After the intense activity in Latok I this summer, the mountain continues to generate debate. In an interview in the
magazine Rock and Ice the British Tom Livingstone has
Alexander Gukov and his companion openly criticized
deceased Sergey Glazunov the Russian team that was also trying the
mountain in early August, and his words have ignited the
You have to remember that Tom Livingstone,
Ales Cesen and Luka Strazar arrived to the top crossing part of the northern edge
in mid-August, an objective that many have pursued during
four decades and that they did not complete in full because in the
final section crossed to the south face to then reach the summit
from there. A little earlier, the Russians Glazunov and Gukov had lived
a hell on the same wall : the first suffered a fatal fall in
the descent and the second one got stuck in the mountain during
seven days and six nights until a helicopter was able to rescue him . Upon his return Alexander Gukov explained that was confident that he had climbed the ridge to its final part and that even his companion Sergey Glazunov claimed to have reached the top of Latok 1, something of which he was not sure.
Weeks after these events, the
protagonists have become entangled in a cross-accusations through
Internet that we reproduce in chronological order:
Tom Livingtone in an interview
for Rock and Ice :
"I would like to send my condolences
to the family of Sergey and wish Alexander a quick recovery .
At the same time, I can not help being critical of actions and
comments of the latter. I tried not to say anything, but I think
It is important that it be known.
Alexander lived a situation
delicate last year. He was 15 days on the mountain and his two
Comrades suffered a lot. One lost some toes,
the other all plus some of the hands. Your final comment on
report [forthe American Alpine Journal ] says: "I trust having
a good opportunity next time ". This bothered us (to my
Slovenian friends and me). He seemed to pay very little attention to
danger that everyone had run. One of his friends who were in
the base camp even admitted: "He does not know when to turn around" .
Alexander also fed the topics around the "style
Russian "-success at any cost, whatever the price.
We think they should have retired before
While Alexander and Sergey climbed
this year and they were quite up, they said several times that
they were doing ambitious and unrealistic "top-down attacks" .
They were well below the summit (about 6800 meters) and, despite
the attempts of previous days, again and again (maybe for three
days in a row) they tried to get up. We saw them with the
binoculars from the base camp, nervous about their behavior so
His steps had been incredibly
slow during the previous nine days. It was very unlikely that his
rhythm improved in attacks at the top, and also traveled distances
very small every day. It was bad weather, they were very high and
also very tired after days without food. His perseverance was
impressive but we think they should have retired earlier.
fact, when the bad weather came, they still launched another attack.
We could only shrug our shoulders and think that they were
squeezing a lot too high, too long.
We thought they were going to have a scare. Even his country friends
base were worried and asked for a helicopter to supervise
where they were and try to throw provisions at them.
Shortly after, Sergey had the fall
fatal . Six days later, Alexander was
rescued a helicopter. I think it took 18 days on the wall.
When I was already close to the glacier thanks to the long line ,
Ales said: "I've never seen anyone so close to death but still
I live ".
We chose the simplest line
I'm proud of our ascension
to Latok I. Ales, Luka and I climbed under control. We take
delicate but strategic decisions. We were independent.
We chose the simplest line. We came back safe and sound after
seven days . We did not lose any finger or toe. He
Mountaineering is a dangerous game. If you do not return home safe and sound,
you lose If you amputate fingers, you lose. Of course it affected us
the tragedy of the Russians. But when everything happened and we talked again
of our motivations, we decided to continue with the plan: ascend
to Latok I by our line which is the route we had always
had in mind.
Words of Evgeniy Glazunov,
brother of the late Sergey Glazunov, on his Facebook wall:
"I'm addressing Tom specifically, he has
it was only he who has expressed his opinion. It is likely that the
rest of the team have another point of view.
First of all, I must say that I trust
in all mountaineers who claim to have made a way to the top
can prove it or not, because honesty predominates in our
sport . I do not know you, Tom, and neither do your friends from
Slovenia. We have never agreed but I would like to do it. I do not
I want to exceed you because none of you have made me
nothing bad, like us, however …
You speak of the "Russian style" without knowing
nothing of the situation the circumstances or of the boys. You do not know
nothing of Sergey, of the ways he has done on the mountain, of his
style and his attitude towards mountaineering. I used to be his partner
of rope and his coach and I must tell you that you are not capable of
imagine the ascensions we've done together, especially
winter You have no right to make considerations as your step
It was "incredibly slow". Your route was much simpler than
which they chose Gukov and Glazunov . You and your team have avoided
all the committed areas and you have reached the top by the face
south-call things by their name. At the same time,
you accept the congratulations for the first confirmed ascent of the
Latok I on the north side.
They do not
At Latok I, they wanted to take the lead at all costs,
Do you really think Sergey and
Alexander were not able to solve your line in the same
How long are you? Or do you really think that none of the many
climbers who have tried to climb the north fell into the
possibility of crossing to the south face ? His goal was different -no
At Latok I, they wanted to take the lead at all costs,
arista norte-. Also, I want to state that Jeff Lowe and his
team spent 26 days on the wall and did not reach altitude at
the one that Sergey and Alexander arrived.
Your photo of top is doubtful and I do not know
It differs a lot from what Sergey did (just compare them). May l
find a million similar images from different "peaks".
