Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber inspired to travel Siberia

Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber inspired to travel Siberia
Ulakhan-Sis, Siberia.
Autor snímku Corey Rich - Red Bull Content Pool
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Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber journeyed to one of the world's most remote places in Siberia to take on the magical 'Granite Cities' of Ulakhan-Sis. Here is all you need to know:

Austrian climber Kilian Fischhuber inspired to travel Siberia
Ulakhan-Sis, Siberia.
Autor snímku Corey Rich - Red Bull Content Pool
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Kilian Fischhuber, 35, is one of the planet's best climbers with a record-breaking five bouldering and one combined World Cup titles to his name.

The amazing Sundrun Pillars, reminiscent of the Easter Island idols in the Pacific Ocean, were first discovered by biologist and photographer Alexander Krivoshapkin when he passed over the vast Siberian area in a helicopter during a trip to count wild reindeer herds.

Fellow photographer Sergey Karpukhin was inspired by Krivoshapkin's shots to see them for himself and undertook three expeditions of increasing size to photograph them from the land in the enormous Sakha Republic - almost as large as India in area.

Karpukhin revealed: "This place is almost one of the last ones undiscovered on the planet. My first expedition was conducted with just one partner in July 2016. In August 2017 there were four of us and earlier this year we had an expedition on snowmobiles with five of us. Now it is the largest expedition with eight of us. They were photo expeditions before, however now we have a team in which there are professional climbers. The buttes have to be cleaned to prepare the routes. There are groups of vertical cliffs 20-30 metres high, but there are a lot of separately standing cliffs. I named it the 'Granite Cities' because when you walk around those granite pillars, you really feel like you're in a city."

VIDEO Climbing Ulakhan-Sis

Fischhuber joined Karpukhin's June 2018 trip with fellow climbers Robert Leistner of Germany and Russian Galya Terenteva, however they didn’t know whether the rocks were climbable until they got there.

The team flew in over Moscow to the Sakha Republic's capital Yakutsk - one of Russia's most secluded cities as well as the coldest. Next, a flight to Belaya Gora saw them board a boat up the Indigirka river for roughly 200km. Finally, three days of punishing hiking through the tundra brought them to the pillars.

The weird shapes are believed to be sculpted by relentless freezing and thawing of the granite and surrounding more eroded sandstone. In the Yakut language, these warrior lookalikes are known as 'kisilyakhi', from the word 'kisi' meaning man.

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Ulakhan-Sis, Siberia.

Karpukhin added: "My education gives me a clear understanding of how exactly this natural landscape appeared, yet even this did not stop me feeling as if this wonder was made by mysterious ancient civilisations. This part of Ulakhan-Sis should become a UNESCO World Heritage site, just like Cappadocia (in Turkey)."


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Galina Terenteva (Galina Terentěvová): "When I turned up in this place I was amazed by the landscape and the nature, it was my first time in Yakutia and Tundra, so this variety and contrasts of the colours, shapes and all these inconceivable combinations make you feel like you're on another planet, and it's bright almost all day, you see the sun 24 hours and it's something completely different from anything I've seen before. When I saw all the rocks and was observing the combination of the colours I thought that it's really like some fantasy world and it gave me great memories for the whole life, I'll remember this place and this landscape for a long time, it's hard to describe but it is really like you're in some other world. When I came there I was amazed by the amount and variety of the rocks, then we investigated them a bit better and were surprised that the surface was not as monolithic as we'd like, but in general we had a good time climbing and were happy about it."

Sergey Karpukhin (Sergej Karpuchyn): "The place where we are heading to is unique. The fact is that this place is almost one of the last which is undiscovered on the planet; it has not yet been visualized and almost no one knows anything about it. And in fact until 2016 this place was not known to anyone. Well, some local residents knew about it. When in 2016 I was doing an expedition here, I came here only assuming what I might see here. I did not have any information at all. I was together with my partner there. And when we had arrived there I was just shocked by that amazing landscape of world-class - a residual landscape. I have named it the “Granite cities.” Because when you're there, when you walk around those granite pillars, you really feel like you're in a certain city."

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