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Editor'S Choice - 2019

Moscow, Moscow region, Elbrus, Cheget: how I mastered mountain skiing

Skiing. I always wanted to learn how to even stand on the ski, but there was always some “but”, and nothing worked. And suddenly it happened. It happened, however, not in his youth. Therefore, everyone around was very skeptical about my decision: someone shook his head, someone made round eyes, and someone just laughed and twisted his finger at his temple.

But I still began to ride. At the time of buying shoes and skis, my skiing experience was minimal - I went down narrow from the right slope several times, the left one seemed to me very cool and difficult - it was just scary. I went down to Romashkovo several times.

How I started skiing

There I was impressed by the rope tow. It looks like this: you take in hand a wand with a string to which something is attached, and this something clings to the metal cable. Once - and you rushed forward so that, it seems, the hands will now come off. Feet barely keep up with their hands: first they go, and then everything else, well, and their legs last.

I didn’t even immediately realize that you could, of course, to the best of my physical abilities, just pull up on my hands and stand upright, but at that moment I didn’t succeed, and maybe it just didn’t occur to me. And so it dangled on this rope, like a light bulb on the wiring, with eyes of horror open so that, probably, everything around became lighter.

I must pay tribute: of the skiers around me who stood in line for this lift, no one laughed, well, they smiled, but they didn’t laugh the same. And this is good.

I traveled to Peredelkino and Sorochany. Everywhere I ride a little bit and quietly. But I liked it. Winter, snow, so beautiful all around. I have always loved to go skiing, cross-country skiing. At one time I rode them well. And one was not afraid to run away into the forest, because I knew that catching me up if I'm skiing is not easy.

In my opinion, the most difficult thing in all actions and in any movement is to stop. When I started to drive, I only felt confident when I realized that the car could be stopped instantly. Clutch and brake simultaneously on the floor, let them carry you, you can knock out the glass with your forehead, if you are not fastened (and then nobody is fastened), but you will stop. And when I mastered it - driving the car seemed like pleasure.

This also applies to skiing. How to stay at alpine skiing, if you are still "not a magician, but just learning"? For me it was the most difficult. On cross-country skiing, everything is clear and simple: I sat in one place - and the skis do not travel further. On skis such a number will not work. The skis did not come unfastened, but you sat down, you were carried with a new force, and where - this is someone as lucky. They later explained to me that when you sat down on skis and loaded not socks, but the ends of skis, the conditions for additional acceleration were created, and at the same time the handling of these same skis was completely lost.

The sky is, and there is no bottom

Well, the introductory part is over: you have a very clear idea that I am a “teapot”. And this "kettle" went to the mountains. My perception of the mountains from below - simply amazes their pristine beauty and wild power. But when you are on a mountain, a completely different feeling appears - breathtaking. When you are on a mountain, there is nothing around but the mountains and the sky. And it captures the spirit from precisely this: you are so small, and all around are huge mountains and a bottomless sky.

When you are on the ground, the line from Valery Mikhlyukov’s poem “There is sky, but there is no bottom” seems just funny. And only on grief you understand that this is the case. You are standing on a small piece of a flat snowy platform, and around you there is only the sky: on top, on the left, on the right, behind, the sky is everywhere. And that's all. And there is no bottom. It seems that to descend - and in fact it is necessary to descend from the mountain downwards - is impossible, unrealistic, but necessary. And when you came down and looked back, then there is a feeling of joy and relief - you got to the bottom, and he is!

And at once everything seems to be in place: the sky is above the head, only above the head, and not around, there is a flat platform under your feet, well, almost flat, around trees, roads, houses ... The look notices and clings to literally everything - stones, pines, sun, snow, playful rivers. In short, everything seems very beautiful.

Cheget: how to ride on mounds

Everything is relative, this is a truism. But the question is what to compare with? If you compare the descent of Cheget with the descent to Narrow (you know, I have not very great opportunities for comparison), then in Narrow it is just a smooth path. And in order for the speed not to be as big as it seemed to me, you must first go to the right, then to the left - you get beautiful arcs. And everything seems very simple.

And there is no smooth track on Cheget - there are bumps! At first, I did not even understand what it was. Skiers, do not giggle! At first it seemed to me that these were stones, huge stones, covered with snow. And once we descend from the mountain on which the stones lie, you need to drive between the stones. But why are these stones scattered in checkerboard pattern?

Immediately ask about this, I was ashamed, and did not know who to ask this. And only five years later it dawned on me that it was realized that these were not stones, but simply traces of skiing! Hundreds of skiers make a turn in one place, and a mound and a trace from the skis near the mound form.

