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Polar Ural 2015


People go south in winter. I prefer in the summer to the North ...

    Иeverything went wrong… We planned to visit the Polar Urals, its Rai-Iz mountain range, with two sorties. At first, we planned to make a raid from Kharp to the foot of the Chernaya mountain for bluish-blue corundums, then return, take the train to the station. "Polar Ural" and make a raid to the sources of the Nyrdvomen-shor stream for demantoids, jadeite, jade and topazolite. But literally a day before departure, they learned that a year ago a reserve had been made in Nyrdvomen-Shor. You can draw up documents, but there was no time left. I had to limit myself to the first point. There were other problems as well. The summer has been rainy. The water in the mountain rivers is high. Can you force it? The hydrometeorological center was also not happy with the forecast. Rain is predicted for the entire trip. The temperature in Kharp is expected to be +15 during the day and +9 in the evening. This means that in the mountains it will be +10/+5. But these numbers don't mean anything either. After all, the temperature seems to be lower in the wind. And the Ray-Iz massif is famous for the strongest winds in the Urals. Two people who have been there, for this very reason, discouraged me in every possible way from going there. After reading the descriptions of hikes in the Polar Urals, I was convinced that these were not fictions. I was especially impressed by the story of one tourist who crossed the massif along the ridges. He describes how gale-force winds move small stones above. He froze his gloved hands there. And this was in August... It doesn't matter that the descriptions were not quite the places where we were going. At that time, the entire array seemed to me a single place. Mentally, I already received a dose of adrenaline only from the fact that I imagined myself in such a situation ... “But if I decide something, then I will definitely drink it!” (V. Vysotsky). "Nature doesn't have bad weather - it has bad clothes!" (Folk wisdom). And I bought thermal underwear and a windproof membrane jacket. For which he repeatedly said “thank you” to himself.

    So, Mowgli and I are going to the Polar Urals to the manifestation of bluish-blue corundums at the foot of Chernaya. At the moment, this manifestation is practically not described. In any case, I managed to find only on one site a single photo of a clumsy sample from there. We, however, received information about this manifestation second-hand from a very young geologist who once worked in the Polar Urals. Moreover, they told us the binding with the condition not to talk about it, so you should not expect exact guidelines from me. For the first time I am not going with a person who knows where to dig, but only with a binding. Let's see what happens…

   A few words about my companion: Mowgli is a stone lover, jeweler and tourism instructor, who has thousands of kilometers of hiking behind him.

   And here we are in the village of Kharp, which means “Polar Lights” in local. We did not see the aurora borealis, because it was a polar day. Kharp is known for the fact that there is a chromite mine nearby and for the fact that in the village itself. Harp there are two colonies: No. 3 for especially dangerous and "Polar Owl" - for life sentenced. In the "Polar Owl" are now sitting, for example, the Bitsa maniac and the former policeman Major Yevsyukov, who shot two people in the store and wounded 6 people. A huge gray flat building without windows, surrounded by four rows of barbed wire, makes a painful impression. In Kharp, we were met by the promised rain and the hostess of a private hotel-apartment, Larisa, who organized a free transfer to the hut, where it was "all inclusive" according to the tourist option. There I first tried grayling. Freshly caught grayling lightly salted is incomparable!!! Larisa turned out to be a very talkative person. Her story about life in Kharp deserves a separate story, but, unfortunately, does not fit into the scope of the report. And then the rain stopped, and the downpour began.

- Who brought bad weather?, - Larisa asked.
- And what, what was before that - was it good? we were worried.
- Yes, this has never happened before.
Well ... they sailed ...
- And what, the water now rises strongly?
- Yes, she did not subside even this summer.
The further, the merrier...

    But in the morning the weather was surprisingly good. The taxi took us to the outskirts: a barrier on the border of the village with a security guard. Walkers can pass, but by car - not so easy. We put on backpacks and took our first independent steps in the hospitable land of the Polar Urals. Mosquitoes and midges hummed happily. But soon their rumble drowned out the rumble of an approaching passing ore carrier, which threw us to the right place. While driving, we asked the driver questions on topics of interest to us.

- And what about the bears?
- Yes, they have been gone for three years!

     Yeah, how ... How wrong he was! But more on that later...

   The ore carrier dropped us off where we asked, and disappeared, beeping farewell. So Beeline told us "Bye!". There were three of us left: Mowgli, me and the weather. For the Weather with its character turned out to be a full participant in the events - the Urals are Polar after all ... But more on that later ...


