Rob DesLauriers 
John Falkiner 
Frederik Jacobi 
Kit Katzenbach 
Ace Kvale 
Kasha Rigby 
Scot Schmidt 
Jim Zellers 

Itinerary and Goals
Click for Maps:
[Russia and Central Asia: 51K]
[Siberia: 34K]
[Topo Map of the Altai Mountains: 66K]
[The Route to the Summit: 75k]

Topo Map of
Mt. Belukha
[click to zoom]
Our team will rendezvous in Moscow on March 19th. From there, we will fly to Barnaul, Siberia and travel over land by bus and helicopter into Base Camp at Akkem Lake, below Mt. Belukha (Mt. Blanc or Mt. White in Russian). From Base Camp, we will spend approximately three weeks climbing, filming and exploring the mountain.

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!

"As one guy put it, it looks like the middle of nowhere. But you can look at it the other way and maybe it's the center and not the middle of nowhere..." — Ace Kvale

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

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