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Drytooling Championship in Almaty

9 May 2012

Mountain climbers Denis Urubko, Maksut Zhumayev and Vasily Pivtsov have won the Crown of the Himalayas. After Kazakhstan’s expedition to Mount Everest in 1997, the Republic established the Kazakhstan Mountain Club Social Fund and all the following journeys to such largest mountains of the plant, including the Himalayas and Karakorum took place under the auspices of this club. At that time, 10 mountain climbers had climbed Mount Everest from its north side and the Kazakhstan team also decided to implement the 14 highest peaks of the world programme.

Yervand Ilyinsky, President, Kazakhstan Mountain Club
-“_At the same time there was a lack of athletes because those athletes, who have already climbed the Mount Everest resigned from sports. So I announced that we are forming a new team of young people. Such athletes as Vasily Pivtsov, Maksut Zhumayev, Denis Urubko, Damir Molgachev, Artyom Skopin and others, who participated in the programme, had answered my call. Of course, all these athletes had insufficient skills and we had to work hard._”

The Kazakhstan team have climbed such eight thousanders as Mount Everest, Kangchenjunga, Shisha Pangma, Broad Peak, Nanga Parbat, Makalu, Manaslu, Annapurna, Cho Oyu, Dhaulagiri, Gasherbrum 2, Gasherbrum, K2 and Lhotse. It took the team 20 years to fulfil the programme and during that time, four generations of athletes changed and only head coach Yervand Ilyinsky has never left the team.

Yervand Ilyinsky, President, Kazakhstan Mountain Club
-“_We became leaders and three our athletes climbed all eight thousanders without additional oxygen, which is a great achievement. However, we faced difficult situation once again. We had a lack of athletes and we had to form another team. This tournament is one of the steps of this selection, because I needed to look at people in action. Modern mountain climbers do not normally climb mountains. We need to see them climb and we especially chose winter to test them._”

“_Dry tooling means climbing with dry tools. It involves mixed rock climbing with ice axes and crampons. Dry tooling is a separate sports discipline and mountain climbers use it to overcome mixed routes._”

Rock climbers also participated in this event. Rock climbing changed long ago, international competitions are held indoors, and only during spring festivals it is possible to see rock climbing on the real outdoor rocks near River Ili near Almaty. Many climbers were not afraid of frosts at all.

Athletes have only one attempt and the time is limited. Each track is limited with a corridor and you will be disqualified if you cross the limits. The judge sets up the time limit and announces it to participants before the tournament begins. Tracks are a vertical and overhanging sections of the cliff with marked start and finish areas.

“_Today we are watching the participants of the Kazakhstan Dry Tooling Open Championship. The tournament is taking place in the Tuyuksu hole in the uphill of the Small Almaty gorge of the Trans-Ili Alatau. This tournament is aimed at improving the techniques and skills of mountain climbers._”

“The first rock climbing tournaments involving the dry tooling technique took place in the 1980s. At that time, people didn’t know the dry tooling term and climbing with ice hammers and crampons was referred to as unacceptable. However, everything is changing now.


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