,’ Eugeny Dmitrienko said.
All four team members will be reporting to their homes, he continued, adding they hoped for better luck next time.
The team’s departure was confirmed by Karrar Haidri, a member of the Alpine Club of Pakistan’s Executive Council and also its media coordinator, who said Amin Brakk was a particularly difficult climb, as the wall was complex and extended.
Last year, a group of British climbers had considered an ascent but found it too dangerous and focused on another wall, Nawaz Brakk.
Alpine Club records attest to the difficulty of an ascent of Amin Brakk, one of the best known rock walls in the Nangma Region. The first attempt on the mountain was made in 1996, when Basque climbers Jon Lazkano and Adolfo Mdinabeitia were forced by bad weather to turn back only 300 metres from the summit.