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Ushba 2002. Author Sergey Zabrodin

Georgia, climbing Kazbek

(author S. Zabrodin)


Russian-Georgian climbing Ushba in 2002, dedicated to the anniversary of Michael Hergiani was developed by the climbing and mountaineering in the program AlexClimb Sport With No Bounds with the support of Russian Federation of Mountaineering and Mountaineering Federation of Georgia. Sponsor of the expedition was the company "Alpine-trade", to provide equipment and equipment from manufacturers such as: TREZETA, LOWE ALPINE, CAMP, EDELWEISS, PETZL, CHARLET MOSER.

Caucasus, climbing Ushba from Svaneti Learning that in July we are going to Svaneti, all reacted very similar: where to where ?! Yes, you have the same there ... robbed, killed, taken hostage, and so on. D. Immediately remembered friends or friends of friends, who are in dire alteration, though mingled with fiction and, ultimately, to the frightened eyes there is the image of Svaneti: country inhabited inhospitable mountain people who do not give up their arms and to which is better suited ...

Questions about the organization of the expedition Svan President GAF Beno Kashakashvili calmly replied that everything would be fine and we will take good. In general, none of the participants really had no idea what awaits us in Svaneti.

On the train Moscow - Vladikavkaz I borrowed Volodya Yanochkina book Alexander Kuznetsov "Bottom Svaneti," climbed to the top shelf and began to read. In front of me from the first page open a completely different country. Instead of "wild men with guns" - proud courageous people with a history stretching back more than a thousand years, instead of "nation of thieves" - amazing mountainous country, where the charm and emanated from the pages of the book.

Under the plan the expedition began with climbing Kazbek, but the first difficulty we still waited at the entrance to the border with Georgia. Numerous police posts, where almost all officially passing extort money, is located on the last kilometers of the Russian part of the Georgian Military Road. In general, it is possible and refuse to pay for all these "fees", but who is passing knows what is in store for him?

On the border - 4.5 hours tedious waiting, the highly anticipated transient inspection of our mini bus and here we are in Georgia.

Georgia meets us more kindly than accompanied Russia: stopped on the way to Kazbegi, where they were to meet with the Georgian team only once - it was a point of veterinary inspection. In Kazbegi we stopped at a local museum mountaineering, based in the family home Egor. The family itself is living in the house opposite, and where we were invited to dinner. Seeing the food, we are a little confused, but our Georgian friends say - do not hesitate, they are open to all climbers.

Caucasus, climbing Ushba from Svaneti Evening view on the Gergeti Trinity Church and Mount Kazbek for a long time, probably will remain in my memory. Delicate pink hues, color mountain and hill on top of which stands a clear silhouette of the church.

The next day we waited a long climb to the weather station, where two days later we climbed to the top of Mount Kazbek. All Russian climbers were first on this top. The route and the weather was perfect and we returned to the camp in good spirits got an excellent impression of the mountains.

From Kazbegi we went to Tbilisi on the day of return from the weather station and in the late evening were already at the hotel. Thanks to the true Caucasian hospitality three days in the capital of Georgia passed unnoticed for us: museums, excursions, feasts ...

Way to Svaneti Tbilisi by car is long - it's 15 hours away, half of them on the mountain roads. From the south entrance to the Main Caucasus Range completely different than in the north. The road winds for hours on picturesque gorges, wooded, the villages are small and very rare. We are in Svaneti! The driver stopped next to each man encountered on the road, and about something for a long time speaks Svan. We stop at the bend in the road near the village of masers. Before us rises overcast, inhospitable Ushba. An hour later, we are already in the capital of Upper Svaneti - Mestia.

Caucasus, climbing Ushba from Svaneti place - a large village, spread out in the valley of Inguri. Is a picturesque sight. Here and there in order of battle froze ancient Svan towers around the tiny multicolored rectangles of fields, all surrounded by dark coniferous forest. We drive to the place and see traditional Georgian stone house - two floors, large balcony, staircase to the second floor outside. Lev Sarkisov, a member of the Georgian team, a veteran of the Soviet and Georgian mountaineering sadly looks at the dilapidated buildings: here was a restaurant, a hotel here, but here mail. But homes, by Russian standards, the impression of prosperity. We have all the gypsy encampment (as we already 14 people) in the house of one of the district leaders, stands next to the house belonging to this ancient tower. Admission is striking warmth even after a week's stay in Georgia: this is what is called the Mountain hospitality.

The next day we go to the museum Mikhail Hergiani. Here you see that the attitude towards Misha (as everyone calls him here) is not just veneration famous countryman, and a cult. From the museum to walk home, solve ancient buildings and talk with proleaders. Gradually imbued with the spirit of this land, the lives of people know and understand what you have read in the book Kuznetsova - this is pure truth. In conversation, just as the ancient ruins of the past shows of this country. Harsh millennial struggle for survival when there was not enough pasture and fields (all farmland literally visible from any tower - is that by our standards probably would fit under the kitchen garden), the War of Independence. Svaneti in its history has never been conquered by invaders or what, there is a legend that the treasures of the Georgian kings were kept in Svaneti. Memory of the past is not gone: even the young speak with pride about the history of their country. Near our house - the old church of St. George Dzhgrag in Svan. Nicholas put a candle there pleaser. I can not believe that this church more than a thousand years.

The next day we go to masers and from there begins the ascent to Gulskie (Hunting) overnight. In the evening - the last gathering. Russian-Georgian-Svan team of 10 people starts to climb Ushba, remains at the bottom of the support group (5 persons), of which I entered. The weather is not ideal: morning sun, afternoon and night - rain. We are worried about the rising, seeing as permanently closes the mountain. Sometimes it is possible to see the guys on the rise in binoculars.

Two days later, to our parking rose 26 young Svan, is going to take part in alpiniad. The next day was devoted to the teachings of snow and ice. In the evening of the day (3 day ascent of the main group), no one went to bed with the sunset: Ushba clear of clouds, and we are anxiously watching the descent from the top guys. In complete darkness we clearly saw through binoculars their flashlights. Around 3 am, they descended to the assault camp and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. The next evening climbers met on Gulskih night.

Caucasus, climbing Ushba from Svaneti Meeting expedition began in the village Mazeri: ordinary people who, seemingly, nothing should have known about us, greeted with refreshments, wine and toast. A night in Mestia gala night dedicated to the memory of Michael Hergiani. In close cinema hall crammed probably 3 times more people than it can hold. 3:00 speeches, performances of folk ensembles - in the hall was not indifferent persons. The memory of Hergiani is not just alive in the hearts of Svan, and is one of the components of their culture. And then ... the banquet, moving in Tbilisi press conference and transient wires.

We are in Moscow. Remembering the events of these days, those words that we heard in Svaneti, Tbilisi, you know how important was this expedition and for us and for Georgian climbers: first joint event of this magnitude since the collapse of the USSR, the expedition, which, hopefully, will be the first step towards friendship Russian and Georgian mountaineers.

I do as I can not forget the words of the owner of a small cafe in Kazbegi spoken with tears of joy in his eyes: "You are Russian? I'm glad I have not seen for ten years Russian here ..."

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.