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KUPOL

Posted on: December 1, 2005


In July 2005 Roxanna Brock and I went into the Sayan Mountains in Siberia to an area called Kupol. The local Irkutsk climbers attacked this area in 1999, rapping down the mountains with drills and an ass-stack of bolts. Fortunately for us they left one formation unclimbed. We put a nine-pitch line up this formation, the first all-trad climb in the area. Our route was approximately 1,100 feet tall and went at probably 5.11 with one point of aid to swing over to another crack. The climb, though short, was fairly sustained and interesting. We found a straight-up variation—a 200-foot, 5.12 finger crack—that we toproped (superawesome thin crack) but unfortunately did not have time to lead. The weather crapped out for the rest of the trip, so the route did not go free. But it still offered the best climbing in the area, we feel. Not biased at all. We named it Pofigo, which means "whatever" or "it does not matter," because it most likely will go unrepeated unless someone rap bolts it. We placed no bolts or pins.

Heidi Wirtz, Estes Park, Colorado

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