Winter Trip to Polezhan
We proved two fundamental lessons in this march: One learns from his mistakes and Repetition is the mother of learning. In the first place we climbed Mount Bezbog from the wrong side and we found out on the way back how thoughtless was our slippage in the dwarf pines. Second, exposed to the cold we missed the opportunity of a precious hour, instead of on our way to Polezhan.
In Gallery: Hillman
Day One - To Mount Bezbog
We planned to climb Polezhan Peak and wait up there for the sunset. My fellow-traveller was sure that in winter you can climb Bezbog only from the north side. So, right from the beginning, we failed into a dense dwarf pine forest. The snow-shoes got stuck in the wet snow and caught on the branches. On top of all, it was sweltering. After an exhausting slippage in the dwarf pines, finally we went up to un-wooded space. Near Mount Bezbog the weather changed dramatically. The bright sun got hided behind the clouds, it was blowing hard and it was snowing. At the very peak, because of the blizzard, we faced zero visibility conditions. I was so surprised, I refused to believe it was happening. It was risky to go on. We came down a little, under the lee, waiting for the weather to set right. The situation kept worsening more and more. We had no choice but returning to the hut and making some new plan.
Day Two - To Polezhan Peak
We expected clear weather for that morning. According the new plan we got up at 3 o'clock and marched away to Polezhan, flashlights on the heads. That time we made no mistake and worked round the the dwarf pines through Bezbozhka Porta (The Gate of Bezbog). We reached Bezbog Peak earlier. None of us had idea where was leading that way. It was dark and it was blowing hard. We walked with dificulty to a non-windy place and we started waiting. At the very daybreak we plucked up courage and set off for the tempest. Actually, there was no wind in the saddle and we've been waiting in vain. I made my way to the peak and stopped few times to shoot the dawn.
Clouds are spreading low. The point down, in the left, is my fellow-traveller.
Just a few meters below the peak, the wind is getting up, I'm almost blown down by the blast. Unfortunately, I lost an hour for good, the magic hour of the dawn light.
I was wrong with the hour and also with the month. The snow over the peaks is blown away or melted. The white magic of the montain has gone too early.
At the way back, I found out that the ascend to Bezbog made no sense at all, because you could pass underneath. In good weather with a stable snow cover, the march from the hut to Polezhan Peak takes two hours and a half, moderate walk.