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Lhotse 1990

In the spring of 1990, I received an invitation from Sergei Bershov to take part in the selections for the USSR professional sports team to climb Lhotse Peak along the South Face.

The southern wall was still not climbed for the two strongest climbers in the world at that time - Reinhold Mesner and Jiri  cuckoo  was a kind of indicator of identifying the strongest. Mesner had two unsuccessful attempts to pass the wall, and Kukuchka on the third attempt, already at an altitude of about 8000 m, broke and died. As a result, Mesner remained the only strongest in the world.

The application of the USSR national team for this wall then attracted the attention of the international  the public and sponsors, which made it possible to organize the Soviet expedition.

I was surprised that I was the only climber invited from Kazakhstan to the qualifying camps, but as I was later explained, climbers who knew how to climb were selected for the team.

The selections were held according to the "classic" program according to the type of selections for the traverse of Kanchenjunga of the second expedition of the USSR team in the Himalayas. In general, I ended up in the main team and we began training in the Pamirs.

History 1.

The entire team gathered in Dushanbe for the last preparations for a helicopter flight to the Moskvina glacier for training. As part of the expedition, we were introduced to Alexei Trekhlebov, a Krishnaid, who, by religious and psychic means, was to ensure the success of our event. For us, Soviet athletes grown up on the dialectic of Marx and Lenin's theses, this was a shock, but given that the selections for the national team were not yet completed and there was still a chance to fly out of the main team, we didn’t particularly joke about this kind of strengthening the team’s sports team.

About a week in Dushanbe, our task was to purchase the necessary household property.

So one morning, having received a list of what I needed to buy, I sadly headed for the gates of the alpine camp, where we lived. It's sad because the year 90 was the beginning of the perestroika of the USSR and it was not very easy to find and buy what you needed. Before reaching the gate, I met Alexei and jokingly asked him to help me with my purchases. From the camp it was necessary to walk about 3 km to the stop, then wait an hour for a minibus in 40-degree heat, then scour all the shops of the capital of Tajikistan. All this took me at least 5 hours, but in the end I didn’t find anything I needed. Already leaving the Central Department Store with sarcasm in my soul I thought, I asked Alexei to help, but there was no sense.

Coming out of the doors of the Central Department Store, I saw my minibus 70 meters away at the bus stop and bitterly thought to wait another hour for the next one and slowly walked to the bus stop. The minibus didn’t leave and “waited” for me, I got to my stop and went out to walk in the heat for another 3 km, it’s also sad, GAZ 24 stops here, I silently got into it, the road alone went to the mountains. The driver turned out to be the director of the alpine camp, so I drove straight to the place. As soon as I enter the gate, our cook looks at me with bulging eyes, I ask what happened. She says she was sitting with Alexei and peeling carrots, then he gets up and says, Rinat is calling me, I’ll go help him. He went somewhere for about five minutes, then returned and said everything is fine, now he (Rinat) will drive up.

Story 2

We arrived in Achik Tash from there according to plan  we have a helicopter flight to Moskvin. At the same time, an avalanche broke down on Lenin and demolished the camp with 47 climbers, we thought to go in search of the victims, but they gave us a hang-up saying that hundreds of rescuers were already working on the avalanche and we were not needed there. Since the camp was international, the victims were climbers from all over the world and rescuers arrived from all over the world, including search dogs, search equipment and psychics, but no one was rescued and not a single body was found.

We flew to Moskvin, set up camp and went swimming in the moraine lake, pushing the ice, this was part of the training program as a means of gaining divine energy, of course, at the suggestion of Alexei Trekhlebov. Since then, I have not bathed in water below 28 degrees C.

For acclimatization we went to Korzhenevskaya 7131 m, then according to the program 6 B along the Cherny route to the peak of Communism 7450 m. We divided into 4 groups, the first stream, the first two groups went to the wall. I was in the second stream. The weather was not very good, fog and sometimes powdered snow. So the first two groups got to sit-down overnight stays without tents. We went out with a gap of two days and it was sad to think about spending the night at the six thousandth altitude even without a tent. I stand and look at the wall, I see only the beginning of the fog above, and it is also menacingly bluish. Alexei, please make us weather, I turned to Alexei.  He speaks well, moves away about 30 meters, sits down on a large boulder, takes out his bells and begins to pray humming. In the morning we went to the wall, on the right is a classic in a formidable fog and it seems like it’s also with snow, and above us there is a hole in the clouds and the blue sky is visible, a hole of three hundred meters in diameter. In general, we climb normally on dry rocks and almost in the sun. We approach the place where the overnight stay is planned and where the previous groups slept sitting, Petr Kazachok climbs another thirty meters and finds a place where we can set up two tents, as a result we sleep in a tent, in comfort.

We went down the mountain in comfort, then we “ran” the whole team for 10 hours to Korzhenevskaya Peak again and flew home.

Rinat Khaibullin

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