If a friend suddenly turned out to be neither a friend, nor an enemy, but so ... you can go to the mountains without him, but without climbing insurance there is definitely nothing to do there, and it doesn't matter if you are going to conquer Everest or just take a leisurely walk along the slopes with a backpack. Let's figure out why there is insurance in the mountains, how it will help, except how to save money, and why trekking, mountain trekking and mountaineering are insured under different conditions.
A lot of things can happen, on the mountains in general it would be possible to hang a sign like on an electrical panel: "A source of increased danger." Most often, the result of this very danger is fractures, dislocations, bruises, sprains and other injuries of the musculoskeletal system; and if in ordinary life a broken leg is a painful and unpleasant situation, but, in general, not catastrophic, then being in the mountains, in the snow, with a broken limb, is a dubious pleasure, to put it mildly - a taxi from there to the emergency room will not deliver.
Insurance is important here not even because the insurance company will pay for the treatment, but primarily because of the possibility of organizing transportation to the hospital - for this you have to raise a helicopter, and it is not so easy to do it on your own, and sometimes ( most often because of the cost) is generally impossible. This also includes the possibility of organizing search and search activities, but, unfortunately, they are rarely offered.
Interesting! An unexpected but true fact about injuries in the mountains, more precisely, about the perpetrators of these injuries - in almost half of the cases, people fall, receive fractures and dislocations due to gadgets! They are trying to capture the descent or a beautiful view from the mountain, or the camera falls from the hands and the traveler, trying to get it, falls behind it. So sometimes the danger is not nature, not the elements, but ourselves and our indiscretion and carelessness, which should not have a place on such a journey.
There is a difference and it is quite obvious:
Insurers often make clarifications, for example, the terrain for tracking is not just rugged, but WEAKLY rugged, one insurance company designates tracking as a hike to an altitude of 1500 m (hereinafter mountain tracking), the second allows you to go to 2000 m, the third does not limit the height at all. Mountain trekking is the same hiking trip, but already in the mountains, some insurance companies specify that the trails for it must be equipped and marked, sometimes it must be a hike with a guide.
Important! A nuance for those who are going to hike along the Himalayan ridges - most often for this, tourists go to Nepal, and only mountain trekking is available there, almost all trails and camps are located at an altitude of more than 2000 m.
On the Day of the Mountaineer, which is celebrated all over the world on August 8, the trainer, member of the Voronezh Mountaineering Federation Mikhail Torshin told the AiF-Voronezh correspondent about how you feel at the top, how to make the ascent safe and why in the mountains it is important to be a non-conflict person.
Yulia Gorshkova, AiF-Voronezh: Mikhail, how did you come to mountaineering?
Mikhail Torshin: I came to mountaineering from rock climbing. At first, for several years I climbed the climbing wall in the Energia sports complex, went to the Crimea on the rocks. Once I planned to go to Crimea again, but my friends wanted to go to the mountains in the Caucasus. I decided I had to try it too. As a result, we ended up in "Bezengi", which is one of the highest mountain camps in the Caucasus. I managed to make the first ascent there. I liked it, I started mountaineering. Now with the group we go to the Caucasus in the summer, in the spring and autumn to the Crimea.
- What was your first ascent?
- When we started to descend, hail started. Where it was possible to go down on foot in good weather, we had to use ropes. It took longer, but everything went fine.
- How do you feel at the top of the mountain?
- It can be different at the top. In good weather, the beauty is indescribable. You can sit upstairs, look around, just relax, have a snack. In bad weather, or when you are very tired, you want to quickly escape from there. There is statistical electricity, snow, hail, wind. Then you have very conflicting feelings. But it is often very beautiful there.
- How do you prepare for the ascent?
- Preparation for the ascent strongly depends on the chosen route and on the level of the climber himself. When you're a beginner, you just prepare yourself physically. The instructor decides everything else: where, how you go, what needs to be done. Then more independence appears, you start to think for yourself. Preparation for difficult ascents is multifaceted. First, you collect all possible information about the place where you want to go: whether someone went there before you, when is the best time to climb. There are route descriptions. From there you can find out what equipment you need, how long it takes to climb. Further physical and technical training: training for general training, special at the climbing wall. Sometimes we practice in the trees. If a difficult ascent is planned, then a training trip to the mountains is possible. Each mountain has an individual approach.
Bezengi. Photo: From personal archive/Mikhail Torshin
Mountaineering as a social and cultural phenomenon attracts not only the natural beauty of the mountains and an exciting challenge to our physical and technical skills, it is also a team intellectual activity that requires design, planning and communication. The flip side of this creativity and pleasure is an increased risk: according to statistics, among the most dangerous activities in extreme activities, mountaineering is second, perhaps, only to base jumping. This is why the task of effectively teaching the safest mountain behavior is considered the most important. Efficiency here means the transmission of the most necessary set of techniques and techniques that a person who starts mountaineering must master, even before the first ascent, no matter how simple it may seem.
Volkov A., President of the ARF. Tutorial "School of Mountaineering"
Mountaineering, rock climbing and even just walking in the mountains are activities that can pose a potential threat to your health and life. When climbing the peaks, climbers face various dangers. As a rule, with the exception of situations associated with natural disasters, danger arises from the erroneous actions of the person himself.
Errors can be divided into two groups - technical and tactical.
Technical errors - errors associated with insufficient knowledge or incorrect use of techniques and equipment necessary for trouble-free movement on a specific mountainous terrain. The situation can be aggravated by a lack or incorrect selection of equipment, fatigue, bad weather, dark hours of the day, lack of mutual understanding in the team.
