Crimea in Winter

Famous landscape photographer Andrey Ulyashev, one of the winners of the photo contest “Wild Russia-2014”, talks about his January trip to the Crimea.

The idea to go in the winter to Crimea appeared a very long time. But every time something stopped us. It would seem like an easy task as Crimea is near but to leave work and leave Moscow – sometimes it is very difficult. Finally, this winter a real opportunity presented itself to go with friends for 10 days, plane tickets were purchased, bridges burned.

The starting point of our fotomarshruta was chosen, of course, the magic of South Demerdzhi. In the autumn of 2013 there we have filmed mysterious misty beech forest in gold, orange and red. Now the main idea was to walk around the top – plateau, admire the snow-covered rocks and frosted firs and pines. Despite assurances from the Crimean colleagues that in winter the temperature does not drop much, the forecast was about -10, and on the mountain even lower. In the end we were lucky and in a figurative and literal sense.

On the mountain top it was -20 and below the peak, wind storm and blizzards. But all this provided a fabulous natural snow pattern on the top together with interesting atmosphere in the sky due to the fast moving clouds.

Crimea itself and Demerji are easily accessible, unlike many other mysterious places. Absolutely fantastic and magic mountain. It has stunningly beautiful scenes. Place of settlement of ancient peoples, the caravan route, where you can still find ancient coins from the Great Patriotic War … it keeps a lot of secrets in itself.

The climb is to the summit, famous place Demerdji – Valley of Ghosts, gorge with large columnar cliffs. Clear fog slowly flows through it, and there is a feeling that it moves: if you just look away, it seems as though it has already disappeared. Hence the name. Personally, it took me a few visits so as not to get lost in the fog. We got lost a couple of times and did extra loop in the snow, up the hill and over the rocks. After four hours the rising sun started to illuminate the winter wonderland Demerji. All work paid off.

In order to fully appreciate the scale of this beauty, you need to bypass the steep south-western part of the mountain top, take a look at the geometric and tonal perspective of mountains and hills flocking to the sea. Once again, the same day we arrived at the top of Demerji in the evening, in a jeep through the northern slope and beech forest. Workaholic Suzuki Samurai with only 67 horsepower engine and chains on the wheels brought us the sunset with all possible comfort. The most beautiful peaks dignity – Frozen pine trees on a background of snow and rocks – lit orange sun. The next morning, our path lay farther to the New World. Even at night it froze, and the battery on the rental car was dead, but good people are everywhere, and we got help to recharge. A short time later we were driving along the serpentine, saying goodbye to the mountain for a long time it looked as if it followed suit …

Original article in Russian.

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