Christmas Kazbek 2022

Relations with Kazbek continue to develop 😂😊. It would seem: where already, but no - it was on it that my first winter ascent of the five-thousander took place.

On January 7, 2022, together with the team of the Vysota project and the freshly assembled russian youth team of the classic mountaineering, I again stood at the top.

As in a fairy tale: they gave me all the missing winter equipment (and there was much more of it than I could get), wonderful people at my side, food, gas supplies and they said: "Let's go to the Mountain - we have a training camp." Well, how could you not run?

We slept in ordinary tents: 1 overnight at Karmadon baths, 1 overnight at 3500m, 2 overnights at 4200m, and then warmed up in hot thermal springs. There were no frosts (the very minimum felt -17 degrees), but the experience turned out to be multifaceted both in working with equipment and in working with photographic equipment. I decided to list all the jambs and conclusions that I came to - suddenly it will be useful for someone too.


The first experience of winter photography at 5000m:

— I didn’t take a second battery 🙉 (more precisely, I took it, but lost it).

— The cap of the Korean width was broken and was held on by an elastic band for money, so it was impossible to watch without tears as I took out and put away the camera. By the way, this is how I went on an expedition to the South Muya Range, but it’s impossible to walk like that in winter (I’ve already ordered a silicone cover).

— The cap from the telephoto lens was poorly fixed and flew off (as it turned out later, I missed it with the diameter when buying 🙉, I already ordered the right one).

Things from the backpack that were not useful:

— ski mask (just lucky, but without it at all, no, no).

— mittens are large and warm RedFox (just lucky, but generally I wanted to wear them, the mittens were not mine, but I want the same ones).

— Wristwatch (I was constantly surrounded by people with phones).

— compression pants (I thought that there would be heavy loads on the legs, but the pace of the group with which I was walking dispelled this fear).

Things that came in very handy:

- Adhesive plaster (even the most comfortable shoes rub in such conditions. I remembered the cool underwear socks Mund Elbrus - they would help here).

- flint (the lighter stopped working altogether).

Things that would have been useful, but I did not take them:

— Slippers for thermal baths (I had to harden myself and run barefoot on snow and ice).

— a bathing suit for baths (I had to dispossess Artem for a clean backup T-shirt).

— jumpsuit-self-resetting.

— a membrane jacket or softshell (it was more difficult to dress properly so as not to overheat and get wet without them)

— hat is dense wind-resistant fleece.


What was wrong and what needs to be improved:

— mittens should be attached to the down jacket so that they can be quickly removed and put on. On the down jacket, which they gave me to go out so that I could survive, there were even special places where you could fasten ribbons from mittens - one problem: there were no ribbons sewn on my tops 🙉

— the hood of the warmest down jacket should fit on the helmet, it happened with difficulty for me - it did not fully fasten and therefore flew off, which made me distracted and lose full concentration at the time of ascent.

— if a downy sleeping bag is cheap, then most likely it will let all the down through the seams: after the first night I found that all the clothes had fledged, and after the fourth night I felt like a chicken. Together with the rest of the unpleasant nuances of winter mountaineering, it was not good. But I don’t have my own warm sleeping bag, so it’s a sin to complain.

— there should be a clear system and strict rules. It is better to have one thing and always know where it is than to have five and try to find them every time. Every second of time in the cold is of the utmost importance, so the speed of working with your own clothes and equipment plays a much more decisive role here than even in technical mountaineering.

— backpack. Properly folded. Not skewed, but evenly filled with a correctly distributed load. For winter mountaineering, 60 liters is not enough. Even if you took the most expensive light and warm equipment, its total volume will exceed this mark, which means that the inevitable phase of daily torture will come to cram the unpushable in the morning cold. Stiff fingers, frayed nerves, and other things you can do without.
— how to carry an ice ax so that you can get it at any time and replace the sticks. The question was left open. I passed with a caritula on the waist clasp of a backpack, where I fastened it: uncomfortable. It dangled and interfered with walking along the steep slope, striving to stick and throw me somewhere. A working and good option is to put it between the back and the backpack, but this way you can pierce the puff or even drop the tool.
— cap. I went without her. In principle, I can’t say that I suffered, because I had a background from the Far East, two hoods, but I still periodically wanted a good dense windproof hat. It would be colder - I would like it doubly.
— jumpsuit-self-resetting - this is +100500 to everything. It’s hot to walk in a suit, but it’s cold to put it on when you come to the parking lot [😅] (if it’s not self-resetting, you have to take off your shoes). In general, the more versatile your clothes are in use (the more different locks and options for creating ventilation or insulation, the better for winter. For example, I didn’t take off my S ** jacket for the whole trip, it had a throat, there was a hood and there was a full lock, which I unfastened when it became hot while walking). This is not critical in the city when you have problems with thermoregulation due to excessive or insufficient clothing, in the winter mountains and at altitude, any delay in this matter is very fraught - you will get sick from hypothermia (lack of clothing or clothes are wet from sweat) - you will not see the ascent or see, but through such physical and mental anguish that it will be a feast victory.

P.S Many thanks to those who helped with the equipment!

Sleeping bag that could: Dmitry Koklin

Mittens that I walked to the top and didn't put on: Valera Arakeliants

Ice tool: Dmitry Koklin

The warmest down jacket in my life: UAL Club

Two-layer dream boots: Club UAL


Huge sincere gratitude for the organization to Alexander Yakovenko.