A large, all-star team of Russian mountaineers has launched a new direct route up the North Face of Mt. Everest, one of the most ambitious attempts in years on the world’s highest peak. The proposed route climbs a gargantuan rocky face to the left of the Hornbein and Japanese couloirs. The 20-member expedition, led by Victor Kozlov, includes many of Russia’s best climbers, such as Yury Koshelenko, Pavel Shabalin and four-time Everest summiter Eugeny Vinogradsky. In 2003, a reconnaissance team scouted the North Face up to 6,800 meters. The expedition acclimatized in mid-March by climbing Ama Dablam, putting a dozen climbers on the summit over three days.