Elbrus and his master: can mount to belong to someone?
During preparations for the ascent, I imagined that Elbrus is a pristine area of the world, says photographer Julia Lilishentseva. It turned out, a lot of people here and plenty of spirited business. But who is the boss: the entrepreneur, climber, or just nature?
Photographer Julia Lilishentseva has set a goal for 10 years from scratch to prepare for climbing Everest. Elbrus was the first step towards this goal. The first part of her story here.
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During preparations for the ascent, I imagine that will be similar to the Elbrus mountains in documentaries. A place of solitude, a pristine area of the world, lost in time and space.
Yes, I knew I was on Elbrus there are some shelters — high-altitude hotels, but did not expect so large concentrations of people.
Was on the mountain a lot of tourists and plenty of spirited business. But who is the boss: the entrepreneur, climber, or just nature?
Upon arrival at the village of Terskol after acclimation I thought of the mountains I was transported to the streets of the seaside resort town.
On the main highway and then scurried about people: tourists in t-shirts and shorts come with their families to ride the lift and “take notes” on the background of mount Elbrus; the same as we, the climbers, and the participants of the upcoming mountain race.
All this against the background of different-sized constructions, proudly called themselves the hotel, the Guesthouse, the restaurant. And in between shops, shops and just tents.
In the morning we got up early. Instructor Edward explained: “We need to be at the cable-car to eight in the morning, otherwise we will wait for two hours in a queue at the lift”.
While we were upstairs, I saw on the slope of the slowly moving people with backpacks. “Some groups acklimatiseras directly on Elbrus,” explained instructor Tanya.
Our program involves the acclimatization to the gorge Adyr-su and to Terskol peak at altitudes up to 3200 meters. During the ascent we immediately climbed up through the ropeway on the station Mir (3,500 meters).
In the World we had a whole hour to the last time to enjoy the amenities that this place offered abundantly. Banquet facilities and small cafes, stalls selling hats, socks and Souvenirs.
Between tourists, like icebreakers through the Arctic ice, were the group of climbers — heavily treading with heavy boots and heading higher to the Gara Bashi (the last station of the ropeway — this site is already a chair) and Barrels (3800 meters).
At this stage, about the word “hotel” can be forgotten. The shelter “Barrels” not for nothing has the name — part of the warm cabins made of tanks. The rest are essentially huts, similar to those in which they live in big cities migrant workers — just a little more.
And if the shelter “Barrels” each of us had a separate bed in a room for eight people, the shelter “Maria” (4200 metres) we had to settle for a two-storey beds occupied almost all the space of a dark room with no Windows.
Ventilation, “interior” and the sanitary conditions were also far from the usual. “What else to expect from a mountain hotel,” you say. Yes, of course, to sleep in warm cabins better than a tent, the biting cold wind. Therefore, from wishing to reserve “rooms” there is no release.