Vitaly Abalakov

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Vitaly Mikhaylovich Abalakov (Russian: Вита́лий Миха́йлович Абала́ков) (January 13 [O.S. December 31] 1906 in Yeniseysk – May 26, 1986 in Moscow[1]) was a Soviet 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 were under investigation until 1940. He was accused of "open public propaganda" of western mountaineering techniques and "diminishing" domestic alpinists' achievements and being a "German spy".

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.[citation needed]

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).

See also



  1. Great Russian Encyclopedia (2006), Moscow: Bol'shaya Rossiyskaya Enciklopediya Publisher, vol. 1, p. 9