SOUTH OSSETIA SKI, Himalaiaski, The Untouched land, English

SOUTH OSSETIA   SKI, Himalaiaski, The Untouched land, English

In 2008, we were at home, at 11:30 we have heard the first shot. But it was only the first shot, and then there were a lot of similar sounds When you can do nothing and you are afraid… When you lost all… it was like a hell Since the conflict, the only way to get in the country is crossing the Caucasus through the Roki Tunnel. The Georgian border is militarized. What attracted us? To know that we were the first westerners to enter? The reality of a culture marked by conflict… or the excitement to know there were virgin mountains waiting for us? Well, in the end what really impresses us is that they’ve normalized it, and yet when you think it was just ten years ago that were falling bombs, tanks were coming in and people was getting killed.. Damn, it’s so shocking. The traces of war are still visible in the city walls, but specially in their people. We are curious to find an answer to our concerns, so we get into their day to day life. Look, we are taking a walk with the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He told us the reality about the independence of South Ossetia. About what they’ve lost, but also what they’ve won, that is eventually peace. It’s for you No one is allowed to go there. One top is Sacred Top, and no one can go there. You can go to these two, but please do not go here. Can we ask them if there are bears? Bears? There are wolves But the wolves you can scare wolves with a stick, not the bears! Bears are sleeping, there are wolves but in the forests. They say an angel appeared on the top of a mountain a long time ago. From that day, and every year, the people from the area chose one person that would climb that peak to make an offering. Since then, no one has ever stepped on it. We are just here, it’s all this valley and that spur on the left. And that one is the Sacred Peak? No, the black pyramid is the Sacred one. Ok, so this is where we should not go. Where we should not. Look at them, they are very big! Huge!! We’ve just seen a bear. And they told us they were hibernating… He is there walking, we are amazed. So calm. he saw us, turned and left. More than huge is new this one, it’s so recent. Perfect, we crossed the third avalanche, all is correct. I see you Javi Look, they are over there. It’s so hot, I don’t care about avalanches, but the heat… I’m not sure it’s safe this way… Another avalanche Hey, don’t step too hard, it all seems to be shaking. Have you heard the “boom”?
No Well, after climbing up through a very beautiful ridge, seeing a few avalanches and spotting some unidentified animals. We’ve now reached the place we wanted to. So as to see the Sacred Peak. We go down A small couloir Wow!! The tracks of the wolf. I loved that descent.
A lot Hello Vladim Good, good? Really? Really good The hospitality we received at a shepherd’s house was so generous that we felt almost uncomfortable. But they wanted us to feel at home. So, we let ourselves go… Did you notice when we got in here, after they saw us skiing down, they said we are completely crazy? But they are much more crazy than us ! Well, we’re all pretty drunk… You see down there, we have 3 km through the darkness until the car. After drinking like twenty vodkas, it’s not easy for people to go backwards on the snow and at night time. Kalashnikov good!! This is too surrealistic, we’ve just come from that house, completely stuffed from drinking and eating, and now they’ve sat us down in this luxury restaurant. We’re still wearing the ice ax! Nice to meet you
Nice to meet you , Tamara They’ve just told us that this man sitting over there is the Minister of Tourism, and we all here like we were… Andorra, Andorra. Official language in Andorra? Catalan? Catalan And he told us we were the first ones to ever ski in South Ossetia! Yiiha! We are getting ready for Mount Khalatsa. The tent, big girl. It does not fit everything here. You see all these big backpacks, is Xevi’s idea, because he wants to bring up a tent and food, he also wants to eat! This guy Xevi wants to live like a king in the mountains. Eating and drinking are overrated And not being cold. Not being cold, man, he wants it all. With that feather jacket he’s wearing it would be enough to use as sleeping bag, but no, he takes them both. We are close to do the first winter Khalatsa summit attempt, that we can see there. I’ve asked him if anybody would come and rescue us if we had any problems. And he said: Is possible problems in mountain… Rescue is something important to us, but we realize they are the ones who suffer more every time we put our skis on. How can we talk about risk when both perceptions are so different? Don’t fall into the water! The next morning we split the group. While some start facing Khalatsa, the others will stay in the valley for safety reasons. It’s time to step off the marked paths… We are heading North all the time An avalanche, a big one. Yes Bad vibes We crossed the river down here and we climbed up this side of the mountain because we have Mount Khalatsa on that direction, and to see if we had any signal to be able to speak with them. We had no luck at that time, we’ll wait a little bit but if not we’ll go down again and move to see if we can call with Georgii’s phone. No signal? Signal yes, they no signal What do you think is this? Don’t you want to tell me Xevi? I don’t know, doesn’t look like a giraffe, does it? The closest comrades we have now are the wolves an unfindable path right now The other option is following the wolf track. We are following him now, he opened the track. We are considering finding a place to pitch the tent, or keep going and try to find the path. There’s no visibility. Hello Gergii, hello Georgii Hello Lluís Are you there? Hello Signal? Can’t see it but no, there is not. What we could do is keep going until the compass says we turn, then we’ll know we are on the ridge and then we could go back. I’d stay here
Me too You’ve never done this either, did you? No We were now thinking what if there was an avalanche with us laying here inside, it must be quite anxious feeling like being inside a washing machine all together. Javi, you need vodka? The skis are a little frozen The skins doesn’t stick Javi, how are you Javi? Hello Georgii we are… Ooooo!!! We reached the col! Behind us we have Mount Khalatsa, but we noticed that the last ridge is a little decomposed. We didn’t think it was safe enough, so we decided to climb the peak next to it. In a nutshell, there’s no need to take risks and we don’t want to try the last section “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” I thought about not falling down during this week I wanted you to slow down a little bit With friends like these, who needs enemies Why do I do these trips? For… moments like the ones we’ve just experienced Did you reach the top? Almost As an experience of a lifetime, you can’t choose what you do, but to simply live what’s just happening Traveling to places like South Ossetia you meet a different culture, you see they suffered a lot, because we spoke with many people that lived through the war directly and that makes you realize how lucky we actually are South Ossetia has taught us not to judge before seeing to throw away the prejudices that we sometimes take from home, and to pay attention to our intuition This is our match, this is our team and we don’t win, not possible Do you want to pass us the ball? Great Catalonia! The moment of the trip where I’ve been the most nervous One, two, three… Mambo So bad man, it’s not even 8 o’clock and they act like this already. Can you imagine what Pep and me have to go through? Ossetian Water, the best water in the world. Do you want? Cut, it’s good! I want everyone to know: Lluís is responsible for showing us the Sacred Peak The guilty is… Me, me How are you Esgleas? What? No George, no GPS, no phone No, no, it’s great to see a bear, amazing, specially this way, in a distance not that short nor that long. The exact one. Near, for to “expliquing” the documentary that they are… “expliquing” the history.

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