Until today, I thought the Russians, exemplified by Odintsov’s “Russian Big Walls Project”, were completely unstoppable. Even though Rocky did eventually beat Ivan Drago in the fourth installment of that regrettable series of films, I think we all sort of knew that in reality, the giant Russian would have kicked Stallone’s ass. So, why did my belief in the unstoppable Russians end today? Let’s read a few sentences from a recent trip report posted on mountain.ru:
“In the cracks there were bats and spiders of giant sizes.”
“One more thing that didn’t allowed us to relax were beehives that flew around us, bit and crept into trousers.”
“Downwards, under the wall a shaggy spider was living, it looked like a big pan, we called him Vasja. If we had more time to spend together, probably, he would respond to that name.”
“Every day giant, like condors, parrots were flying, they shouted as loudly as they could, the guide said it was because they were malicious.”
As could be expected from the tone, the team fails to climb whatever horrifying route they were attempting on whichever horrifyingly distant tepui they marched to. I don’t feel good that the Russians failed because I get spanked by climbs all the time and like to see others complete them.
However, I am certainly amused by the dismal sounding experience related by such talented alpinists. When confronted with challenges faced daily by residents of Miami–giant spiders, heat, obnoxious outfits, etc–these paragons of climbing greatness, the same guys who spent something like thirty days above 7000 meters just to climb a wall, fall apart.
Read the full report on mountain.ru.