   It would take a long time to describe our journey deep into the Paradise-Iz massif. There was a lot of interesting things: we jumped on kurumniks (placers of large fragments of rocks), overcame rivers, swamps and passes, walked along snowfields through gorges. But of the whole journey, the swamp was the most memorable - it exhausted me the most. Once there he did fail, scooped up a bit with his boot, barely pulled it out. They climbed up, began to bypass the swamp, jumping along the brown kurumnik. Although there is a chance to twist your leg, but it's better kurumnik than this goo. Time goes by, we don't stand either. And in the end we reach the place where we want to go. Phew! Finally… They had not yet had time to equip the camp, as Mowgli cried out: “Bear!”. A huge bear was grazing in a blueberry field a hundred and fifty meters away.

The wind was blowing away from us. In theory, smelling us, he should leave. And if he smells not us, but the sausage brought by us? The diet of bears in the Polar Urals is poor. And hunger is not an aunt ... They decided to make noise and banged with bowler plates, whistled into a whistle specially brought for such cases. How he ran! Gallop up the kurumnik for the crest of the slope. For fifteen seconds we saw only his swaying fat ass. And what is curious: in the zoo it is more pleasant to see the muzzle of a bear and closer. And in nature - back and forth ... Hooray, we drove the bear away! It's cooler than watching "Jurassic Park" in movies in 3D!

   We set up camp and set off to look for a specific anchor point. And soon found. The manifestation of bluish-gray corundum is located in the middle of the kurumnik. Once upon a time there was an anorthite vein. Time and anorthite broke into separate curumins. And then the snow and water pulled these kurumins apart. But in general, a certain localization can be traced. In these curumins of anorthite, bluish-gray corundums are hidden. Curumins of anorthite, in turn, hide among the curumins of hyperbasite. There is not so much anorthite among hyperbasite. We must first look for anorthite, and then corundum can come across in it. Anorthite is presented in white and pink. But fine corundum is found in white, and coarse corundum is to be found in pink anorthite. And we started searching. Oddly enough, in the first half of the day we found wonderful large specimens, which inspired us to new searches.

The search was simple - ordinary hard labor: throw, drag, roll kurumins weighing up to 50 kg. In the hope that the treasured anorthite will be found under them. I dug another trench as deep as a man's height. The last time I went so deep was in Altai.

Then we changed the search tactics and began to run around the kurumin in the localization zone, looking under each kurumina. And if there, as it seemed, was something promising, they began to dig into it. A few days later, we realized that it was enough to look for it already - anyway, we could no longer bear it on ourselves. And we began to separate the excess breed. Sledgehammer + chisel = terrible power! More intelligently speaking, we proceeded to the initial preparation of the samples. And as a result, 35…40 kilograms of samples were prepared for home delivery.

       While waving a sledgehammer, sorry, I was dissecting samples trying to understand the habit of crystals. Habitus is different. It is basically an asymmetrical spindle. One end is long, the other is short. But sometimes both ends are short. In this case, the prismatic part is more pronounced than with non-symmetrical spindles. There are purely prismatic crystals, but they are usually small. As for the size of the crystals, the maximum that we found: 12cm. in length and 3.5 cm. by thickness (by edges). The surface of the crystals is covered with a talc jacket. I have yet to do a fine dissection - to clean the crystals from this shirt, from the crusts of anorthite, etc. In anorthite curumins, corundum crystals are randomly oriented. And often multidirectional crystals sit in one piece of anorthite. When beating the rock, it is possible to take into account the cleavage of only one crystal. Other crystals are less lucky ... But sometimes it was possible to save multidirectional crystals. Since we had more time for this point than we originally planned, we managed to explore the surrounding areas. And in one more place they found pink anorthite with small corundums in it. In addition, there was epidote, aegirine, hornblende, and a very pretty bright milky quartz vein.

   Unfortunately, our stay there was overshadowed by the news that we learned a little later - already leaving the array. In those days when we were walking on snowfields, Vitaly Udalov, the leader of a group of tourists, crashed on a snowfield in the neighboring town of Hadato. Slid off the top of the snowfield and flew down the ledge. Mowgli knew him.

   We did not go fishing, even though the fishing rod was with us. The fact is that our familiar bear ran away towards the river, and we did not plan to meet him a second time. But then we went to see the place where he grazed. Well, the bear is not a fool... The most prolific blueberries turned out to be there. Then we grazed there. Mushrooms this year, according to the locals, there were incredibly many. Mushrooms in the tundra are large - higher than birches. True, birches are small - dwarf. Two days before our departure, when we were wandering through the bear field, two all-terrain vehicles drove past us, growling in an effortful way. Based on the experience of the diggers, we hid from them further away from sin. Mdya ... Then we regretted it. It was necessary to dump together with these all-terrain vehicles. But more on that later...

