The history of the Prince's Gift of Ushba group - "Witches' Sabbath".


V. Ricamarsi's expedition, which set off from Austria to conquer Mt. Ushba, consisted of eleven men and one woman, Cenci Van Ficker. The group was welcomed at the village of Etseri, at the foot of the mountain, with the typical hospitality of the locals. The prince of the region, Tatarkhan Dadeshkellam, "a person halfway between an English lord and a gang leader, " as the European mountaineers defined him, put them up and toasted to their success.
Adolph Schultze tried to climb up the northwestern face, but befell. His life was saved thanks to his rope team companion's quick reflexes, but he received serious head wounds. The rope team returned to their base camp, where Mrs. Van Ticker dressed Schultte's wounds. With his head still bandaged, Schultze wanted to try the ascent again; this time he managed to lead the group -made up of the Germans Schuster and Reichert and the Swiss Helbling and Weber - to the southern peak. it is said that the prince organized a lavish banquet to celebrate the success of the expedition; but he noted that one of the members did not take part in the festivities. Mrs. Van Picker was standing alone, looking at Mt. Ushba with tears in her eyes, as she had not managed to climb it. When the prince found out the reason for her behavior, he called for pen and paper and dictated the following to his scribes.
"I, Prince Tatarkhan Dadeshkeliani, today grant to Mrs. Cenci Van Ticker of Innsbruck the right of ownership of Mt. Ushba, indicated geographically as 16° 19' 25" 89 E and 43° 7' 34" 62 N (the real position is 4.3° 09 N and 42° 43' E), the highest peak in the area, as well as everything that belongs to this isolated mountain to the north, west and south in the alpine-topographical sense of the word. Etseri, Svanetia, 12/2°) July 1903."
The expedition went back to Europe and in western Svanetia, the land of the Dadeshkeliani, the prince's exaggeratedly generous gift was on everyone's lips. One day the most powerful men in Svanetia met, and then fearlessly confronted the prince: "Tatarkhan, how could you give away our lovely Ushba, and to a woman, to boot?". The prince replied.: "What do you care about this group of rocks? The mountain will remain right where it is, while it will make the woman happy to think she is its owner"'