I remember that when I went down to Romashkovo, there was something like that. But, first, the descent was many times shorter than on Tcheget, i.e. it was necessary to make only 4-5 sharp turns, and that was it, the slide was over. How many turns do you have to move out of Cheget? Probably no one comes to mind to count them. I'm first.

But to calculate when I went down, I did not succeed. Delight, pleasure - it's all later, when I went down and looked around, and in the process I have only one thought - to stand. Back in Moscow, I was taught: I sat down, an injection (this is the way to stick a ski stick), I got up and turn in the other direction, and there (in the other direction) everything is the same.

So, in front of some mounds, huge, and even just vertical, I was taken aback, I could not budge, what an injection there is. And people, and especially children, between these knolls do not roll, but simply flit. These movements fascinate, attract attention, arouse admiration, it seems that nothing is simpler.

Although not I alone stopped rooted to these mounds. In front of me, Cheget and I went down with my mother and daughter. The girl was 11-12 years old. Mom is a large woman, but I must say, this did not prevent her from fluttering around the hills like a bird - approaching her daughter who stopped in front of the next mound, she said sternly: “Well, quickly, you are detaining people, all because of you are in the queue” . I was alone in the queue, all the others, without slowing down, immediately drove around our sluggish trinity from all sides. Who is on the left, who is on the right. But the girl, probably, just like me, could not budge from what she saw in front of her. And then her mom just poked the ski stick into a soft spot — that was a “shot” —and the movement on the mountain resumed.

By the end of the descent, I was wet like a mouse. Everything that was on me could be squeezed out. But I went through the whole Cheget, from the very top to the bottom, several times. And oddly enough, she didn’t fall very often, and where it wasn’t very cool, you can say, she was just flying in full sail.

Two young men, about sixteen years old, were with me. In the mountains, they are from four years. Tcheget for them is just a home, they come to these places every year, or even twice a year, and they know every bump on Cheget. The ride is very beautiful and powerful. So they looked after me while their parents came off to the fullest on the steep slopes of Cheget.

Why go to Cheget

I'm all about myself yes about myself. But everything that happened to me took place at the festival. Once bards-skiers of Terskol decided to organize annual meetings. In the morning I went skiing, in the evening I sat down with my friends and sang songs, i.e. took away the soul, if, of course, the soul sings.

Now, 200 people come to Cheget for the festival week (this figure seems to me to be very large, but in fact it comes much more) - go and listen to old and new songs, meet friends. At these meetings, in addition to the daily evenings of a bard song, a costume ball is also held.

Costume ball - it sounds very seductive. I think it all immediately brings thoughts of something mysterious, of new acquaintances, of fun, laughter, jokes, dances. So it really was. In the ballroom where the ball was held, there was everything. Dazzling light - the sun was shining brightly, there was not a cloud in the sky. Immaculate interior - sparkling white snow. Exceptionally moment-sensitive musicians - bards and guests, guests, guests ... Carnival costumes from funny to elegant - the New Year is resting.

And then the dancing began. But I can dance (as opposed to skiing). At this point, I took my soul away, and in ski boots it was even fun to dance, and in ski boots and on the table in general! And skating with Cheget in suits? Oh, it is worthy to come and see. Those who organized this festival are great. It is necessary to have a very young soul, an inquiring mind, a cheerful, resilient disposition in order to organize and participate in such festivals.

Skiing from Elbrus

And I? For the first time I was skiing from the mountains and not just mountains, but from such as Elbrus and Cheget. This time I came down from the Pastukhov rocks, but only once. We climbed there on a ratrack, there were about five of us, but there were no such people who climbed there for skiing for the first time, only me. I begged one of the skiers who climbed with us to look after me, he agreed.

And now the snowcat unloaded us and left, and we were left to stand in a small pile in the snow. At this height, only snow, not even rocks are visible, and the sky with the sun, and even silence, such silence that ached in my ears.

I came down almost alone, “my” skier went down in front, always keeping me in sight. It gave me peace of mind and confidence. In my not very sophisticated view, the slope in this place is not very difficult (Cheget was much more difficult for me). But there was a feeling that you are alone somewhere between the earth and the sky - a terrific feeling, as if you are closer to the sky, not to the earth, but to heaven. So high I have never risen. And if you go even higher? What is there?

But we went down. The snow became softer, people appeared and a rolling track. And Elbrus? And what about Elbrus? He stayed. He somehow sunk into my soul. He is my love. And in every visit to Elbrus, this feeling becomes brighter and deeper.

Watch the video: Acclimatization Hike at Mt Cheget, Elbrus Region, Russia (October 2019).