Friday, November 19, 2010

Vitaly Abalakov

Vitaly Mikhaylovich Abalakov (Russian: Вита́лий Миха́йлович Абала́ков) (January 13 [O.S. December 31] 1906 in Yeniseysk – May 26, 1986 in Moscow
was a Soviet/Russian mountaineer and inventor.
Brother of Yevgeniy Abalakov, another famous alpinist, he made the first Soviet ascent of Lenin Peak in 1934 and two more ascents of this mountain. In 1936 he also made the ascent of Khan Tengri.
In 1938 he and others from his team were arrested by NKVD and was under investigation till 1940. He was accused of "open public propaganda" of western mountaineering techniques and "diminishing" domestic alpinist's achievements and being "German spy". Many of the alpinists arrested with Vitaly Abalakov were executed.
Abalakov is credited with such inventions as camming devices in the 1930s, Abalakov thread (or V-thread) gearless ice climbing anchor, and many other climbing equipment innovations.
He was awarded Order of Lenin (1957), Order of the Badge of Honor (1972) and titles Honoured Master of Sports of the USSR (1943),Honoured Trainer of the USSR (1961).

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