UNIQUE CLIMB

Members of the mountaineering project “Seven Peaks” intend to go to the Lunar Mountains
As part of the project a group of Belarusian mountaineers have already climbed such peaks as Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, and Aconcagua. Besides, the team climbed the Everest and the Cala Pattar, visited Ecuador to climb the world’s highest active volcano Cotopaxi.

According to organizer and supervisor of the project Sergei Varivody, the Lunar Mountains are a romantic name for a large mountain range in Uganda in Central Africa. Legends say the sun never shines there, only the moon. Therefore, the mountains can be seen only during full moon. By the way, ancient Greek scientist Ptolemy wrote about mysterious Lunar Mountains in the centre of Africa, where the White Nile starts its flow. However, it took a lot of time to confirm or disprove the assertion. Only in 1988 European Henry Morton Stanley saw the Lunar Mountains after having travelled twice on the same route.

The Belarusian team plans to climb the highest peak of the range — Margarita (5109m) and erect the national flag on the Victory Day.

The majority of the mountaineers decided to start storming the peak on the night between May 8 and 9 2006. The timing is extremely important, as the climbing coincides with the peak of the rain season in Uganda.

Soon ten members of the project will start preparing for the climb. Two mountaineers think the timing is unacceptable, another two intend to consult the meteorological service of Uganda.

The climbing is also difficult because until recently the Lunar Mountains were forbidden for tourists due to safety reasons. Therefore, information about the climbing route and the necessary technical means is scarce. But now it is possible to say that the route of the Belarusian mountaineers will pass via the rocky part of the mountains and the difficulty of the snow-ice part of the route is classified as medium.

by Yulia Vanina
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