Anatoly Moshnikov, September 24, 2000
The first stage of the Festival is going to the end. 5 teams have successfully completed their routes and gathered in the Camp 4. According to the preliminary score, not taking into account referees's opinion, the teams' results are as following:
1. St.-Petersburg (Verulashvili, Kachkov) - 4 days en route, points = 12.96.
2. Magnitogorsk (Soldatov, Zaitov) - the only team which chose the difficult route on Half Dome has it completed in 5 days, points = 12.78.
3. Moscow (Akhmedkhanov - Lastochkin) - 5.5 days en route, points = 12.66.
4. Moscow (Pekhterev, Pankov) - Having got their fingers burned on Dihedral Wall, they were forced to rappel down: at 8th rope length they had stumbled on a crack demanding a special equipment, "Cam Hook", be applied and which they had not. After the descent and a brief rest the team had chosen Salate Wall (El Cap, VI 5.13B or 5.9C2) instead and had it passed brilliantly for 3 days. Points = 12.20.
5. International rope team (Kratochwilla, Seregin). Their score is 11.66, however they very enjoyed the uncommon route consisting of three ones.
Igolkin-Oleinikov rope team is still on the wall. It remains to climb 5 extremely difficult rope lengths up.
The first lap revealed the climbers' skill and the complexity of the strategy. The difference between teams' points is seen to be minimum and all of the members have chances to become the winner. The next start is expected to be at September 26 or 27.
Meantime it is cool in Yosemities. The night temperature drops down to 7-9°C. It is not too hot in the day time on the wall though blood is up. Jokes away on the finish!