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I am not trying to be a versatile or, as they say,
unconventional individual. I simply want to be happy.
For me happiness is the harmony between creativity, study,
health, work and God. If this means harmony, than it is Happiness.
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This is where my trekking started. At that time, I perceived myself as young and athletic man without financial or housing problems. A year before going to Elbrus I visited the Baykal. Near Chivyrkyuskiy natural preserve there is a mountain called Svyatoy Nos (Holy Nose). It is only 1800 high. It was suggested to me to climb it or rather take a walk there. “People walk there just like they do on Tverskaya Street in Moscow” said the local forester. On that day I almost died: heat collapse plus dehydration. I drank water from pools. On my way back I lost my way. On that day I understood that I had neither strength of character, no strength of body. And that is when I decided to climb a serious mountain. The fabulous Elbrus was my first mountain for me. Since then I climbed it three times. Twice in summer and once in winter. And each time it was not simple. Each time I returned again and again. I am sure that there will be the fourth climb. For the last time in 2007, I climbed Elbrus in winter. Some of my mountain climber friends compare it with climbing Everest. So far, I cannot compare. I can only say that it is very difficult. Very cold. The wind is very strong. The “bottle” ice into which you cannot drive your anchors and if you fall it will be a very long one – all the way to Terskol or Stavropol. For a week we waited for normal weather in an unheated shelter with temperature inside dropping below 10 degrees centigrade. Every day we had to excavate the doors. But still we climbed the mountain. There was no cross anymore. My friend who was making the video did not turn on the camera and in the clip there are other climbs. At that time we were getting ready for Everest. When we descended and telephones started to pick up signal, I learned that there are riots in Tibet and government of China closed it for visitors. We descended on the day of the ascent, and later that night we drove to Stavropol. Now I have large experience of such extremities. When you get up at 4 A.M., climb a mountain, then descend the whole day to the foothill and then drive all night through impassable roads. That time we managed to get to Stavropol and Moscow. And I am convinced that I will return to Elbrus again and again.

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