- CASE FILES
Autor G. A. Fedoseev (1899-1968)
Publisher: Detgiz, year of publication: 1958
Grigoriy Anisimovich Fedoseev and his guide Vasiliy Nikolaevich Mishtenko
... We are ducking down in the manure. Vasiliy Nikolaevich pulls out an ax, cuts an icy mound, and he finds in fact sleds. On one of them is a tent, stove, saw, the rest are empty. Probably, the convoy, not reaching the pass by only two hundred meters, was caught by a blizzard. People managed to cut the straps on the reindeer, and they themselves fled to the taiga, for some reason without taking either a tent or a stove with them, without which, it seems, it is absolutely impossible to survive into this kind of cold. What happened to them further, it's scary to even think...
... A muddy curtain of bad weather appears on the horizon ... We corral into the tent, huddled around the stove, where a faint light flickers a little, casting a pale glow on the gloomy, alert faces of people... from the north a snowstorm approached. And soon everything was whistling around, spinning in a mad whirlwind. Streaks of snowy dust flowed through the frozen slant; snow drifting ominously.
The tent is arched from the pressure of the wind. The stove has gone out. Firewood is over, the cold finds a gap, seeps inside. We are wrapped in warm clothes. It is impossible to fall asleep, but the conversation is not getting better... what will happen if the wind breaks our tent and we find ourselves face to face with a snowstorm on bare rocks, far from the forest?...
A snowdrift piled up heavily on the tent on the windward side, the wall bent dangerously, and soon the rope it the middle broke, unable to withstand the weight... The hanging snowdrift had already taken a third of the site away from us and continued to press from above, bending the crossbar. It was at that moment that a new ferocious squall hit, and the canvas wall broke in half. A mountain of snow fell on us.
The snowstorm brings down on us all its might. The chill is blinding the eyes, burns the nostrils. Lebedev is ahead, behind him, holding the rope, the others are walking. Moving almost blindly, it is difficult to get to the slope. It becomes easier to walk, because under your feet the descent and snowstorm are somewhat quieter here. We go at random among the small rocks, along hollows with steep slopes. Obviously, we descend down to the ravine, where there must be a forest, which means there will be a fire. We don’t dream about anything else... Only an hour later, the steepness of the descent broke, the placers and the rocks were left behind. Smooth drifted snow under our feet, slippery as ice ... We go down the ravine even lower and notice freshly cut stumps, and then tents are shown. Well done Kirill Rodionovich - how confidently he led us to the camp! And now we are at a great fun bonfire that has given us strength and good spirits. The ropes are untied, there is laughter...
... On the pass we saw snow mounds, like dunes of oblong shape, located in the direction of the wind. And where our tent stood, a frozen mound with an overhanging snow cornice towered ... We did not excavate the mound, it was late, and the snow hardened so much that it could only be cut with axes. We will do it tomorrow ...