   And now about the third member of our expedition - the Weather.
Casting - the weather for casting is ideal. No rain, no wind, almost no sun.

Day one - unexpectedly strong sun, heat, calm. Here's the weather forecast for you! Well, you have to manage to burn out in the sun for the whole summer in the Polar Urals!

Day two - see day one. Snowfields are melting. The water in the stream rises by 7 cm - we control it by sticking a sliver. It is bad that it rises - it will be more difficult to force on the way back.

Day three - the sky is gray, the wind is 10m/s

Day four - low rain clouds, mountains in the clouds, occasional rain. Wind 15 m/s. Moreover, the direction of the wind has changed, and now it is blowing towards, if we are going to leave.

Day five - the sky is black, rain all day, headwind 20m/s. By evening, the rain stops. With apprehension we get out "on the street". Wow! How everything has changed… Water everywhere. Streams run from the mountains, which did not exist before. A 10cm geyser sprang up near the camp. Geyser in the Urals?! No, this is water seeping through a crack from somewhere on top of the mountain and gushing out under pressure. On flat ground puddles and lakes. Warm rain melted the snowfields. The nearest stream, which we jumped over the stones in sneakers, turned into a wide, turbulent stream, white with foam. Water flows over dwarf birch trees already along the banks. Kurumnik from the rain is slippery - you can break your legs. The swamp became even more difficult to pass. Rivers cannot be crossed. Passes in the fog. We are all trapped. A cyclone can last a week, and a train in three days. But this is actually nonsense. Food for 5 days + mushrooms / berries. It is quite possible to sit out. But what will my parents think if I do not get in touch for a week after the announced date and do not arrive by my own train?

- Didn't you warn that this could happen? In the mountains it is in the order of things, - asks Mowgli.

- No, this is the first time for me...

   There are two days left before the parents start to get nervous. Various heroic plans come into my head, how to get through the bad weather and let them know. From this mental extreme it is even worse. But nothing can be done. You have to sit and wait.

Day six - the downpour resumed with renewed vigor, the headwind intensifies. 20m/s with gusts up to 25m/s. (Then in Kharp we were told that they had 19m/s. In the mountains it is naturally higher. So, my feelings did not let me down). The water level peg was washed away. The cognac is over. The last sip was taken "For a successful return tomorrow."

- And you poured God, - asks Mowgli.

- No, but there is a bit left. I pour God.

Day seven - something has changed ... Since the morning there is no rain. Headwind 15 m/s. A small blue dot appears. By 12 o'clock the sky is blue.


We decide to dump before the weather window closes. In fact, we planned to go back for two days, well, one and a half ... We accomplish a feat - loaded with stones, leaving nothing of them, we leave in one day. We would be happy to have any passing all-terrain vehicle, but they are not. And judging by the blurry footprints - not for a long time. Already in the moonlight with stones, but without strength, we go out to the gatehouse. There are reliable walls, Beeline is already taking it there. You can safely wait for the all-terrain vehicle across the river - you can’t cross yourself. Oops... There are people in the gatehouse. But it was considered empty. And judging by the smell of what they use to drown, these are not tourists... Have they made a reserve here too? And what if they take away what they have earned by overwork? No, it's better to suffer ... We stop before reaching the gatehouse, behind a hillock. And then, lo and behold!, an all-terrain vehicle is going to meet across the river! Vote, please move. The man is generally benevolent, but refuses to turn around.

- In six hours I'll go back - I'll pick you up. Go to the lodge - sleep.

   How ... "not for this old man Yakov rattled his shackles, not for this he ascended the scaffold!". God saves man, who save himself. We pitch a tent in the zone of invisibility for rangers. We set the alarm, we go to bed. In the morning, at the appointed time, there is no all-terrain vehicle ... Half an hour is gone. No hour. Appears two hours later.

- And why are you not in the gatehouse? - the man is surprised.

- Yes, there is fresh air, a beautiful lake. Nature ... We came for this, - we answer. And note - do not time at the same time!

   We drive up to the gatehouse already in an all-terrain vehicle. It seems like under the protection of the local. The huntsmen look at us, write in the book, and also enter information about the bear.

- And they said there were no bears.

- How is it not? Yes, there are plenty of them! - the man is surprised, - I have only seen two this season.

  That's for sure - you know less - you sleep better ... We safely cross the river on an all-terrain vehicle and get to Kharp. Such is the expedition, such is the story. It remains to dissect samples and wait for new trips. There is one idea...

    And now, after some time, I demonstrate to the respectable public the already prepared samples:


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