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On December 30, I flew to Murmansk, not without incident I got to the well-known Sami village of Lovozero, celebrated the new year, and on January 1, at 9 am I set off along the route that involved crossing the Chivruaysky pass, to Kirovsk. This pass is famous for the fact that the weather on it can change in a matter of minutes, and the winds on the plateau blow practically without interruption all year round. Back in 1973, a tourist group of 10 people was not lucky enough to fall into a trap on this very pass, the wind was so strong that it was simply impossible to stand on their feet and leave the pass, the whole group died. Later in the investigation of the incident, they will write: the group was in conditions incompatible with life. This is not the only case, for example, in 1963, another group barely survived a three-day storm, but still managed to survive and get out to rescuers. In honor of the dead group, a hut was built at the beginning of the pass, and a memorial monument was erected on the plateau.
It took me 15 and a half hours to get to the hut. I got to her at half past one in the night, suddenly the door opened in front of me and a man came out of it, we met, Nikolai came about an hour before me, starting from Revda. Both were tired of the trash, but immediately began to cut wood and light the stove. After a 40-kilometer march from Lovozero, things were wet, and by morning they would have simply turned into a piece of ice.
The next day we sawed wood, dried our clothes and celebrated the New Year in a forest hut among the mountains. And the next morning, waking up early, I made sweet tea, checked into the log of the hut and moved through the forest to the pass. In the forest, the snow lies loose, there is no crust at all, the legs fall through and it is very difficult to walk, like in a swamp.
Due to the short daylight hours, you cannot relax, you need to climb and cross the pass as soon as possible. At the very pass, fog began, nothing is visible, that from above or below, all around the eyes they see only white light, and it is impossible to understand where you are now, what is around you, and where you are going. I had to go on a whim, if you feel the lift with your feet, then you need to go there, if the rise is too steep, then you hit the "wall" of the pass, turn and go where the ascent is more gentle. So I walked until it got dark. I didn't go back, I stayed right on the pass, set up a tent and fixed it as far as possible. Even the elongated reinforced pegs did not really save, and I covered the tent around with snow, using a snowshoe for this.
The boots were wet again, I threw them inside a heating pad so that they would dry out at least a little, then that in the morning they would be frozen inevitably, so I unlaced them in order to somehow shove my feet into them in the morning. It doesn't matter if your shoes are wet or dry, it is important whether you have dry socks, from such a simple little thing to which we are all accustomed here, your life depends there.
The wind began to gradually intensify, turning into gusty, and in the evening, resting his feet on one end of the tent, with his head on the other, and propping up the ceiling with a backpack, I hoped that it would not burst, of course I wanted to leave, but hope that the tent hold me up until morning, by morning the wind died down and I fell asleep.
I woke up by an alarm clock at 9 am, fog again, squeezed my feet into my frozen boots, packed my tent and went to the pass, again I couldn't make out anything. At some point, the slope turned into a flat horizontal solid crust, I am on a plateau. The wind on the plateau is much stronger than it was lower on the pass. I saw next to Seid covered with snow, sat down and began to think about what to do next. Ahead of the route I will have a cliff that I need to go around on the right, but my maps do not show the detailed relief of the terrain and I did not expect that I would have to walk blindly in the fog. The decision is hard, but you have to retreat, it is impossible to go further in the white darkness. I'm going down.
200-300 meters below the place where I spent the night and out of the corner of my eye I notice a person in the direction, wow!)) I come closer, this is Nikolai, digging out a place for the tent. Tomorrow he goes to the plateau, okay, so I will interrupt points from his navigator to my own to get around the cliff and try again.
The next day we got up early, quickly packed up and went to the plateau, today there is almost no wind, the fog remained below the plateau, and excellent visibility! We go to the monument to the group that died in 1973, here we disperse and further along the plateau, on the other side of the pass I go alone.
March 16, 2016 Walking through Australia's vast desert is a ritual woven into the rich fabric of the country's past. Thousands of years ago, the first inhabitants of the country went on a “walk,” a spiritual journey on foot that traced the ancient footprints or “song lines” of their ancestors. Today you can follow in their footsteps.