Валерий Бабанов закончил Французскую школу гидов ENSA в Шамони.
На сегодняшний день является единственным представителем из России, имеющим международный диплом Профессионального Гида UIAGM.
С осени 2002 года входит в международную ассоциацию горных гидов.
Early in the morning on May, 23, we will arrive to Islamabad by British Airways.
The small expedition to Karakoram of two climbers (Valery Babanov and Patrick Delaney) runs from there.
Patrick is from Canada. Now it's already hard to tell where I am from: Canada, Russia, France... The things have got mixed up that I can not give the unambiguous answer. My friends speak that I am «the person of the world». Well, that's as may be...
Patrick and I are different enough, but nevertheless are much in common. Besides, we both are professional guides and have experience of joint ascents in Canadian Rocky Mountains, but first of all we are united with a huge desire to plunge into the incomprehensible world of High mountains, the world, where it is difficult to explain your feelings by words and environmental perception occurs not from your head.
For both of us it is the first visit to Pakistan and first visiting of Karakoram. I hear it told to be like to RussianPamirMountains in many respects: the terms of ascents, climate, weather, etc.
For the majority of tourists and climbers, Karakoram is first of all the summits over 8000 meters, such as K-2, BroadPeak, Gasherbrum and others. But actually, Karakoram is the Mecca of unclimbed virgin peaks over 7000 meters. And many of them have never been heard about till now. They "rattle" only in the narrow society of advanced climbers.
Now, the high-altitude mountaineering, with rare exception, develops in two strongly pronounced directions: The first: commercial ascents on classical routes on 8000-ers. The attributes of such expeditions are kilometers of fixed ropes, tens of high-altitude sherpas and supplementary oxygen.
The second: ascents on the same 8000-ers, but via technically more complex routes. Opening new routes as far as possible and small teams are preferred to rather bulky expeditions.
But recently the attention is being increasingly focused on the mountains of 7000 -8000 meters.
For the climbers of creative strategy there is the Promised Land there. Just look at these beautiful towering walls and ridges. All of them are still waiting for their pathfinders. And in fact, how many mountains where the foot of man has never stepped on are in the world?
In my opinion, the most interesting and important events in high-altitude mountaineering are played now in this kind of ascents.
The desire to keep the element of a challenge in mountaineering forces some climbers to pay attention to the big, technically hard, high-altitude walls.
The choice of light style, small teams, minimizing of weight and accordingly increasing speed of ascent are the concepts of big-wall (two - three kilometers) high-altitude climbing that are even more often used and spoken about now.
Except for climber&rsquos feeling at home with techniques of climbing on different terrains, such ascents demand great physical and mental endurance and experience.
As for me, the technical high-altitude mountaineering became a "tool" that I use to try to expand my own horizon and look hardly further the line that sometimes is named the "limit".
In the last, it is so cool to be soused head and ears into that world that we do love and that makes all our life not unexciting, boring and monotonous.
Therefore, I'm packing my rucksacks again and ready to start on my journey. And I have no doubts that it will be something interesting again.
This time I made my choice of Karakoram, to be more exact &ndash of two beautiful still unclimbed summits, two 7000-ers: Kunyang Chhish East (7400 meters) and Pumari Chhish South (7350 meters) located in Hispar Glacier valley.
It is well visible on the photos that the mountains are very beautiful, but the amount of previous failed attempts to climb them speaks about their real complexity.
Here is some information.
For the last years there have been made three attempts to climb the south face of Pumari Chhish South (7350 meters), the last one was in 2003 and organized by a French team. All the three attempts were without getting the summit.
Five attempts to open the Southwest face of Kunyang Chhish East (7400 meters) have been taken before. The last one of American duo Steve House - Vince Anderson was in 2006. They had to recede because of technical difficulties of the route after they had reached 7100 meters.
One of the participants of Polish expedition of 2003 wrote in the report about their climb on the huge southwest wall: «In our opinion, the southwest face of Kunyang Chhish East is such huge and hard as Jannu North face in Nepal. This wall is really one of the great climbing challenges in Karakoram».
It does not need to be commented but I want only to add that altitude difference of both walls from the glacier up to their summits makes 2600 - 2700 meters.
Base camp is at 4200 meters.
As you can guess straight away we will climb in Alpine style, without preorganizing intermediate camps and fixing ropes.