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Climbing Kazbek. Georgia

Kazbek climbing dairy. Mountain memories of the climber

Good old memories of one of my first ascents of Kazbek, 14 years or so ago - it surely was not like now! The story is not without some poetry, but what is wrong in that?! Author - mountaineering guide of the MCS AlexClimb mountain School - Alex Trubachev!

Kazbek climbing program of MCS AlexClimb is here!

Only automatically translated version is available at the moment, sorry for the inconvenience.

White dome with inverted horseshoe husked prehistoric crater seemed to be floating in the sky above the village, it seems - reach out and you touch a soft back curled sleeping white cat.

A little closer inspection you can see the contrast between the background of distant snows circuit Gergeti ancient monastery built in the ancient times of the reign of Queen Tamar. Kind of a proud and inaccessible white tops captures the audience and quietly takes him into a world full of solemn and sublime reverie - the effect inherent in general any significant mountain peaks, and at the foot of Mount Kazbek - reinforced harmonious fusion of nature with the age-old human activity - a phenomenon strange for this century .

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

The ancient builders did not make a mistake with the spot chosen for the monastery. Where, if not here, from the top of a gentle green hill at the foot of the solemn, like a psalm, white mountains, especially pronounced selflessly inspired prayers for the salvation of souls .... Gaumont worldly came here not from the dark depths of the gorge, only the eternal peace of mountain peaks, Spread wings and a couple of mountain eagles soaring in the dazzling blue of the sky.
All ugliness of the past two days - checking on roads, greedy hands and greedy madness of people who received meager power and sell for a pittance honor of shoulder straps and valor of his uniform - all the dirt was gone from the memory and vanished like a bad dream for a clear view of the ancient as the world summit and the warm, friendly reception of people, met for the first time, but such gracious and hospitable, that seemed to know them all my life.
Our small team has found shelter in a charming family house Kazalikashvili - hereditary climbers, guardians of the good old traditions of Georgian mountaineers. On the table with amazing speed appeared simple, but prepodnesёnnye from the soul, and so incredibly delicious: exuding fragrant steam khinkali, traditional cheese with spicy sauce, home-made wine.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Plans ascent of Kazbek surprised no one here - a very popular mountain climbers come from all over the world to a few days to climb to the top of the younger brother of the famous Caucasian patriarch -Elbrusa. But the continuation of our mountaineering program - a serious team climbing Ushba, which we planned immediately after lifting Kazbek, found the most warm response in the hearts of people, sincerely devoted to the Caucasus Mountains. The team of Russian, Georgian and Svan climbers set itself in the same year a difficult but honorable task to honor the memory of man. It is a great man, whose 70th anniversary fell on a year of symmetry - 2002, National Hero of Georgia and the world-famous Soviet climber - Michael Hergiani.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

This expedition has long been settled in the memory of witnesses and is the pride of its members by right. But now, when the complexity of artificially created for impure political interests, pose barriers to friendship and joint sports victories, I got the idea to recall minor in terms of sports, stay abroad attention of journalists, but successful, and (I'm afraid to write banality but another word does not give this matter) - spiritual ascent of Kazbek team of Russian-Svan-Georgian team of climbers, which served as a good acclimatization to the difficult climb on South Ushba. About climbing Ushba dedicated to the 70 th Anniversary of Michael Hergiani already much has been written, I will not zamylivat this topic. I just want to talk a little bit about the people whose friendship I am truly proud of, and the mountains that this friendship gave me ....
Museum Kazalikashvili, Kazbek first conquerors, or, as they call this mountain in South Ossetia - Mkinvartsveri (Ice Vertex). Old, neatly whitewashed single-storey house under green roof, a small neat yard.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Here cherish the memory of those who are at the dawn of the birth of mountaineering has made a contribution to the development of an unknown and dangerous world of the mountains. Peace is much more dangerous and inaccessible in those days than now, when all the achievements of modern progress protect us from the cold indifference and Frostsavage white peaks, where only the clouds are at home ...
On clay whitewashed walls - old photos, portraits of people who are long gone, but their memory is still alive in the hearts of the children who are proud of the fact that they are the same names as the heroes of the past. Severe determined faces, army jackets and belts on the shoulders of peasants. The Great Patriotic War. The dramatic page in the history of the Caucasus. The Germans rushed to the south, to the oil fields of the Caspian Sea. And the way the Iron Division, equipped with the latest technology and well-equipped, blocked the ordinary people, with the old hunting weapon in their hands and frantic with rage in his heart.
The atmosphere is pure love for the motherland and selfless feat mountaineers defending the Caucasus, it is impregnated with dust decades, but the smell of dust does not interrupt the smell of gunpowder and the human pain, which generously fertilized this harsh land. Yellowed pictures of Time.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

