Itinerary and Goals
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[Russia and Central Asia: 51K]
[Topo Map of the Altai Mountains: 66K]
[The Route to the Summit: 75k]
The normal route from the north side is mostly a long snow climb with some technical pitches near the summit. Details and information are almost impossible to find, but from what we can gather, the mountain is comparable to some of our own classics like Mt. Logan, in the Elias Mountains in the Southwestern Yukon of Canada. Base Camp is at 6700ft. and the summit at 14,783ft. The mountain should take about a week to climb, and we'll establish camps along the way. The potential for new routes and first descents is endless!
For almost any mountain or region of the world, information is readily available. Logistics, camps, weather, all factors can be taken into account and prepared for. For our Altai expedition, the unknown is the single biggest factor. To our knowledge, no one has climbed the mountain in winter and no one has ever attempted to ski it.
Mt. Belukha is considered to be one of the most spiritual and mystical mountains in Central Asia. Tibetan Lamas have made pilgrimages to pay homage to it. In a way, this expedition is a pilgrimage for the team to work together filming, climbing and skiing, but also to explore a mountain range seldom visited by Westerners. Its origins are steeped in the mystery surrounding the area and its roots are at the center of Shamanism. Time and weather permitting, we will explore some of the villages and culture of this largely untouched region. In so doing, hopefully we will learn more about ourselves and the world around us.
Ace Kvale, Expedition Organizer and Photographer