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Iljas Tukhvatullin: in memoriam

   

22/10/2012 20:34

On December 6th the team consists of: Pavel Shabalin (Kirov city), Alexander Abramov (Moscow), Ilias Tukhvatulin (Tashkent) and two supporters flight in the Laylak valley up to the most difficult wall of CIS Aksu (height overall is 1700 m, average gradient 76 grades). The ascent began on December 8th. After 4 days work, on December 11 the team stared to climb the route via the "cold corner" in capsulate style using the portaledge.

Climbed 45 pitches by the wall on the night 21st to 22nd December, they were on the top. After the cold night on the top, on December 23rd they descanted.

During the ascent the weather was unstable, there were snowfalls once in 3 days. There were no frostbite and hurts though the night temperature reached -20 grade and in the ridge climbers were met by hurricane wind.

 

 

 

 

Alex and Iljas on the summit

 

 A film about this expedition

 

 

 

Denis Urubko about Iljas Tukhvatullin

 

The information from http://www.russianclimb.com/russian/index.html :
8 October, 2012 Annapurna. The avalanche...Iljas Tukhvatullin group was climbing from C1 to C2 yesterday, when the huge avalanche headed down... It happened on 3 p.m. Iljas and Ivan Lobanov have been burried, only one climber was not caught. He tried to find his friends, but it was impossible... He ascended the rest 150 m to C2 - there was the safety place, the air wave only broke the tent... Then he descended to C1 and radioed to BC. Today Gleb Sokolov and his group are asceding from BC to the tragedy place to try to find somebody... It was not the serac crash, the whole icy slope fell down, perhaps as a result of earthquake...

 

 

«The engineer-physicist by a trade, ILjas has shown at once magnificent organizational skills. On his idea we have collected old canisters and bamboo poles from which have built graceful - in our understanding - a table and benches round it after district. Looked like the African bungalow. Masts for aerials and flags too were established under the guidance of the representative of sovereign republic Uzbekistan. Sometimes between times it taught us how to develop protection of space objects against defeat by laser beams.


- The most important deal was that IT worked Before an impulse will destroy a cover, but Not earlier, than it will undergo to influence. Do you suppose a problem? And we took this atomic metal inside the inert environment… the Great idea! …


Our engineer has the ten operating copyright certificates. And all has begun with the broken aerial in which Iljas intended to freeze water, to straighten and establish. Also began to tell to us about water dispersion in vacuum ».
It is a small part from my memoirs about Iljas Tukhvatullin. If to take an overall picture of THAT winter expedition on 2 with Poles for ever there will be its smile. He was practical and romantic simultaneously. Always thought of friends, and joked - not painfully, but sharply. It was the relation… so each of us knew that we are in sphere of his attention which could help during the necessary moment. When we established the Second Camp, and moved upwards incredible heavy backpacks, Iljas took the heaviest burden.


Now I look at northern slope of Annapurna with melancholy. To tell the truth, the mountain kind cuts heart, though… but why the mountain?!? Two months ago we talked with Dmitri Sinev about Annapurna. I did not know details of planned expedition. But has told eberything that remembered. And especially rested on thought as has had luck Simone Moro and me on this route. As it was terrible to run on avalanche paths under a greedy sight seracs from above.


And here - I sit, the computer keyboard is thrown, the screen has gone out… I recollect, how flied in an avalanche on slope Gasherbrum. What was I given by that failure? What for has survived? I think, the destiny had the full right to bury me there. But… the luck happened. Tukhvatullin with Lobanov have appeared are not so successful.

I am on the way to C2 on Annapurna (2004)
I do not wish to reproach, cut. But it would be desirable to avoid repetition of such failures further. Why the camp on slope has been put in a place of blow of an avalanche? Why groups go on a mouth of Khan Tengri to the most dangerous time? Why on Annapurna’s slope the team has appeared after a mid-day? Why Simone, Cory and me crossed the bottom of Gasherbrum-5 during a snowfall? ask me about last situation as required at once…


The strange feeling arises on revolution of affairs from simple to the difficult. The life flies, as if a wind with aroma of a grass. The world is similar spring flower petals in sun beams, the future is perceived… well, simply perceived! Future. Beauty and ease which boil in blood.
But… suddenly the bus stops, and is found out, that it has arrived into Autumn, and present ask everybody to leave on street. Finish! The route is ended, and an one way ticket. Because such are life realities. And you leave under a rain, go by pools, not representing than to be engaged where to submit a head. In the autumn we have lost friends. Year has stood out - my God! don’t let same other! But contrary to all I know, that will be further. Also I do not wish to turn off from a way on which am happy.


And knowing, that is necessary to me, I will extend from a pack one more card… and will stake everything, that is. Because the victory price costs risk. Because happiness which gives me mountaineering - a touch to cleanliness of the nature, dialogue with strong good people, purpose achievement by own forces, a step sharpness «for a side» and ecstasy freedom. As possible to say - game costs all wax candles.


- Denis, and you want, that your children were engaged in mountaineering? - People often ask at a meeting. - that went on difficult ascensions to «a death zone»?


- Don’t think about! - I avoid. – Not of course!


