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

Pork Fat Snickers Anyone?
Tuesday, March 23, 1999 — 7:03am (PST)

Hear Kit's Call
(Requires free Windows Media Player)

Hello, this is Kit Katzenbach calling from Mt. Belukha in the Altai Mountains of Siberia. It's the evening and it snowed three inches last night, which was [inaudible] because we could put our skis on at Base Camp today at 6,700ft and skin up to where we are now at 10,000ft — a place called the Tomski Hut. It's at about 10,000 feet, it's cloudy and really cold and kind of snowing now.

It seems like the [inaudible] ... it took us six hours to reach this hut here. These mountains are huge, enormous in size for a 15,000ft peak — which sounds small, but this place is huge. All eight of us are up here at this hut plus our two Russian friends and two Russians who work at the Akkem Base Camp; they work there for one month stints.

So we have 12 people here right now and one dog. It's tight in there and the ice is melting off the walls and the ceiling and dripping on us, but it's warm because we are so many. There's no heat. It's maybe minus 15 or 20 outside and we eat Russian 'Snickers' to keep warm which is basically uncooked salted pork fat as appetizers before our soup.

Our plan is for tomorrow to have a team hike and ski some shots around here which is on the north face, we are right under the north face of Mt. Belukha. And another team of us will go ahead on our climbing route and scout for difficulties and maybe fix some lines. Then we will go back to Base Camp but leave some gear up here, have one rest day, and then hope for good weather and come back up and continue on to the summit.

And if you can say 'hi mom and dad from Kit' at the end of the dispatch, I would appreciate it. So we're signing off from the Tomski Hut. Goodbye.

Kit Katzenbach, skier, mountaineer and EMT


[Dispatches Index] [Altai Home]
[Ski Home] [Mountain Zone Home]

Trekking in Central Asia
Trekking in Russia and Central Asia