Irina Petukhova at top of Elbrus

The Slopes of Elbrus soaring upwards -Irina Petukhova


Here is the story of Irina Petukhova ”The slopes of Elbrus soaring upwards”

Shrouded in a deep sleep, Elbrus peacefully basked in bed, silence hung like a heavy silence over the ridge of the Caucasus Mountains. It was a little over midnight on the clock. Final preparations, equipment check, a couple of sips of hot tea, and off we go. That night, no one went out of the assault camp to the top except the two of us, and from that, there was even more excitement .. the feeling that in the end, you were alone with the mountain. A short walk along an impenetrable path through a shaky windbreak of stones, and we come to the glacier. Thus began our eleven-hour journey to the summit.

Irina enjoying the sunrise view at Elbrus

A whole tangle of thoughts in my head, one interrupting is replaced by another, creating an unceasing noisy rumble of doubts. I started my way up that night for the second time… Then, a few days ago, on our first exit, not having gone even three hours, we were forced to complete the ascent and turn back, without reaching the top. And no matter how much I searched for reasons and justifications for everything that happened, I could not find humility and peace.
But it was too late to retreat, I’m here again…

Heading up to the summit of Elbrus

Step one, another.
Still warm breath, lazy and unhurried. Inhale-exhale.
I raise my eyes.
..a blue-black night above us, the lines of the slopes of Elbrus soaring upwards, covered with a snow cover of the glacier, the light of Sirius above the peak and the Milky Way, spreading its wings from edge to edge across the entire valley. And the magic of the night .. myriads of stars and dozens of constellations seemed to have fallen from heaven and lay down in a scattering of bright lights.

Mount Elbrus at night with twinkling stars

When a star twinkles in the sky, someone’s prayer is heard in paradise. Hear me too, my dear Elbrus.
Suddenly, thoughts begin to be knocked down by strong gusts of wind, the snow that fell the day before burns the face with ice chips, digging into the skin like sharp red-hot needles. However, the prediction came true. But you keep going. One step, another .. breath lost .. and we are only at the very beginning of the journey.
…but you still go.

Higher up the slope, one can see faint traces of light, the lanterns of those walking in front like mirages, guiding milestones in the darkness of a frosty night…

View at darkness while climbing Elbrus

Inhale-exhale. Breathe.
God .. this endless internal dialogue with yourself.
Suddenly, thoughts began to fill my consciousness, plunging deeper and deeper into the abyss of meditative

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hypnosis. So an hour passed, another. The stars gradually began to fade in the sky, the shadows disappeared, the dawn began.
The wind still did not subside, now knocking down, then furiously digging into the cheeks. For a moment it seemed that the wind would stop everything.
But you still go…

Each of my movements, like a metronome, measured short periods of time with even beats… like a melody that one day you accidentally hear, and then you constantly mentally sing: “.. step one, step another ..”
And here I am in one breath with the top.

Irina at the top of Elbrus

An amazing property of memory, it is inherent in crossing out the superfluous, unnecessary, leaving in secluded corners only that which warms and gives an extraordinary feeling of happiness once experienced. No matter how much I try to squander my every step and breath, every second, minute, hour, like in fast motion, I only remember the moments like flashes, vivid pictures of memories. It was as if I walked all the way up, meditating and circling in a state of hypnosis. And only in a second, having risen to the top, I seemed to wake up from a deep, long sleep. And suddenly all the voices in me fell silent .. except for us at that moment there was no one else on the top, and you – as if in the arms of the whole world!
One step, another step…
and like an echo

Irina is getting back after summiting Elbrus

“..and the mountains, finding peace,
We started the dialogue again.
They are like God for you and me.
You can’t rise above God…

Thank you, Elbrus, for allowing me to touch your peak for a moment and become even closer to heaven …
I love!

horses at Elbrus

The writer of this article is Irina Petukhova. Visit her Instagram page to see her pictures and know more about her.

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