GREAT SAIL PEAK

Posted on: December 1, 2002


Alexander Odintsov on the first ascent of Rubicon (ED2: 9C A4 3,800') Great Sail Peak, Baffin Island. [Photo] Dmitri Lifanov

From April 26-June 10, our team made the first ascent of Rubicon (ED2, VI 5.11a A4, ca. 1158m). After we summitted, I BASE jumped from the top. This was the first time a wall has been BASE jumped after being climbed via a new route (We are unable to confirm this as we go to press.-Ed.). Ours was a joint expedition of "The Russian Extreme Project" (Valery Rozov, leader; Lev Dorfman, videographer; and Dmitry Lifanov, photographer) and "The Russian Project: The Big Walls" climbing team, which comprised Alexander Odintsov (leader), Alexander Klenov, Mikhail Davy, and Alexander Ruchkin.

Nearly three weeks passed from the time we approached the wall and placed the first protection to the moment we all gathered on the summit. Two or three days were claimed by the weather; one day was for rest and rehabilitation. The climb itself took sixteen long working days. Five days were spent working on the lower part of the wall, fixing eight pitches to a snow ledge, and retreating to base camp at night. The overall difficulty of the wall limited our speed to no more than one or two pitches per day. When the ropes stretched all the way to the snow ledge, we were ready for takeoff. We fixed seventeen pitches on the main wall and lived on the wall for twelve days.

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Our choice of the wall was not accidental. Alexander Odintsov's team met Alex Lowe's team in 1999 while climbing on Great Trango Tower.

That's when we learned about Great Sail Peak. It was not only a logical and beautiful wall, but also a tribute to the memory of a great alpinist we were honored to know.

— Valery Rozov, Russia

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