Dedicated photo galleries are at the bottom of the page
General information and highlights:
- Probably the first ever winter (calendar+climate winter) ascent of the highest peak in Suntar-Khayata Mountains (Yakutia), in early January; the official altitude of the peak is 2959m.
- It was a solo climb; approaching the central massif was done on old Soviet snowmobiles “burans”.
- The peak was probably never attempted before in winter; I could not find even a single winter photo before the expedition. The only earlier climbs were done at the very end of March or around April-May.
- The peak is located in the Oymyakon District, which is the coldest region of Yakutia. Thus, as Oymyakon is known as the northern “Pole of Cold” (the region where the lowest temperatures in the whole northern hemisphere of around -70 C were officially measured), the climbed peak can arguably be called one of the the coldest mountains in Siberia / in the North.
- The distance from the peak to the nearest village: over a 130 km (it took 3 days one-way to approach the massif on snow mobiles).
- Temperatures in valleys: down to -55 C. Temperatures while climbing: down to -45 C.
- Amount of daylight: 5-6 hours per day. No sunlight in valleys at all.
- I climbed the peak through its south ridge; the climb was somehow technical. The ridge was very narrow in some places and required very careful navigation. Moreover, some boulders and rocks enforced side climbing.
Location of the highest peak:
Special thanks to / Podziękowania dla / Большое спасибо к …
- Якоб Кондаков, водитель, за возможность экспедиции.
- Все ребята из лагеря, Петя, Гоша водитель, брат Яши, за большую помощь.
- Mario, for his nice company.
- Father Maros and Peter from Yakutsk, for never-ending hospitality.
- Анатолий Алексеев, за его обычную помощь и поддержку!
- Bolot Bochkarev from VisitYakutia for logistics help.
- La Sportiva (https://www.lasportiva.com/) for top quality, extremely warm, versatile, and very light expedition boots.
- Roberts (https://roberts.pl/index.php?l=en&p=_katalog) for best quality, ultrawarm & ultralight down clothes and equipment.
- Rafał Król (https://expeditions.pl) for a lot of insightful equipment knowledge.
- Piotr Sztaba, Waldek Niemiec, Wojtek Malawski, Andrzej Maciata (https://kilimanjaro.com.pl) for climbing, touring, and avalanche training sessions.
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: On a glacier in the evening
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: Towards Mus-Khaya
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: Approaching Mus-Khaya
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: On top of Mus-Khaya
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: On a snowmobile at night
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: Under the full moon
Suntar-Khayata Expedition 2020: A nightly drive across taiga