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Today in Almaty everyone is a rescuer (G. Mulenkova)

Today in Almaty everyone is a rescuer

Saturday, Jan 27, 2018, 4:00 pm

The famous alpinist Rinat Khaibullin about sports, mountains and why he created a volunteer «Salvation Service of Almaty»
For most people, climbing — it is a way to know their internal resources, physical and spiritual, to overcome their own weaknesses and test yourself, it is — a way of life and the miracle of communication with wildlife.
For those who chose mountaineering as a sport, this is something else.
As well known in the world of Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who first ascended the fourteen highest peaks of the world, he says climbing is not a sport but a means to achieve their own goals.
A powerful machine of Soviet mountaineering chose the best of the best. These were not the units that reached the heights of the sky in sports, but whole teams financed by the state. In this «train» came and Rinat KHAIBULLIN (pictured).
He was recognized as the best climber of the USSR on the results of ascents for 1990. He had thirty ascents to the seven-thousandths, participated in the second Soviet Himalayan expedition to Kanchenjunga, participated in the expedition of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions on Lhotse on the South Face, ascended the Kazakh team to Dhaulagiri along the Western Wall, climbed McKinley and single ascents to the seven thousandths CIS.

Kazakhstanis were famous for conquering great heights on the wall routes, and he was one of the best climbers and easily tolerated the height.
To this day, Honored Master of Sports of the USSR, master of sports of international class, Honored Coach of Kazakhstan Rinat Khaibullin remains an athlete. Two years ago, he opened the Skyranning and Trairlanding Federation, and only this year handed over the reins.
He likes to implement new projects, calls himself an eternal start-up and is currently working on the creation of a voluntary rescue service of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The first steps along the vertical
— How did you go to the mountains?
«There are three of us brothers.» The elder, as his father said, is «normal», Ph.D. And Vadim is a mountaineer, well, I’m there too (laughs). I was a sick child — tonsils, heart, doctors. He was engaged in aeromodelling, was a radio amateur, he understood the arrangement of tape recorders and amplifiers. We lived in the Semipalatinsk region, and when we moved to Almaty, my brother took a great interest in mountaineering and led me to a game of soccer. Then we went with him to the Asian Rocks, and he showed us how to climb.
I very quickly forgot about the diseases, took part in the mass mountaineering on the peak Shkolnik and was a member of the section of the famous archeologist and climber Alexei Nikolayevich MARAYASHEV, who soon joined the DSO «Spartak». I quickly got involved in this limited circle of interesting, enthusiastic people, began to read the books of outstanding mountaineers, got infected with ideas of heroism, patriotism, mutual assistance, where the phrase «in the mountains one rope — one fate» sounded like a refrain. All this inspired me in those years.
— And how did you end up in the army team?
— I graduated from the power engineering institute where there was no military department, and when it was time to serve, the senior coach of Spartak Boris Andreevich STUDENIN «wooed» me in a sports company to Yervand Tikhonovich Ilyinsky.
So I was in one of the strongest teams in the country. In the 82nd, when the guys returned from the first Soviet Himalaya expeditions to Everest, I got to get ready, and in the summer ’83, we met with Anatoly Bukreeva.

At first we laughed at the fact that Boukreev, who had spent many years ski racing, became a «run» on the mountains, but soon had to run around and to us.
The Highest Mountains of the World
— In 1985, the selection for the second Soviet Himalayan expedition to the third summit of the world of Kanchenjunga began, where the best of the best came. What do you remember from that time?
— I was the only one who was selected in the adult national team from the youth team. I was 25 years old. In the 86th for the first time on Elbrus, the judges turned on the stopwatch and we ran. The chronometer worked at the highest peak of the USSR at the peak of Communism.
These were the first Soviet official competitions — running uphill, a sprint, whose goal is to increase the power of accelerating the athlete.
For me it was important that I passed the selection and managed to show myself in the adult team, and the Himalayas, the peak — it was all the second time, although we with the Ukrainian Michael TURKEVICH made the first ascent to the main peak of Kanchenjunga from the south.

