Peak Pobeda – unattainable

4 days after returning to BC from Khan Tengri we began our attempt to climb Peak Pobeda by setting up Camp 1. Zvedochka glacier approach was considerably harder compared to Khan Tengri route. It was a labirynth of ice dunes. We often had to look for the right way and walk back and forth to find snow bridges strong enough. Once we reached the flatter, upper part of glacier closer to the peak itself it got more dangerous. Deep snow was covering multiple crevasses. Every hundred or so meters we would fall into hidden traps. In the evening we set up our camp 1.

On the following day we tried to find the route up the icy walls to Diki Pass. Tracks of previous team were gone, covered by fresh avalanche debris. We climbed a 200 m snow-ice wall and turn back. In the afternoon sun numerous ice cliffs – seracs – above the rocks of Diki peak were showering the route with pieces of ice. Because of bad weather forecast we went back to BC.

2 days later we returned to our C1. During that time the mountain claimed its first victim killing a 32-year-old climber Мак­сим Жели­ма­лай on descent from C3. Everywhere around we could see signs of fresh avalanches. Once more we tried to find our way up the steep, white walls towards Diki Pass. Suddenly one of the seracs collapses with deafening noise and huge block of ice fall meters away. We decided to give up and went back to BC.

Pobeda Peak is harder than many 8-thousanders not without a reason. Perhaps I will try again in the future – though on a different route than a classic one.

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