It was a normal educational climbers climbing III category. Well-chosen branch and successful workout on top of IIA and IIIA category of difficulty in mountaineering camp "Shhelda" inspires confidence that the ascent to the first IIIB goes well. However, the combined route on the north face still worried instructors numerous passages from the rocks to the snow and back. Here, too, experience the subtle observation of the snow conditions, and such qualities in the group has not happened.
On nights at "The Black Rock" came out at 3 am — 8-9 hours ahead of the summit. But the weather is good, and slowly the first few hundred meters of the suspicious movements replaced by quiet working rhythm. Cats are great for keeping the cold morning snow. It is true that bothers them each time before shooting rocks. Maybe do without them?
Already passed two rocky islands, time 8.30, and from the site in the second test round is easily visible narrow snow crest, suitable to the third (poslednemu!) rocky island. On a snow crest clearly visible stage previous climbers. It is foolish not to use them, and the first bunch, hiding cat in backpacks, rises up like on a good ladder.
The last time the instructor flashes doubt. It is already 9:00, snow limp, and the rocks and pure ice is possible … But the first bunch is ice and rock bolts. At the very least it will take advantage of them.
In the simultaneous movement of the first bunch almost came to the rocks under your feet when struck treacherous ice covered with a thin layer of snow unreliable. Leading hesitated. Before saving the rocks a few meters, but if poskolzneshsya, stay impossible. Partner in tandem in the same position. Beat ice hook? And it is 2 meters from the rock sound in a completely stable position! And the first in the bundle, others cursing comfortable stage zavedshie him into a trap, frantically reached out to the rocks …
Instructor at the time was in the second bunch, a few stragglers. Seeing the rocks leading hesitated, he immediately appreciated the gravity of the situation. "Hook! Bay hook!" But it's too late. Lead slipped and began to fall on the side of a snowy ridge. Unprepared for the leap second participant ligament was torn, and the combination, picking up speed, flew out from the snow in rocky couloir.
The unexpected happened paralyzed group. The second bundle was still deep in convenient stages and did not understand the reason for failure of his comrades. Only instructor, instantly realizing emergency, which hit the first bunch, cursed himself for negligence for not forced to wear the cat and prepared first plugging a safety hook, although it is the presence of ice at the rocks!