— In a year you were invited to participate in the trade union Himalayan expedition. The task was to pass the South Wall of Lhotse, which Messner called the culmination of mountaineering and the route of the 21st century.
— Then there was a perestroika period, it was necessary to look for sponsors. Two of the Everest — BERSHOV and Turkevich — managed to gather a powerful team, where only climbers were invited, and in Kazakhstan I was the best climber among mountain climbers and the best mountaineer among climbers.
At that time, the first two numbers in the world ranking — Reinhold Messner and Jerzy KUKUCHKA — fought for leadership and route along the South Face. Lhotse became an exam for both of them. This peak was the first eight-thousandth in the sports career of Kukuchka, and years later he returned to pass the wall of Lhotse, where he died.
In connection with these events in those years, the entire mountaineering world spoke of this wall, and Soviet athletes also had to say their word.
Then the Krishna Aleksey TREHLEBOV went with us to the Himalayas, he asked the mountain spirits for good weather, and whatever the gloom hanging over the formidable wall, there was always a «window» above us. He predicted that of the 18 people the peaks reached two, the rest fall ill, frostbite or do not rise for other reasons. And it happened. The wall is creepy. At the top were only Sergei Bershov and Vladimir KARATAEV, the rest fell ill or crippled.
— In 91-st the first independent Kazakhstan Himalayan expedition to Dhaulagiri was held. The Western Wall, a complex route …
— A wall with a negative slope angle, and the whole difficult part I worked first. The difference in heights is 4 kilometers. Climbing is so complicated that sometimes we pass 40 meters, or one rope, per day, and I was reliably insured by Andrey Tselishchev. So in the Himalayas there was the first Kazakhstan route.
— In the 94th on the slope of Victory Peak an alarm bell rang for you. For a day you could die three times. Then you decided to leave professional mountaineering?
— I was in fantastic shape and crossed the line when nothing is afraid and an illusion of omnipotence appears.
I did not see the ice under the snow, but lingered in the snow, I broke down, but was able to linger on the iceberg that the French mountaineer Pierre Bischan gave me, fell into a crevice without a bottom, but lingered on his hands.
Three rings in a row is a stop signal! In the 97th I was going to climb Mount Everest, but climbing the classic route, and even with oxygen, is not a sport. I stopped when the Russian participants of our expedition died on the mountain …

— In 2000, you hosted the festival «Khan-Tengri» in Tien Shan, where he invited Vladimir Karataev. It seems that the southern wall of Lhotse for a long time connected all the participants of that difficult expedition?
— Vladimir Karataev from Krasnoyarsk was left without a finger. When a person for a long time is in the cold, the body begins to cut off the periphery — fingers, nose, ears. This was his price for passing the wall, but at the festival he flew from the shoulder of Khan-Tengri on a paraglider.
Running to the top
— In the 90s European mountaineers led by Marino JACOMETTI held a race for Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa in the Alps, and soon the Federation of High-Altitude Races appeared. Since 1996 this sport is called skyranning. Why did you decide to do «heavenly jogging»?
— Running uphill is from the mountaineering area, because the approaches to the route have not been canceled. High-speed climbing has been practiced for many years and over time it has become a separate sport. Abroad, skyranneling is very popular, it hosts European championships and World Cups.
We in Zailiyskiy Alatau have been running races for many years, and one of them is dedicated to the memory of the legendary mountaineer and runner Anatoly Bukreev. And I, as an active and eternal startup person, love new projects. I gathered the climbers and offered to open my skyranning federation, our rules are coordinated with the rules of the international federation.
— Now you do not have the task to go away and get higher. And do you discover the mountains that you have seen for so many years?
— A real love for the mountains came after I left mountaineering. We plowed, it was necessary to be the first, get into the national team, get into the Himalayas. This path is interesting, but earlier we, as per the schedule, went to the seven thousandths and climbed up in the highlands. And around there are so many beautiful canyons, and I study Zailiisky Alatau only now — after all, every weekend we make the climbs to a new peak.
— How many people managed to get involved in this movement in two years?
— On average, about 500 people participate in our competitions, a stable group is 70-80 people, who can call themselves skyrantners. Yes, and mountaineering today is not the same as before. This is no longer a sport in our understanding, fans go to the mountains who like to communicate with nature and the process of overcoming.
— Rinat, you were one of the organizers and the first head of the «Salvation Service of Almaty» and now you want to create a voluntary «Rescue Service of Kazakhstan» …

— I decided to create a public volunteer organization. In Almaty there are 1 million 700 thousand inhabitants. If an earthquake happens, everyone will be his own rescuer, then he must save his child, then — a neighbor. And for the whole city — forty professional rescuers.
Thousands of people will be involved in our organization. We will create a department of lawyers-rescuers, if in the mountains people are lost, we will raise skyranners and volunteers.
And forest fires? The ranger is small, the helicopter alone can not cope, and here hundreds of people with crackers. It is planned to train, train, prepare. The first three categories are volunteers, three more are professionals. So I’m working on the format of the new service — after all, I’ve always tried hard! ..

Photo of the author and from the personal archive of Rinat Khaibullin.