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How does it feel to feel on top of the world, to prop up the clouds with your feet?
For those who have not climbed the mountains, the feelings are unfamiliar. But you can at least try to imagine.
For example, after talking with a seasoned traveler.
Sergey Kuznetsov has been involved in sports tourism since childhood. He mastered his first winter hike at the age of 11, he climbed the mountains for the first time, and these were the Khibiny mountains, at 13.
Now our interlocutor is 34. It turns out, more than 20 years of experience. So what are they – mountains? Let’s try to disperse fantasy.
– Sergey, why did you become interested in tourism and rock climbing? Perhaps, remember your first experience in this matter?
– Since childhood, I have been engaged in sports tourism, mostly mountainous. And rock climbing is, by and large, training and what you can do without going to big mountains.
My parents were tourists and met in the Carpathians, in western Ukraine. My brother and I, it turns out, followed in their footsteps. I was sent to the tourist section at the age of 9-10, perhaps this was the starting point.
As a child, you don’t really understand that it is dangerous, you treat it like a sport, you just want to reach the end, get to the finish line.
It was great to end up at home and feel the taste of fresh black bread and butter. Tourism began to bring pleasure at the age of 16-17, when we already took our first places in the competitions.
– The most vivid emotion that you feel when you have conquered the next peak?
– At the top, as a rule, I do not experience any strong emotions. Because I know: the path to the top is exactly half.
Feelings will be later, in the valley, with family and friends. The most vivid emotion is always fear, which you don’t let go beyond the Adam’s apple, because there is a clear sequence of actions in your head, otherwise there is no way.
Sometimes it’s a fear of beauty, in which you want to stay.
– I know that you climbed Elbrus. Perhaps this is one of the most famous peaks. What was it like?
– Yes, I went to Elbrus from the south and east. In fact, the feelings are twofold. On the one hand, this is a very poppy place and there are a lot of people there.
There is no pure snow left on the southern slope, everything is haunted by snow groomers and snowmobiles. And in principle, in good weather, you can climb Elbrus in ordinary winter shoes and a “city” down jacket.
It is not necessary to have any technical means, only cats (they put on their feet to walk on the ice). On the other hand, Elbrus is the largest pickulin in this mountain range, so the weather changes at the snap of your fingers.
In October, my friend went to Elbrus from the north as part of a commercial group.
During the ascent, the weather was perfect, but on the saddle a thundercloud came with all the aggravating circumstances, as a result – minus one person.
– Climbing the mountains is exciting, but, as you rightly noted, dangerous. What is it for?
– I don’t know, probably, to live. I do not climb mountains, they will stand for many thousands of years after me.
It’s just that I feel very good there, it seems, and there are enough problems too, but you look up and you already want to smile.
And damn it, it’s nice to live with the clouds at the same height, however, they are not so fluffy, they are very humid and you can’t see anything.
We once saw a thundercloud below ourselves, which was wetting people below, but we have nothing, sun.
– Besides Elbrus, there must have been a lot of expeditions. What were the strongest impressions on you?
– Each trip was remembered for something. Once we were in Altai on an autonomous hike for 3 weeks, and it was raining almost all the time, only 2 days were sunny.
The mountain trip in Georgia was remembered for its delicious food. The trip to Khibiny took place in August.
And there winter began, and we were a little unaware. The last trip was to Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. The Pamirs are incredibly beautiful mountains.
– When they talk about rocks and mountains, Vysotsky’s lines about checking friendship are sure to come to mind. How do mountains actually reveal people’s characters? How did they personally change you?
– Probably taught to enjoy life in one breath. But this is a difficult question. I still learn from them.
– And friendship? Has she changed thanks to hiking?
– Friendship for me has always been something cementing, fortunately I don’t know another.
– In our region, it seems, there are no places for training. Well, except for the Dukes, maybe. And in fact? Where do you practice and how do you train?
– Yes, we train mainly in the Dyukinsky quarries, we used to go to competitions in the Melekhov quarries, but the slopes are crumbling there.
And in winter we train at the climbing wall in Vladimir.
– Do you have dream routes?
– The more you travel, the more you want. I would like, of course, to Nepal, well, and the handsome Materhorn beckons, this is Italy-Switzerland.