The smell of old wooden house. Museum Kazalikashvili, our first overnight stop at the foot of Mount Kazbek.
Shadow swallows flitted across my face. A small cloud momentarily dimmed the lights snowy peaks. A gust of wind brought the echo of the icy breath of eternal snow lying on top of the mountains since the creation of the world. The ascent began. For some readers probably will seem strange theme of this narrative. Answer to the rhetorical question "why" will not be here. Everyone decides for itself and selects the values that are close to his inner sense of self. For those who came in the morning on the trail, leaving up the lush green alpine meadows to the harsh glaciers of Kazbek was close and understandable desire that compels a person of their own accord set themselves goals that lead him by the clouds.
Gray mist hands almost to have reached the semi-circular building shelters. Our team returned to camp after a short walk to the small church, carefully erected on a rocky mountainside. Georgians are religious. Religious beliefs in this country deserves respect, mixed with a little envy. After all, as our ancestors were languishing under the yoke of the Tatar yoke did not know about the birth of the new world religion, at this time, Georgia, being a strong and educated state, consciously and proudly adopted Christianity from the hands of a little girl - Saint Nina, dubbed pagan country cross retinue of grape vines ...

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Christianity found fertile ground and penetrated deeply into the hearts of the people, by nature endowed with the love of God and the land. Sincere religious feelings against Georgians to their shrines - many ancient churches literally glow from namolennye, are tangible, even to an outsider aura of holiness - what was lost faster than managed to appear in Russia. However, I do not argue, on this score may be different points of view.
As an evening walk we visited climbing little church located not a few hundred meters above the South Haven. Tiny white dome house that was built out here for some new old trailer cable car with a cross on the roof. Stretching of steel cables and a pile of stones piled protect against damaging wind gusts. Modest interior decoration: a tiny altar, a few icons and candlesticks, clean mat. Nothing extra, full compliance with the rigors of the outside world, where almost all the time there is snow and ice on the stones turn black.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Several tapers burning before the icons of St. George and St. Nina. Silently and seriously are severe, bearded men, trusting God to open their hearts, purified by mountains from the madding soot.
Building of the former weather station, built in 1938 and is very similar in design to the (peace be upon him) famous Haven 11, located at an altitude of 3900 on the south side of the eastern summit of Kazbek. Shelter is actively used by climbers as a base for climbing different routes to the top of the snow dome of Kazbek. The interior of the former weather station bears the traces of the austerity and the post-Soviet neglect, but worries few enthusiasts from the village of Kazbegi, lives in an atmosphere of comfort and mean, but furnished home. Rough wooden plank covered with felt, the walls are insulated. Gas bottle in the corner on the stove heats a huge vat of snow - hot tea at an altitude of brings back to life the tortured heavy day's traveler.
The sun was sinking quickly to the ragged edge of a nearby ridge, and gray mist had looked into the dark window Meteorological stations, where we are nestled around a black, rugged wrinkles numerous table - old veteran, silent witness the change of generations of climbers. Tea with lemon in railway circles, stories about expeditions, memories of friends. The company has gathered an interesting conversation went to the mountains, which were inseparable life, fates and climbers dream.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

