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A trip to the past. Route No. 29 "Khadyzhensk-Ashe"

Поход в прошлое. Маршрут №29 «Хадыженск−Аше»
Поход в прошлое. Маршрут №29 «Хадыженск−Аше»
#ACTIVITYHOLIDAY
A trip to the past.
Route No. 29
"Khadyzhensk-Ashe"
The tradition of conquering the Caucasian Ridge is not a single decade old. Many routes, of course, no longer exist, new and no less exciting ones have taken their place. But some of the "trails" have preserved almost their original appearance. For example, the 29th walking route from Khadyzhensk to Ashae - to the sea through the western part of the ridge.
As 50 years ago, it takes 9-12 days, depending on the excursion program and taking into account the preparatory stage: the tourist group is taken by bus to the gathering place at one of the bases in Khadyzhensk, then they will have to walk to another camp site in Ashe (near the Lazarevskoye village). There, tourists can stay on vacation, make a hike to the Mamedovo Gorge, go on an excursion to Krasnaya Polyana or get to Sochi on their own, and from where they can return home by land or air.

By the way, half a century ago, this route was not much different from the modern one. Svetlana Ivanovna Kiryukhina, the instructor of the 29th route in 1970-72, recalls: "Groups gathered from all over the country, as a rule, they came in whole enterprises. In those years, everyone who wanted to work was given vouchers to various tourist destinations. Those who were drawn to the mountains and to the sea were sent to us — " the instructor recalls, pointing to faded photographs in a velvet album. — I remember that we met "pale-faces" at the Khadyzhenskaya campsite "Firefly" in the image of red Indians. The newcomers had to pass the initiation into tourists: perform insidious tasks of the main leader (me), make a sacrifice in the name of good weather (stew) and drink fire water (can you guess what kind of water?). And then, after the briefing, training camps and creating the distinctive attributes of the detachment on our own, we went to meet the sea through the harsh Caucasus."
The path of tourists in 1970 ran through the same points on the map as today: first you should go through Khadyzhensk itself and the Terziyan village.
Here they used to take a goat or a lamb and lead it through the mountains until the final high-altitude dinner in honor of the completion of the climb: "It was impossible to eat this poor animal,"Svetlana Ivanovna laughs," after such a march, the meat became rubber, but tourists were still impressed by this exotic."

Imperceptibly, the trail leads to Geima Mountain, and from there the group follows the pass through the broad-leaved forest to the place of day rest behind the Gunayka village. Here, Soviet hikers, like their modern followers, arranged volleyball battles, learned hiking songs on the guitar, swam in a mountain river and arranged culinary duels.

Then the path runs through rocks with beautiful views and lush vegetation, through rivers and glades with tall oaks to the top of Mount Battareyanya. From here, you can see a breathtaking view of the beauty of the Western Caucasus. And then tired and happy tourists make the final ascent to the bald peak of Mount Semashkho (height 1035 m): "After descending from the mountain, we arranged a real feast — it was necessary to bring tired tourists back to life. There were dances, jokes, guitar, ditties and, of course, a thin, wiry goat that overcame all the passes with us."
And then the group goes to the most desired point of its route. Gradually, the fluffy fir is replaced by a proud chestnut, you can feel how the air is changing. It is the fifth day of the hike, when suddenly the amazed travelers see the gentle Black Sea in the distance: "There was no limit to screams and joy — adults raced towards the waves like children. Many people have seen the sea for the first time, can you imagine? I still remember those emotions. We (the instructors) already left our native squad at the Ashe base "Cosmos", but first, of course, we threw concerts and arranged noisy competitions to notify the guests of the base about the new tenants. And then they cried in chorus, saying goodbye, because mountains test human qualities in a way that nothing checks. By the way, all the hikers were finally awarded the badge "Tourist of the USSR and the corresponding proud title," recalls Svetlana Ivanovna.

Now, of course, the badges are no longer in use, but the Ashei base "Cosmos" still exists. However, today, hiking companies offer tourists to choose from any of the bases or hotels in the village. And from there, guests of the region can go, for example, on a comfortable vacation in Sochi and Adler with a visit to local attractions or stay at the base away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The memorable 29th route "Khadyzhensk-Ashe" attracts not only nostalgic tourists from all over the country who participated in the hike in the Soviet years, but also modern hiking enthusiasts. The route is popular among beginners and intermediate-level hikers and is ideal to combine beach and active recreation, admire the beauty and power of the Caucasus, test your endurance, and then enjoy a leisurely lazy vacation and breathe in the sea.

"I stopped taking tourists to the mountains in 1972, but I still dream of my native route and collect all the photos, newspaper clippings and references to painfully familiar places," Svetlana Ivanovna concludes her story.
We are sure that the picturesque hike to Ashe will be remembered for many years by those who decide to visit the Krasnodar Territory in the summer of 2021.