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Iceclimbing in Dombai 2021

MCS AlexClimb Iceclimbing program in Dombai in February 2021.

In the season 2021, due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, it was not possible to run our traditional Ice Climbing School in Norway. But how could you stay without training, which has already become an integral part of our climbing season ?! No, this could not happen and we had to look for an adequate replacement for the Norwegian program. Surprisingly, there were not so many options in Russia, for all the breadth and immensity of our homeland. Not that becaus we have no frozen waterfalls in Russia - there is pleny of them. But, for a good and safe iceclimbing program, frozen waterfalls are not enough. In addition to cascades for climbing, which, by the way, not all are suitable for training, you need an accompanying infrastructure, transport accessibility, the presence of additional activities. It would be so boring for a whole week to knock with your ice axe on the same ice pillar?!

Belolakaya - the mountina closing the gorge of Amanaus river

Of the many options that were considered as a replacement for Norway, it was decided to go to Dombai in Karachay Cherkessia in North Caucasus. The logic of the choice was as follows. First, the Dombai Gorge today - it is a well-developed and popular tourist center, offering, in addition to traditional mountain skiing, a lot of additional services - comfortable accommodation, restaurants, assorted entertainment. Not that this is critically important for iceclimbing, but nevertheless, after training, you want to relax, have a good meal, go to the sauna or at least take a hot shower.

Downhill skiing in Dombai

Dombay greatly coped with all these parameters. As for the transport accessibility of the area, it should be noted that there is a new comfortable highway to the resort. Driving in the villages with a speed limit of 40 km/h and cameras is a little freezing, but given the specifics of the local driving rules and mentality, it seems that it just cannot be otherwise.

Climbing the cascades in Dombai - MCS AlexClimb Iceclimbing School

So, two parameters of an ideal location - transport accessibility and infrastructure have already converged. What can I say about the iceclimbing? The variety of iceclimbing facilities in this area is not abundant, or we have not explored all the possible options. The Amanaus River Canyon offers several points with vertical frozen cascades of 20-30 meters each, with convenient approaches from the road, about 15-20 minutes, but with a large group, none of the locations provides the opportunity for a comfortable training.

Iceclimbing in Dombai

For iceclimbing training, the cascades can be used by a maximum of two pairs of climbers it is not particularly convenient if there are more than 4 people in the group. But there is enough space for individual training or small groups. Note, I am talking exclusively about the ice, which I consider as a convenient training material - that is, at least 20 meters of continuous icevertical. Low angel and stepped cascades are not taken into account - they are of little value for daily iceclimbing training.

Dombai Ski Resort

The third parameter - the presence of additional activities also did not become a reason for disappointment. Dombay ski resort - it is a fully developed and still actively developing winter recreation center, one of the best in the North Caucasus. The main specialization of the resort -mountain skiing and snowboarding. You can ski both on the prepared slopes and freeride, if you have experience and desire to do it. Lovers of ski touring will not be disappointed either, although it is not without a fly in the soup - all the most suitable routes for beautiful ski tours are blocked by border guards. Protection of the borders of Georgia from the Russian side is organized at the highest level at any time of the year.

MCS AlexClimb iceclimbing course in Dombai

I have to say a few words about our innovation of this season - mobile portable sauna. This really cool device will now be actively included in our mountain and training programs. A tent with a special stove, quite compact in size, convenient for transportation both by car and on foot, can be installed in any place you like and please the participants of the program with a real steam bathing. Even the very process of organizing this event turns into a real adventure! We installed our bath tent practically at the foot of a frozen waterfall and pleased ourselves with a good hot steam room in an amazingly beautiful place - such a pleasure will be appreciated by any lover of the sauna art!

Portable sauna in the Amanaus river canyon

And conclusion, of course, one cannot ignore the aesthetics of the Dombai Gorge. Out iceclimbing trainings took place with an incredible view of the most beautiful peaks of the Caucasus, surrounded by rocky cliffs overgrown with centuries-old pines, on the banks of a beautiful mountain river. The proximity of the resort and the highway did not manifest itself in any way, and we can say that it was a total immersion in the world of wild mountain nature.

So, thanks to Dombay - we had had a great time, trained, climbed and prepared for the most challenging ascents of the coming summer season.

Sofruju's Tooth

Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.