... In the heavy darkness of the shelter alarm goes off. Briefly peep someone's digital clock. On several voices pouring into disharmony morning sleep a few more ruthless murderers. It's time to rise. Tonight we will have to storm the summit.
Gently stretch your stiff joints, I'm beginning to gradually get out of the sleeping bag while wearing bares body. Despite all attempts to insulation, the temperature in the shelter quite cheerful, and the water in the tank was covered with a thin crust of ice. A tiny flame of a candle pierced the darkness of our temporary home, and at once somehow warmer. Psychologically. I do not like such early climbs, but this is not essential. The top does not let lazy. Before sunrise, before smёrzshiysya per night snow loses its hardness, it is necessary to overcome the rugged glacier crevasses - an insidious trap for the belated traveler - one wrong move - and are unlikely to find in an ice trap depth.
A string of spots of light, vibrating in time with slow steps, crawling on the black night the snow.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Brutal and uncompromising order of the decision of the will, which gives impetus to commit large and small, and the great unknown, inevitably appointed destiny feats, with a sense of indifference and the inevitability of the team goes to storm the summit. Light haze of clouds covering the horizon in the west, have not quite lost the yellowish hue of sunset. Come on in silence, shining under the legs at the fortified helmet lanterns not to accidentally step on crawling in the snow rope. Under our private glacier with deep cracks failures that are safe, while snow smёrzsya in hard crust - but still not at risk than 12 people, connected by one rope, will not give one abyss stumbled mate.
The slow rise in the endless darkness. Ahead there is a good friend of mine - an experienced guide Georgian, professional climber. How many times he rose to Kazbek - it is unlikely he remembers himself. A lot of. But the experience in mountaineering brings a sense of security. Vice versa. The more you learn the mountains, the more dangers to see them. Mountains and people - opposite to each other faces in the world. Eternal peace of the mountains is simply to die for man. Death of absurd random errors of carelessness or neglect. Death of naive self-pride. Elements of the mountains is not subject to the person who, at best, only a toy for her. But sometimes condescend to the mountain of respect for the man. A rare, but well-known case.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

It is hard to earn it, and there is such respect is very expensive, unrealistic expensive. But the fate of Mikhail Hergiani proves that this is possible. The mountains were his element and obey his strength and will. Although then took to himself. Mountain moody and unpredictable.
Accurately verifying each step, the leader leads the group on the night endless glacier. Monotony walk slowly into a state of apathy mechanical, when the step following the step in the tracks comrade going ahead. The elastic crust creak under the teeth of cats, bob spot light from lamps.
After a few hours of walking, the sky began to lighten the front edge and separated from the dark strip of ice. Dawn is not close, but a sense of his approach, the sky is preparing for a new day. We go to the top step of the glacier and the fascinating panorama of frozen mountains, sky-lit posvetlevshim opens before us. West leaves the Main Caucasian Ridge, in the misty unclear given glows crimson charcoal peak of Elbrus, - on the right of the patriarch, he first greets the rising sun blazing glow of the eastern peaks. Skip to such a spectacle would only blind, although he must have aggravated due to blindness, facial nerves feel grand silence of the mountains, and solemnly waiting with bated breath for the great mystery of the sunrise. Only in the mountains, at an altitude where eternity is not hidden behind the bustle and empty of the usual worries of everyday life, you can feel the presence of something that does not fit and inappropriate in the conventional world of man.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Lit up snowy peak Kazbek upstairs flashed quickly blaze. The day started, and all the magic of the blue, waking up the mountains and magnificent sunrise was laid in the recesses of the soul, designed for the most expensive items - a piggy bank of memories, decorating incredible life patterns - the repository of values, is not subject to inflation and currency depreciation.
Exit at the top of prepodnёs surprise. It turned out that this is not the top, ie the top, but not the same. Going up from the west, we were on the highest point of the West, lower the top, separated from the main summit Kazbek deep saddle - and this, too, could not resist the Kazbek emulate its big brother Elbrus. For the saddle there is an obvious way to climb - a steep ice couloir, wedged between two rock ridges - is not difficult, but requires some effort obstacle.

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

As taut railing, will drive the teeth of cats in the night after a hard frost, crumbling and crumbling sparks ice, I go out on a shallow snow-capped peaks. Victory! Who will win and how to win, it does not matter at this moment, filled with pure joy and long-awaited, in response to which the smiling sky from above. And this feeling of radiant smiles as if something was boiling inside, rushes and splashes out. I want to shout for joy and love overflowed tired body to the world, to people, carefree sleeping in their beds, and had no idea that somewhere, someone now explode with happiness, which is all that looking and can not find. And it is here, for all. And it is absolutely free! :)
Sunny weather was exactly noon - the practice of early exit again worked well. Once, drunk with the euphoria of victory and with fatigue, we walked down the glacier to the moraine, where heaps of stones began marked trail to the shelter, sky frowned, ashen and began to rain. Almost at the very moment when the heavy boots of the last member of our team has crossed the threshold of the long-awaited worn shelter, heavenly dam burst, and the awesome power of the shower curtain down - play is over, and the scene was gone for a solid wall of falling water.

 

Climbing Mount Kazbek from the Georgian side with the guides of MCS AlexClimb

Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.
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