The social climate of the Caucasus was rocked politically and economically by these measures. “The area is still dangerous may be even more than before…due to the year-long economic blockade, the local people became more desperate and chance of being robbed or killed for the reason of robbery is very obvious,” writes Alex Trubachev, a guide based in Moscow whose company has halted their Elbrus tours. “Locals have lost everything–two seasons of nothing,” agrees Myasnikov.
It is more intuitive to pursue “the new” in remote and unexplored mountains, as opposed to a well-known range. “It is often difficult to be alone in the Alps,” Barmasse writes, citing the proliferation of guided climbing, staffed huts and ski lifts that bring vacationers to nearly all peaks. Barmasse wanted to experience the “authentic alpinism” that he found in distant mountains to his own backyard range. He wanted to try to keep the spirit of adventure alive, even in familiar and well-trodden territory. “These ancient and maybe old fashioned mountains, if explored from a new perspective, could be a foundation for alpinism of the future.”