/ INTERVIEW: Tom Livingstone on Latok I
Tom is back in the UK now, and took the time to answer some questions while preparing for his next big trip...
Very good report, Tom. Honest and self-deprecating. The part about returning home safely, without loss or injury - in all forms of climbing - can’t be stressed enough.
A great effort by the team and as Patrick comments, a very reflective and honest account by Tom.
From Evgeniy Glazunov, Sergey's brother. Following Tom Livingston's interview. I address it exactly to Tom, since it was only he who expressed the opinion. Probably the rest of the team has a different point of view.
First of all, I have to say that I trust all the mountaineers who say the've completed the route and reached the summit whether they can prove it or not, because honesty is predominant in our sport. This is what I mean.
I know neither you, Tom, nor your friends from Slovenia. I've never met you but I wish to. I don't want to exchange abuse with you. Neither any of you actually did anything bad to me, nor did we. But..!
You attempt to consider about 'Russian style' knowing nothing about the situation, the circumstances and the guys. You know nothing about Sergey, the routs he passed in the mountains, his style and attitude to alpinism. As I used to be his ropemate and his coach I may tell you that you little dream of the ascends we made together especially winter ascends. You have no right for such considerations like their pace was 'increadibly slow'. Your route was much easier than the one made by Gukov and Glazunov. You and your team avoided all challenging places and ascended the summit from the south - let's call the things by their names. At the same time you accept congratulationson the first ever confirmed Latok I summit from the north.
Do you really think that Sergey and Alexander could not complete your line within the same time? Or do you really think that nobody of those numerous alpinists who ever tried to summit Latok I from the north side were as smart as you are to cross to the south? Their goal was different - not to summit Latok I by all means but to climb the north ridge. Moreover, I'd like to note that Jeff Lowe and the team spent 26 days there and they did not reach the attitude where Sergey and Alexander proved to reach.
Also you picture from the top is doubtful and not much different from the photo of Sergey (just compare them). I can find a million similar pictures from different "summits".
Dear Tom of course you'll get you Piolet d'Or, but please never make judgements on the things you have no idea about, particularly previous attempt of Gukov, and that the north ridge can be climbed in full. Although you are right, it is climbed in full by my brother and Alexander at least to the saddle where nobody have ever climbed from the north before. But you cannot image how far you are from all that, my friend.
P.S. If you ever wish to become a more expert in 'Russian style' you are always welcome to one of our winter mountain camps in the Sayan mountains, Siberia, where my brother and me made our first mountain ascends.
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