There’s a big difference about how approaching mountains. Now it’s so easy to get anywhere in the world: you can simply use an helicopter to summit almost every peak in the world. Often you can skip long walk to alpine big walls just taking a cableway. That’s why a growing group of mountaineers gives more and more importance how you get the mountains, following the Fair Means philosophy.
One year after my first wild (but comfy) experience in The Yukon, I felt to try something more adventurous. I went in norther part of Georgia,
where are big caucasian mountains. My first goal was to trek around Svaneti, touching the glaciers falling down from Ushba and Shkara, having just my tent and feet as allied.
I was impressed by the shape of this mountains, very similar to my beloved Cervino (Matterhorn) and Monte Rosa, but much bigger in size. Walking to their base expanded my confidence and intimacy with nature, seeing the landscape changing from small towns alpine meadows until rock and ice.
In my second caucasian week I moved to Kazbegi, a north-eastern region where stay Kazbek, a huge volcano 5050m high. At that time, I already climbed many mountains above 4000m in the alps, but I always had a cableway taking me around 3000m, where a warm refuge was waiting me.
This time the game was different: facing this huge vulcano, my approach started at 1600m, sleeping at the basecamp 2000m higher, taking up my tent in the backpack, and after some day of acclimatization push to the summit, with an easy but long walk on the ice.
I did it: it was one of the hardest experience in my life, due to the long effort and a bad illness I got eating some wild food. And this is considered an easy summit! My route is still long, and my respect for the true mountaineers that approach hard climbs by Fair Means is growing every day I push myself to the next level.