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Madagascar rockclimbing

Rockclimbing expedition to Madagascar by MCS AlexClimb

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Climbing trip to Madagascar - here!

Part I. Madagascar. Abandoned fort. Story from the series "Climbing geography of MCS AlexClimb"

Somewhere here time has stopped. Rusty muzzles of guns stare into the shining distance of the ocean with their fixed pupils. The heated concrete of an abandoned fortress burns the heels, making one involuntarily dance and seek shade. From behind the rocks, the roar and heavy blows of the ocean waves can be heard.

Rockclimbing on the island of Madagascar, a secluded bay - a former military base location.

But it's quiet and secluded in the cozy uninhabited bay with a white strip of abandoned sandy beach, where our tent has found shelter in the shade of a huge mango tree.

Do you know this word? Secluded. A warm Russian word, cozy like a blanket. It our language that means being at the edge, at the border. And that's what it is here - think about it - this is the edge of the world, a faraway distance. And the whole world is somewhere far away, and you don't know where it is.

An abandoned non-working lighthouse on the island of Madagascar, a rock climbing expedition by MCS AlexClimb.

An uninhabited secluded bay sheltered from the heavy Indian Ocean surf by a narrow rocky arrowhead, at the very end of which, on an inaccessible rock, the tower of an ancient, long-abandoned lighthouse gleams white. Closer to the shore, coastal rocks are disfigured by a strange, time-blackened concrete structure, bristling towards the ocean with rusty barrels of long-range guns.

An abandoned 19th-century French fort on the island of Madagascar, a rock climbing expedition by MCS AlexClimb.

Once there was a fort with an artillery battery here, a sad monument to the global colonial fever - there are plenty of such "sights" all over the New World.

The giant gun barrels, weathered through by sea salt and time, gaze out into the ocean. Luckily this battery will never speak again. The guns will never aim at the silhouette of an English brig or a Spanish pirate corvette, swathed in sails. Never again... Strangely, even the echo of my footsteps in the hollow corridors of the abandoned French battery sounds French - "jamais encore" (never again).

Inside the old fort on the island of Madagascar

The inscription "Fourchambault 1884" is engraved on the heavy carriages of the antique guns, immortalizing the creation of these machines of death, of maritime horror. Now it is a monument to time, a phenomenon devoid of meaning and causality, a crooked scar on the rosy and exuberant face of tropical nature.

The concrete citadel of the French fort on the island of Madagascar

The citadel looks much like the concrete ruins of the "impregnable" Mannerheim Line in Karelia in the north of Russia close to the border with Finland. The same "architecture" adorns the sand dunes of the Baltic Sea, where the German army intended to stand forever... only to be completely defeated a few months later. Even at the edge of the world, in New Zealand, I have seen these structures, which, regardless of their location, carry the sad tone of ancient hatred, senseless and are still cruel in their senselessness.

The number and year of manufacture of the cannon 1883. The abandoned fort in Madagascar, a climbing expedition by MCS AlexClimb.

Time has devoured valor and pride, greatness and dignity. History has been rewritten, distorted, and condemned anew. Only the concrete bones and rusty skeletons of colossal guns remain from the achievements of the past. And from the lush overgrowth, the green foam that surrounds the bay, ruins of barracks almost completely consumed by the jungle appear here and there.

Ruins of military installations on the island of Madagascar. Climbing Expedition MCS AlexClimb

Hundreds of years pass, progress allows us to spin the globe like a toy, to overcome any distance, to create what only the best sci-fi writers could imagine fifty years ago. But the concrete ruins speak of something else.

And the iron barrels, blindly looking at the ocean from under the concrete armor of an ancient fortress, mean much less than a simple thin stem that has grown through all this thickness of concrete. And, with its delicate and weak child's hand, has broken through the invincible barrier, created by humans...

Only fishermen occasionally visit the bay near the abandoned fort. MCS AlexClimb climbing expedition.

I stand alone in the empty high room, where the floor is covered with concrete crumbs and marine debris. Rusty gun carriages silently keep their inglorious, abandoned, and forgotten history.

Something strange prompted me to think about this pile of concrete and metal. Vague thoughts, as if not mine, fragments, as if someone else's feelings and sorrows. Maybe I should understand something, guess something important? But there is no answer to a direct question. Only a soundless echo around... Jamais encore.

MCS AlexClimb rock climbing school on the island of Madagascar.

The leader of the rockclimbing expedition to Madagascar, author of the text and photos - Alex Trubachev


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.