`Our trip was very useful to learn the American
way of mountaineering and how to respect the nature. There are a lot of new young
members in our mountaineering club and we try to introduce and instill all knowledge
which it gave us.
-Nickoli Povetkin and Denis Grinevich
`For my generation, Anatoli set an example of how it
is possible to find your own way to climb. What was really important to him
was his love of mountains and climbing. He showed us the Iron Curtain
was in our minds'
`Climbing in Anatoli's memory as a student in his classroom,
gaining first-hand insight into the heritage of his success...these were the day
dreams of a mountaineer living in the Midwest. The Memorial Fund provided me a once-in-a-lifetime
experience, making my dreams a reality.
-Steve Graepel, 1999
Below are some of Steve's pictures from Khan Tengri!
The Flight In
From left to right, Chapaev (6371), Khan Tengri (7010)
and the South Inylcheck glacier flowing below both as seen from the helicopter
ride in (note the rotor blade in the upper right hand corner).
Our base camp was located 2 miles from Khan Tengri's base
and provided the essentials for trips up and down the mountain. As an exchange
student, I worked closely with the Kazak students, helping to set up camp,
get water, and make meals. Although there were U.S. climbers in camp, I
tried to spend as much time as possible with the Kazak students.
Acclimatizing And Setting Camps
Our first trip on the mountain was cut short due to deep
snow that hadn't had a chance to consolidate. Shortly after, we made camp
and turned back the following morning due to more inclement weather. Typically
we had 4-5 clear days, followed by another 4-5 days of rain and snow. If
you were out of synch with the weather, you could spend a lot of time waiting
it out in base camp.
Taking A Break At 5000m
Sergei and Vasili are silhouetted against Khan Tengri's
southwest ridge. This was our second trip on the mountain, en route to
the 5800m col camp. This was also where I sold them on the benefits of
Looking Out To Pic Pobeda 7439m
Dry winds from the Taklimakan desert typically meets cold
weather pushing in from the west over Pobeda, the tallest peak in the area.
As a result, Pobeda is almost always shrouded in clouds. Pobeda has earned
a reputation as one of the most dangerous peaks in the world.
Vasili is nearing the rocky summit.
Dima, not far behind,
had not acclimatized to anything over 4600m. This was also his third birthday
celebrated on Khan Tengri's summit.