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Wednesday, 26 October 2016


Only risks can be above the mountains

2013-01-16 17:16

Only risks can be above the mountains. 28930.jpeg

Three Russian climbers recently died in Georgia during an avalanche. Last summer, during the descent from the mountain Ushba two Ukrainian climbers fell to the abyss. These tragic events have once again forced to think about the safety of mountain tourism, both in Georgia and in the Caucasus as a whole.


Recently, on the slopes of Mount Kazbek (Mkinvartsveri), the second highest mountain in the country, a tragedy happened. Avalanche covered four climbers. Only one of them has miraculously survived. Last summer, a tragedy occurred in Svaneti, on the Mount Ushba (altitude 4690 meters). Four Ukrainian climbers were walking down after conquering the mountain. At an altitude of about 3,600 meters the rope tore. Two climbers fell into the abyss, and the remaining called for help. Georgian rescuers arrived very quickly, but failed to find climbers immediately. Two corpses were found the next day.

This tragedy once again raised the question of safety of mountaineering and climbing not only in Georgia, but also in the Caucasus as a whole. Let's try to understand what dangers are awaiting tourists in the mountains.

Let's start with the fact that, having staked on the development of tourism in the mountainous regions, the Georgian authorities first began to worry about the safety of tourists both from crime and from the element. For example in Svaneti, at first travel groups and even individual travelers were accompanied by police units. At the same time, the authorities arranged notorious terror against the local population with "zero tolerance" for criminals. All the mountainous residents who had at least some problems with the law, even the most insignificant, got to jail. Also, the people were deprived not only of firearms, but also hunting weapon, while hunting is a significant help in the life of the highlanders. Those who had unregistered gun have got either conditional sentence, and at worst - the real one. As a result, cases of theft, robbery and extortion towards tourists in the mountains do not exist as a phenomenon - though, at the cost of the pressure and intimidation by the police, unimaginable before. However, it is not so easy to make nature obey as the locals.

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