Abalakov Vitalij Mihailovič
geboren in Krasnajarsk
gestorben in Moskau
Auf dem Schneeberg mußte V. Abalakov auf allen vieren über den Gipfel kriechen und vermerkte mit respektvollem Staunen: "Habe kaum jemals auf Sechs- und Siebentausendern einen derartigen Sturm erlebt."
(siehe Bergwelt März 1987)
Quelle: Archiv Proksch (Österr. Alpenklub)
Vitaliy Mikhailovich Abalakov d.1986
Soviet sport has lost one of the pioneers of recreational and scientific mountaineering, a pioneer of new paths to the summits; many times champion of his country, and a distinguished designer of sport-measuring apparatus, Vitaliy Mikhailovich Abalakov. Born in the city of Yeniseisk in Krasnoyarsk territory, he absorbed from his childhood onwards the glorious tradition of the Cossack Family, and its descendants, who opened up the boundless expanses of Siberia. On the paths of the taiga, the torrential rivers, the 'climbs' of the Krasnoyarsk Columns, was formed the character of the future conqueror of the summits.
In 1931 the brothers Vitaliy and Yevgeniy Abalakov with their fellowcountrywoman Valentina Cheredova gave a splendid account of themselves in the world of mountaineering. Their 'start' was the five-thousander Dykh-Tau, but that was only the beginning of the conquest of the heights. A year later, Abalakov climbed the Bezingi wall; in 1933 he was in the Altai, where for the first time he successfully carried out a traverse of Belukha.
Taking part in the combined Tadzhik-Pamir expeditions which were carried out in the 1930s and where sport and science went hand-in-hand, Abalakov was the first Soviet man in 1934 to step on the summit in the Pamirs which bears the name of V I Lenin. In the same year he also carried out successful prospecting of ore deposits in the Turkestan range.
At the head of the team founded by him of the Moscow 'Spartak', he more than once won victories in the mountaineering championship. His ascents ranged from the Caucasus to the Pamir and Tien-Shan, concluding with a brilliant assault on peak Victory.
V M Abalakov devoted his talent and great skill as a designer to the service of other types of sport: about 100 control instruments were created by him for the assistance of trainers and sportsmen. Thousands of leading experts at mountaineering were pupils at schools and meetings which he conducted. To his pen belong textbooks, articles in the “Yearbook of Soviet Mountaineering” and a basic textbook, “Foundation of Mountaineering”.
The Soviet government valued his services highly, conferring on him the Orders of Lenin and of the Friendship of Peoples, the “Badge of Honour” and some medals. In 1935 he was among the first to receive the honorary title “Honoured Master of Mountaineering”, and subsequently “Honoured Master of Sport” (1941), “Honoured Trainer of the USSR” (1961).
His memory burns bright among all who today go out to conquer the heights, who set out on the path of the climber.
A group of comrades
(Abridged from the official obituary in Soviet Sport)
John Hunt adds a personal reminiscence:
I first met Vitaliy at a meeting in the Journalists' Club in Moscow in June 1958, attended by the Minister of Soviet Sport, to greet the group of British mountaineers (of whom I was a member) on our way to the Caucasus. This was seen by the Russians as an important occasion, for no British climbing group had been granted permission to climb in the Soviet Union since the 1930s. Abalakov was, even then, regarded as Russia's leading mountaineer; a remarkable figure with finely chiselled features which were enhanced by his completely bald head.
In 1962 we met again; he as leader of a Russian group attempting the S face of the Peak of Communism (7460m), highest mountain in the USSR. I was leader of a British group, to which six leading Soviet climbers were added; it became known as the Soviet-British Parnirs Expedition. Our encounter on this second occasion was a less happy one. One group suffered a tragic accident on Peak Garmo, when we lost two British climbers: Wilfrid Noyce and Robin Smith. It was decided among the British members that some of us should return to the UK and I, as leader, felt in duty bound to join that party in order to offer comfort to Wilfrid's widow (he was my closest climbing friend), and Robin's mother. Abalakov took it upon himself to'protest in strong terms about this decision. He was doubtless voicing an official Soviet view, which held that climbing groups carried on regardless of accidents. The incident was a painful
one, to add to our deep sense of sorrow. However, at a discussion that evening
in our mess tent, Abalakov attended and was his usual charming self; he may
have wished to make up for his hard words earlier which had been recorded on
film for official record.
No one was more delighted than myself when the Alpine Club elected Vitaliy
Abalakov to Honorary Membership.
Quelle: Alpine Journal Volume 92, 1987, Seite 289-290