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Miracle rice
1991, the first Kazakh Himalayan expedition to the Himalayas to Dhaulagiri peak (8167 m), route along the center of the Western Wall (first ascent).
We were already starting to fall out of the climbing schedule due to the wall's middle rock belt, which was difficult to climb and resulted in the wall overhang.
Our group (Anatoly Bukreev, Andrey Tselishchev, Rinat Khaibullin) has been processing these last 70 meters of a complex rocky belt for the third day already.
So here is the story of the last 30 meters.
The cherished end of the wall was already close, but in front of me was a rocky cornice, which I had to climb through. The monolithic overhanging wall had few cracks and the possibilities to organize belay were extremely limited, which also did not contribute to smooth work on the route.
The cornice was logically convenient to pass diagonally. Under the eaves, I managed to find a crack, into which I hammered the hook, the hook entered without ringing and did not inspire me with great hope for its strength. I started climbing and after 5 meters hung on small holds, from which I flew down. Hitting a rock and a weight, Andryukha "caught" me.
Feet in plastic boots and in iron crampons do not get pleasure from such flights, there is a real danger of tearing the ligaments of the ankles, I already had it.
I feel sad in my heart, Andryukha has longing in his eyes, we look at each other, then in two voices we yell at Buka (Bukreev), who was standing on the shelf below, “What are you standing? Looking for an overnight stay.
Buka swayed with a pendulum on a rope, returned to a shelf, the size of two feet, and calmly announced to us that this shelf would be a place to spend the night.
I began to tune in for the second attempt, did a warm-up, breathed aggressively, like I was at a climbing competition, my pulse quickened, I had confidence in my eyes and in my soul to pass. He began to climb and again flew down, again a blow, the hook held out, the rope was stretched, Andryukha looked at me with alarm, everything was intact with me, it passed.
"Andrey, can you try?" he shakes his head, "I can't."
My confidence that I will climb this section has already vanished, and then Andrey exclaims, “I know what to do!”
At the beginning of the expedition, our serdar, who is also a part-time lama, performed a ritual and prayed for us and our success, then he gave everyone a handful of rice, which he brought from Lhasa, with the words that in difficult times it would be necessary to throw it in the direction of the problem and pray , to my words that we do not know prayer, he answered, it would be enough just to shout. Rice had to be stored in a breast pocket, and since I did not have such a pocket. I entrusted my portion to Andryukha, where it was kept for 35 days while we worked on the wall.
So, Andriukha reached into his pocket, took out rice and began to throw it towards the eaves, we are quite healthy and adult men begin to yell and make strange sounds.
I climbed again, and climbed on a more negative part of the ledge than the first attempts and climbed it! I hit the last rocky hook, climbed about 10 meters more and climbed out onto the ice, spun the last ice screw, all the “iron” was over, but then there was already a road through the ice to the top.
We spent the night sitting on a shelf carved in the ice, covered with a tent.

Rinat Khaibullin

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