My solo climbing upon Mt. Ushba together with my brother.
It was summer time of 1989. The strong wind tousled our tent all night long, trying to catch it up and blow away. We hide it on the edge of glacier in front of majestic northern face of Mt. Ushba. All night long it was either rustle of snow whisper or raining' drum. My brother and I - we are waiting for dawn, coming over Ushbinskiy glacier up to the direction of wide ice gully, where our rout begins. We have been waiting together for this morning during seven years and now nothing gonna stop us to loose this chance. The mountain was covered with the mist of clouds get lost in it, now it's half open. We are coming free style. It is over this Great Mountain which we should climb in a fine way. After the gully we get traverse to the left and climbing up by the wide ice face cut with various "gutters". It is very steep, but we continue climb up further in solo free style, up - to the summit! It is 1500 meters high. Four strikes of ice hummer for each meter of rout. 6000 times putting all power you have into every strike, you prove yourself to stay alive climbing over this endless Ushba North face. Eight hours of extreme before we admire our knees on the summit of "Witches' Sabbath", realising, that life is fine, but still I can not express what was the reason I need all these things for?
Next radio communication catches us up in the descent. The last of my brother's words I hear were: "It's OK. We did it. We're coming back. See you..." The Gate of the Hells suddenly opens inviting my soul like in immortal Dante's tragedy. I fall to the perfidily hidden crevase without rope through betrayal snow. 10 m, 20 m ... How long will I fall more? The soul is ready to flow up over the Caucasus infinity, looking on the endless mountains around. But till the last moment of my dive I believed and hoped, that it is not the last day of my life, turning mentally inside my past and future life here in Caucasus, where seems I know each stone.
It was nice dive. After 25 meter fall I have been smashed waist-deep into snow bridge inside crevase over the chasm. Well, this time Mt. Ushba gives me a chance to leave its cold embrace.
To be continued...