Rebirth or just a subsequent birth on the mountain
by: Zsolt RényiCategory: Rants&Raves
Our forthcoming post is about two young adventurers and their odyssey in Bosnia. It may sounds like a cock and bull story, but it’s telling the truth and that makes it gripping. The curtain rises on a flat afternoon, when the two decided to go and „disover” the Balkans. Both were mountain maniacs, and hunger for the real tough adventures. But not everything turned out as they had planned.
…we have started off the Balkan. Our aim was Bosnia’s highest peak Mount Maglic and the sorrounding wild nature. We knew almost nothing about these mountains, but that’s why it was so exciting. We had real and serious experience in mountaineering, from previous and similar peaks, so I can tell – without being pompous – that we were prepared for this mountain.
We have spent the nights on the mountain, next to a deserted hut, in a tent. The first morning we have decided to climb up to the top, and we planned and packed for one day. Therfore we had all the equipments for a wintery day, but not for a night or an other day. The terrain wasn’t easy, we got deep mud and soft wet snow intermittently. Thanks to that we have reached the foggy summit relatively late, but at the highest point of BOSNIA, we „had to” shoot some pictures with the huge flag of SERBIA(!). For the descent we chose a shorter track, which leads to a wide woodsman path.
Here and there we could follow the red star signs painted on the rocks, but the fog and the deep slippery snow was a real pain in the ass. After a few minutes of descent, suddenly I’ve slipped off and in the next moment I was slediging as quick as lightning towards a big and sharp rock.
It was only about 2-3 seconds, but I had the feeling, that I have got time to consider my next „steps”. I pushed my ice axe with all my bodyweight downwards to the deep and loose snow, but it couldn’t stop me. On a sudden, I have felt a blunt hit on my boots, so I know the rock held me. I was lucky.
It was growing dark, but we could followed the track in the light of our headlamps. After a few minutes the track ended in a serried mountain pine forest. We have tried to get around, but it was dense. We considered our chances, and finally we decided to stay for the night, we thought it’s the best, because we could lost each other, or someone could get hurt. So we have stucked in the mountain, about 2000m high, and the temperature was somewher at the freezing-point. For the next 12 hours our only hope was an isolation-emergency blanket, in the icecold rain. Every two hours was a piece of heaven, when we could afford a cup of hot tea..(ok, it was only hot water). Nothing but the wind was missing from the story.
The high quility gore-tex jackets and pants also gave up in the heavy rain, so bit by bit our bodies started to cool down. In the dark night we were thinking, how could we survive in this situtation.. My friend was telling a story, about a mountaineer who has stucked in the Andes, without any food, but he survived, he got out with his broken leg. That story gave me strength, but we daren’t sleep, beacuse we thought, we wouldn’t wake up again. Shakily we were waiting in the rain, under a mountain pine. We knew that, it’s unnecessary to call anybody, beacuse there is no mountain rescue team in the country.
At the same time I have realized that, we are only three of us. My freind and me, against the wild cruel mountain. The night was long and cold, we were swapping the stories, and thinking about our loved ones. If you spend a night on a mountain and you don’t sleep a minute, you will know how fantastic is to hear the first bird’s voice at dawn. That feeling filled us up, to countinue our way back to the camp. Since then I remember to almost every second, every move from that night. I will never forget the miserable moments with the wet stove, which didn’t want to flame up, the „timetable” for the food and the drink, the last match-stick and the nylon shopping bag – which was our bed for that night.
Thinking back I also remember – very slowly but – the night was gone, and we knew that we survied, and it’s all right now. We have packed all the stuff and we walked back to our camp in a few hours. We were hardly distressed, so we slept a few hours. It was unexpressed, but we knew that 25th of October is our second birthday. Since then we celberate it every year, and we are still climbing mountains.
I can tell you, my first meeting with Mount Maglic was a bit acerbic, but also unforgettable, and on the way back home, I have confessed to myself, I have fallen in love with this place, and I’ll be back in one day.
What do you say, where did they make a bungle? What would you do in a situation like this? Were they well preapred for everything? Is it even possible to be prepared for everything in high mountains? Can you draw the lesson from the story?