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Authors: A.I. Shelhakov, V.A. Popov

Crimea in May. Note for the ascenders

Small Kilse
Photo: Aleksey Lubin, Moscow
Next May vacations draw near, and caravans of active rest lovers drive to the South.

But if you wish to enjoy the rest, you might remember several easy rules of behavior on the route for those who have achieved their experience on stands and bouldering.

Analysis of the accidents shows the most widespread mistake – incorrect using of the natural mountain terrain. The most comfortable holds can probably be moving stones. Micro cracks which appear because of wind, water and sun, cut such holds from the monolith. And if they still hold, sometimes a small vertical load is enough to leave this “good” hold in one's hand. Climbers, who get used to such active holds on stands, use them on rocky routes. It is really hard to be retrained, but it is very important. Before loading such holds they must be tried (tapped and swayed). Train yourself to do it everywhere. Remember that in the mountains good, reliable holds aren't fixed to the wall by M-10 bolts.

As for the belay: you must be ready for the absence of bolts and hooks on the route, where you would like to clip in them for belay. Make belay on your own, reliable as possible and not sparsely than one point per 5 meters , even if climbing is easy. Luckily, on Crimean 3 and 4 grade routes it is possible. If climbing is more difficult, belay must be more frequent. But even if you were lucky to put your gear in the crack, climb as if you have no belay – with strength reserve. Break is an accident, and belay can help you not to fly from the wall, but you can get traumas while sliding, falling on ledges etc. So, next point is a helmet. We don't think that helmet must be always used in Crimean mountains, at least because it is hot. But in the beginning of May Crimean walls stand the siege of alpinist groups. People throw stones, even if they don't want to, and so do their ropes. So, if there are people above you, put on your helmets.

Several words about clothes. In Crimea in May it is usually hot, but winds and rains occur frequently. Temperature can reduce to + 5 Centigrade, you must be ready. Clothes that covers knee and elbows is preferable . In cloudy weather don ' t neglect windbreaker . A headscarf will also prove useful if you tie it around your neck in sunny weather. But do not bring a lot of things with you: it makes your rucksack hard. Ascents made all day long – it's modern level. Maximum facilitated group can easily ascend two average Crimean routes per day.

Several more advices in conclusion:

Do not leave your camp without looking after. You can miss something.

Take all valuable things to your tent in the night.

Going for ascent (and not only), leave information about it

Before the ascent ask those who have send it before for information. Something always changes.

Cooperate with other groups in the region

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