ONE PHOTO - ONE STORY

11.02.2015

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“In June 2010, Boris Avdeev and I stood on top of Shkhara, a 5193 metre high, very difficult summit in the Caucasus. Shkhara is the highest point of the Bezengi Wall – a 12 kilometre long mountain range mostly above 4500 metres, which runs along the Georgian-Russian border. Shkhara marks the Eastern end of the Wall, making it either the last or the first summit of the Bezengi Traverse – a traverse of the entire mountain range leading over multiple 4500 to 5000 metre summits. It is one of the greatest alpine challenges in the Caucasus.

A few weeks later, Boris wrote to me: ‘One day, we have to do the Traverse.’ That day would never come. In April 2012, Boris died in an avalanche. We had planned to climb Janga-Tau (5058m) together just weeks later – a remote, rarely-climbed peak in the central part of the Bezengi Wall.

For two months I existed in a mental hole, filled with doubt about the sense of going into the mountains, and entirely devoid of motivation and self-discipline.

Yet eventually, I returned to Georgia: on 22 June 2012, I summited Janga-Tau together with Robert Koschitzi. As I sat on the summit and watched Robert come up, I looked to the great Shkhara rising up behind him, where Boris and I had stood two years earlier. Then I looked behind me, to the remaining summits of the Bezengi Wall to the West. I wondered if I might ever do the traverse. Perhaps one day …”

Peter Schön

Peter Schön is a graduate in the field of Snow and Avalanche Research. His capacity as an avalanche technician, mountain guide and leader of ski excursions frequently takes him to Norway. It was his love for the mountains that inspired his interest in photography. Working predominantly in black and white, Schön focuses much of his attention on the mountains of the Caucasus. He also pursues personal long-term projects, including multiple series on the internally displaced refugees of Armenia and Georgia.

www.ps-photo.net
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