"Caro DENIS, condivido e partecipo al tuo grande dolore per i tuoi e nostri Amici morti
in monte Annapurna. Un forte abbraccio,
Paolo Valoti


"Le montagne hanno il potere di attirarci nel loro mondo è lì, per sempre, si trovano i nostri amici la cui anima grande aspirava alle alte cime. Non dimenticate gli alpinisti che non hanno fatto ritorno." (Anatolij Bukreev??)


I am nervous a lot for other people. For everybody who goes to mountains by dangerous difficult routes. Please, do not think, that I urge to be engaged in mountaineering in that kind which has chosen for itself. And in that kind which has chosen for itself Iljas Tukhvatullin. But oh, damn! When I hear, that during Civil war in Syria were lost twenty thousand persons, to me it becomes terrible for remained on plains. I am so nervous! It is much worse, than to be lost in mountains where you go at own choice. And it is very bad to read reports about victims on roads to Russia and Kazakhstan on thoughtlessness of the counter drunk driver. These game rules under the name "life" are imposed from outstanding community.


So the thought on death on slope of Annapurna or Gasherbrum restrains with the validity. THERE game rules under the name "life" are chosen by me.

 

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Another avalanche in Nepal kills one of the foremost CIS mountaineers

 

Posted by Lindsay Griffin on 15/10/2012


North Face of Annapurna. Light blue line shows the Dutch Rib (and camps) and link up with the Original French Route (red line with Camp 2 marked). Dotted dark blue line is the proposed direct.
The Uzbek mountaineer, Iljas Tukhvatullin, who famously climbed new routes on both Everest and K2, has died in an avalanche on the north face of Annapurna.

This incident sadly comes close on the heels of the Manaslu avalanche that killed, amongst others, notable French guides and accomplished mountaineers Ludo Challeat and Remy Lecluse.

There were only two expeditions attempting the north side of Annapurna this autumn. Tukhvatullin was leading a group of largely unknown climbers from Uzbekistan on the Normal 1950 French Route, while the accomplished Russian Gleb Sokolov, with a stronger team, hoped to share the same route as far as Camp 3 and then attempt a new direct line to the summit.

After a period of heavy snowfall, Sokolov and members of his Russian team managed to establish Camp 2 at around 6,400m on the 5th October. All climbers then rested at base camp before trying to push the route out to Camp 3.

In the afternoon of the 7th Tukhvatullin (54) and team-mate Ivan Lobanov (51) were moving between Camps 1 (around 5,600m) and 2, when they were hit by an enormous avalanche.

This side of Annapurna is notoriously dangerous, with much of the French route threatened by large seracs that have fallen on numerous occasions in the past, setting off avalanches, often with tragic consequences.

However, a third climber, who appears to have been around 150m below Camp 2 when the avalanche struck and was fortunate not to be caught, reported there was no serac fall; simply the slide of a vast section of slope.

Later, other members of the expedition searched the area but reported the depth of debris was huge. Both teams have now abandoned the mountain.

Tukhvatullin, from Tashkent, had notched up many impressive ascents, his name linked strongly with the ace Russian alpinist Pavel Shabalin.

Late in 1998, with Alexander Abramov and Shabalin, Tukhvatullin made the prestigious first winter ascent of the ca 1,500m north face of Ak-su (5,217m) in the Karavshin, one of the most famous rock and ice walls in the former Soviet Union. The three climbed the central line of Cold Corner (6A in summer).

This was Tukhvatullin's fifth ascent of the face at the time, though he would later add the demanding Nose Direct (5.9 and A5), again with Shabalin, in a 16-day ascent.

The following year he made an attempt on the true north face of Jannu, reaching 6,700m on this spectacular wall eventually climbed by Russians in 2004.

The spring of 2004 would find him in Tibet with a large Russian team. Their goal was a direct route up the north face of Everest.

The result was the first independent route put up on the mountain since 1983 and the first time the summit was reached in June.

From a final camp at 8,300m Shabalin, with Andrey Mariev and Tukhvatullin, tried to force the final vertical rock band at ca 8,600m. However, after two days work they decided to bypass it on the left, and were the first of the primarily-Russian team to reach the summit. A second summit party included Sokolov.

In the summer of 2005 Shabalin and Tukhvatullin made a ground-breaking ascent of the north face of Khan Tengri (6,995m). Their acclaimed climb of a direct line up this huge wall, linking three existing routes, was the first time the face had been climbed in alpine-style and the first by a two-man party.

They spent nine nights of the nearly 3,000m-high face, and a further one and a half days were needed for the descent, Shabalin sustaining frostbite. They carried only a single, one-kilogram sleeping bag that they both shared.

In 2007 Tukhvatullin climbed the hardest route on the world's second highest peak. With Shabalin, he made up one of the later parties to complete the first ascent of the west face of K2, a particularly notable effort as the pair had spent three nights at or above 8,150m before doing so.

By 2007 many climbers were rightly criticising the traditional Russian outmoded siege-style tactics, which although achieving staggering success on coveted objectives, did leave true alpine-style ascents of these routes more or less impossible for future generations.

However, on K2 the Russians did scorn the use of supplementary oxygen, and few would question the high levels of technical difficulty of the ascent.

Last winter Tukhvatullin returned to K2 in an attempt to make the first winter ascent. The expedition was eventually abandoned after he had reached ca 7,200m on the south-southeast ridge (aka Cesen or Basque route).

 

 

 

 

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