Tactical mistakes - climbing activity is associated with overcoming numerous dangers associated with the terrain, with meteorological conditions and directly with the actions of the climbers themselves. Timely recognition of hazards is facilitated by knowledge of the nature and causes of phenomena (avalanches, rockfalls, thunderstorms, etc.), which allows you to completely eliminate or significantly reduce the likelihood of accidents and dangerous situations when climbing or hiking.
The correct choice of the object and the time of the ascent or the route of the mountain hike can only be made by a person who has sufficient knowledge to assess the readiness of the team for this ascent or mountain hike. As well as understanding the specifics of the mountainous region in which the event is planned.
Today in Russia there are de facto two structures that train professionals in the field of mountaineering. These are the Central School of Instructors of the Russian Mountaineering Federation and the School of Mountain Guides of the Association of Mountain Guides of Russia. It is necessary to understand that high personal sports qualifications of a person without knowledge of teaching methods are far from always sufficient for successful work as an instructor or guide.
Mountains for beginners are something unknown, alluring with their picturesque views and requiring a fairly high physical fitness and endurance. CLIMBING BROTHERS is a team of professional climbers, with whom you will find out which mountain to choose for yourself at this stage, prepare for the hike (choice of shoes, clothing, equipment), and receive the first practical training for successful conquest of the peaks.
Let's start over, which mountain should a beginner choose?
First of all, never go to the mountains on your own, let alone the first time. This is possible only for climbers who have many years of experience in conquering peaks.
Secondly, even if you are in good physical shape, do not choose difficult mountains right away. They require special training and support from professional climbers.
1. Adam's Peak (Adam's Peak) (2243m) is a mountain in the western part of Sri Lanka. An amazing feature of the peak is a temple sacred in Islam and Judaism. It captures the "footprint of the Buddha." There are 5,200 steps leading to the temple with elevation differences of 1 km.
2. Ai Petri (1234m) - you can climb in different ways. But for walking, tourists choose the Botkin Trail. Passing caves, meteorological stations, waterfalls, the Bedene-Kyr peak, you will have an indescribable view of the coast.
3. Hoverla (2061m) - the mountain is covered with scree, shrubs, alpine meadows. This is the highest point in Ukraine, which is located on the Chornohora ridge. Climbers with experience warn novice climbers before climbing to the top of the mountain - already at an altitude of 1500 meters there is a lack of oxygen.
4. Fisht - 2868m height of the western part of the Caucasian ridge. There are not only steep slopes, but also glaciers. Visually, it is a mountain range with a hole in the middle. According to legend, it was to Fisht that Prometheus was chained.
The conquest of the highest mountain in Altai, Belukha (4509 meters), in 2014 acquired a hundred-year history. During this time, climbers have completed and described more than a dozen routes of various categories of difficulty from 2B (not difficult) to 5A (for well-trained ones).
Despite the fact that Belukha is 1000 meters below Elbrus, a number of experts consider climbing Mount Belukha more dangerous and technically difficult. Complications are caused by slopes covered with eternal snow, glacial cracks, rockfalls, snow-ice areas with a serious steepness from 35 to 60 degrees. The closer to the top, the more severe the meteorological conditions: frequent piercing winds, the average temperature in summer is -15, in winter -30 degrees, the recorded minimum is -48 degrees. Therefore, the best period for climbing the mountain is from June to August.
At the foot of Mount Belukha, the climate is more comfortable, on average in summer +22 during the day, +14 at night. The landscapes are more colorful: coniferous forests, transparent lakes, turbulent rivers and waterfalls against the background of snow caps. For those who did not dare to climb Mount Belukha, in 2021 and 2022 trekking trips were developed in the vicinity.
Those who are mentally prepared for testing require preliminary physical and technical training. If it is not possible to master technical skills, then the guides-instructors will help with this during the hike. The average duration of routes in the Altai Mountains is 12-14 days.
The border of Russia and Kazakhstan is located on the Belukha mountain range, therefore, to climb to the top, you will need a pass to the border zone. The passes are usually issued by the tour organizers.
The most common ascent of Mount Belukha in 2021 and 2022. Like many other routes, this one consists of two parts: trekking and technical. Trekking usually starts from the village of Tungur or from the Tri Birch glade, continues along the Akkem River through Lake Akkem and the Akkem glacier to the Tomsk sites at the foot of Mount Belukha. It is on the Akkem glacier that technical training takes place. The length of the walking stage is 40 or 57 kilometers, depending on the start of the start. In order to save strength and energy for climbing, we recommend renting a transfer with high cross-country ability on the off-road from the village of Tungur to Three Birches.
From the Tomsk sites (3000 meters) the climbing route of the 3A difficulty category starts. We are going to cross the Delone pass, then along the Mensu glacier to the Bolshoy Berelskoye saddle pass, from which the assault on the Belukha peak begins along the rocky-ice ridge. The length of the technical part is 12 kilometers. Climbing the mountain takes 2 days.
The classic route from the south through the Gebler glacier (in other words - the Katun glacier) has long been popular due to the fact that it was an easier ascent in the category of difficulty - 2B. The route was accessible to tourists with minimal preparation. The most difficult obstacle on the way is the icefall on the Gebler glacier, which has changed a lot in recent years, due to which the difficulty of the route has increased. Nowadays, it is rarely seen among tourist tours.