Dear Tom, I'm sure you will receive your
Golden ice ax but, please, never again judge facts about
those that you have no idea, especially the previous attempts of
Gukov, or that the northern edge can be scaled entirely. Although
you're right, has been scaled completely and they have been my brother and
Gukov who have done it at least up to a place up to which
No one had climbed until now. But you can not imagine how far you
All that remains, friend.
PS: If you ever want to expand your
knowledge of the "Russian style" you are invited to one of our
winter camps in the Sayanes Mountains in Siberia, where my
Brother and I made our first ascents. "
Words by Alexander Gukov in Rock
and Ice :
About the crossing of
statements, Alexander Gukov has been defended in a long
interview in Rock and Ice . First, prove that the
inconsiderate statements to his colleagues in the report of the
last year are the fruit of the editor's changes when he translated the
text from Russian to English. With regard to what happened this summer,
"Tom says that we said
repeatedly that we were making attacks to the top. For real?
Who said it? And whom? Can someone remind me when
we said it? We had two days of good weather according to the part of the
time and that is why we launched the attack to the top on July 22. The part
end of the road was the most technical and difficult and that's why
We continue on the 23rd and finish that same day. Not to mention that
it was impossible that they could see us progress from the base camp with
Our land was more
complicated and we had foreseen
Tom also says that our pace in
The previous nine days had been very slow. During the fifth
day we reach the height at which they [ Livingstone, Ales Cesen and
Luka Strazar ] deviated from the northern ridge to the pass [que hay
entre el Latok I y el II]. During our ascension of the year
past, Valera Shamalo suggested us to follow that line but not
we wanted I think the altitude at this point was 6300 meters, not 6500.
Everyone knows that from this point the northern edge will
it gets harder and harder .
So, yes, we moved more
slowly than Tom's team; but our terrain was more
complicated and we had anticipated it in our program. "
Finally, it is explained with respect to
accusations of having passed the security line:
Do you know that you have not gone too far? Have you always
I mean you had everything under control? Who knows better than you
When is the time to turn around? We had trained hard.
We measured the conditions objectively all the time. Further,
for being the oldest, I felt responsible for Sergey and was pending
of him all the time. He was fine, in fact, he was in better shape
that I. We were tired, but not exhausted . "
Prize Desnivel de Literatura 2017:
Grizzly Bear in Banff National Park Photo Brian Rooks
A woman from Calgary was hiking near French Creek in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park this past weekend with her son when a bear that was protecting a carcass attacked them.
The man suffered injuries to his face, arms and head and the woman’s hand was bit while trying to use the bear spray.
When the bear bit the canister of spray, it deployed into its face and scared it off.
“They surprised a bear at close range, about three metres, near a moose carcass, resulting in a defensive attack,” Arian Spiteri, district conservation officer for Kananaskis Country, said to the Rocky Mountain Outlook.
“The attack occurred in an area of thick vegetation and the two suffered non-life threatening injuries … They did get medical attention, but they were incredibly lucky.”
The injuries were not life threatening and the two walked back to their car and drove to the hospital in Canmore.
“In this instance, who knows what the outcome would have been if there wasn’t bear spray?” said Nick de Ruyter, program director for Bow Valley WildSmart, to Rocky Mountain Outlook.
“The fact that the bear spray was there and it worked deterred the bear. The bear went away and they were able to get to safety.”
The attack led to an immediate evacuation of the area with 11 hikers taken out by helicopter.
The southern portion of Spray Valley in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park between Mount Shark Road and Black Prince is closed until further notice.
The area includes French Creek, Hogarth Lake, Burstall Pass, Chester Lake, Sawmill Trail network and the High Rockies Trail from Rummel Lake south to Black Prince.
Parks Canada recommends to always carry bear spray: Carry bear spray with you at all times on the trail, and know how to use it. Bear spray can be effective with some bears when used properly.
Be aware that wind, spray distance, rain, freezing temperatures and product shelf life can all influence its effectiveness. Familiarize yourself with the proper use of bear spray (including the manufacturer’s specific instructions) and keep it readily accessible.
More tips on how to avoid bear attacks here.
Sergey Glazunov on Latok I. Photo Alexander Gukov / mountain.ru
The Russian website mountain.ru has translated a report by Alexander Gukov about the Latok I expedition that killed his climbing partner Sergey Glazunov.
Gukov said in his report that he believes they reached the top of the North Ridge, but not the summit of Latok I.
They began their climb on July 13 and Gukov said that 10 days later, they were prepared for their summit push from high on the ridge.
The report goes into day-by-day details, including specifics about the amazing rescue that took place for Gukov after Glazunov died.
Excerpt from the report: I think that it was the top of the North ridge or the western “summit” of Latok I.
Although I can now see on Google Earth that there was only 360m from that point to the main summit with a small height difference but we did not see this in the fog.
Sergey and I decided that we would not lie. He believed it was the summit, I believed it was not.
We didn’t have a second chance to check it. If we had taken the tent and stayed there on the “mushrooms,” we would have found out. But we did not take it.
After that we started to descend. When we heard and saw the helicopter we thought that it was the second team who called for assistance, as we knew that they had been injured by the rockfall during the descent, and that they decided to look for us at the same time.
Read the full report here.
Latok I July ascent line. Photo by Sergey Glazunov / mountain.ru