A.M. on Mt.Rainier top, USA A. Moshnikov's correspondence with
American school students

(click pictures to zoom)
A.M. with daughter and wife

From: "Lynn DeLuca" ldlca@simlab.net
Subject:Questions from students in Roseland, N.J., USA - your mountain/climbing experiences
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 16:59:58 -0400
Dear Mr. Moshnikov:
My students are thrilled that you have agreed to correspond with them.
To follow are the questions they have for you. I hope you enjoy reading and responding to them. We anxiously await your reply.
Thank you, again, for helping me bring LIFE to our novel and for sharing your adventure and thoughts with all of us!
Sincerely, Lynn DeLuca
From: "Anatoly I.Moshnikov" anatoly@cetneva.spb.su
To: "Lynn DeLuca" ldlca@simlab.net
Subject: Replies to the questions
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1999 13:03:46 +0400
Dear friends,
Excuse me for the long delay. I have been trekking on the Caucasus since beginning of June. So I answer you just now. I am very glad that you are interesting in mountaineering.
These are my answers to all your question.
Excuse me for my English.
1. Mr. Moshnikov: How did you feel at first about climbing the North Eiger? I have read many books about climbing in the Alps. There were 3 last problems:
North Eiger wall,
Petit Dru,
Grandes Jorasses.
The North Wall of Eiger is a symbol of mountaineering skill. The history of its conquest was very dramatic. Sometimes before guides refused to work with clients on the North Eiger Wall because of its difficulty...as well as on Everest.
North Eiger wall is a criterion of mountaineering skill.
2. Dear Captain: Did you feel at any time that you would be killed by something, like an avalanche? From Will. I did not think only but it really happened in my expeditions in mountains.
If you do not think about dangerous, very soon you will not be alive. Messner, the most famous climber in the world, wrote in his book, that he has done his unique climbings and was still alive because he was very cautious but not because he was very strong or fearless.
Once I was under an avalanche and already said good by to my son and daughter but my friends digged me out of snow. I was without conscious. But I continue to go to mountains.
3. Mr. Moshnikov: What was the worst mountain climbing injury you've ever had? From Matt. Once I fell down for 15 meters and tore ligaments in the both feet. I continued ascending, but what became the most difficult it was the descent. On the glacier I slipped and felt on the hip and then hobbled down to the border of grass. There was a mule that was called with radio for picking me up.
4. Dear Captain Moshnikov: While climbing mountain, have you ever wanted to stop and go down? From Victoria. Sometimes I would like to stop and go back.
5. Dear Captain: How did you feel when you accomplished your goal by reaching the top of the mountain? From Kevin. When you have reached the top of the mountain, you understand that this is only a half of the route. Sometimes it is more difficult to descend than to reach the top. Injuries are more often on the returning way.
6. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: How did it feel to be climbing a mountain? Scary? Cool? Please share any other feelings you might have had. From Joey. In fact, I have had all kind of feelings during my climbing. You can imagine every feeling yourself.
7. Dear Captain: What inspired you to climb the North Eiger? From Steve. Boring winter weather in St.Petersburg inspired me to go to Eiger.
8. Dear Captain Moshnikov: How did it feel when you slipped a couple of times, so far from the ground? From Ashley. It was not a real fall otherwise I'd not feel anything more. I was stopped by the belay. Naturally, at the moment of slipping I was feeling something like a consternation but then I tried to recover my spirit as soon as possible.
9. Dear Mr. Mosnikov: Were you thinking about turning back after leaving for the mission? From Danielle. No, I was thinking about mountains, where I had never been, and about future expeditions.
10. Dear Captain: Did you ever get hurt while climbing? From George. This happened during a wall ascent. We were slipping at night. I was bitten with a big piece of ice. After that I fell down and hung by the belay. My hands were hurted and I could not move them. on the next day I continued ascending because more than half of the wall route had already been passed. Three days later I resumed leading on the route.
11. Dear Captain: When you saw the mountain you were going to climb, did you feel your breath being taken away? Were you astounded or scared or nervous? From Samantha. When I see the mountain I'm going to climb, first, I feel an interest, then a fear how I can do it, then general plan, then details of the climbing. Then I only do hard routine work.
12. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: Did anything make you regret climbing the mountain? From, Marcelle. Only losing my friends made me regret climbing the mountain.
13. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: Why did you want to be the leader of the group? From Clay. Now, when I know how it is difficult I do not want to be a leader of the team. If I knew that somebody was more experienced than I am, I would always be ready to give up him the way.
14. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: What was one of your scariest moments in mountain climbing? From Andrew. The scariest tragedy happened during my last year ascent of Everest. My close friends Serge Arsentiev and Francis Distefano-Arsentiev took part in that expedition. Neither Sergei nor Francis returned back after reaching the top of the Everest.
15. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: How long have you been climbing? From, Laura. I have been climbing since 18 years old.
16. Dear Captain Moshnikov: If you were to climb over again, would you change anything? If so, what? It happend more that twenty years ago. After hard working day on the rocks of the rather difficult mountain we discussed working plans for next day. Our team leader asked who would like to work as first. I was delaying with the answer, and other member of the team volunteered to work as first. On the next day he was leading, fell down and died. After that I never think more than 2-3 seconds before making decision.
And as to the Eiger... probably, I'd change nothing.
17. Dear Mr. Moshnikov: What made you want to begin a career of mountain climbing? From Valerie. There were a lot of expressive and romantic ballads about journeys and mountains, about proud strong men, about real love and friendship.
18. Dear Captain: How often do you buy new equipment? From Brian. Not very often. Only the most important. Crampons, for example. From time to time my sponsors present me some equipment for the expeditions.
19. Dear Captain: How did it feel when you got to the top of the mountain? Would you ever climb it again? When I am on the top of the mountain, I am really very happy, I know how great the job was, but I must always remember about the descent. Now I am going to mountains again. Summer is a hot season for mountaineering.
Mr. Moshnikov, on behalf of all of my students thank you for your time and effort. We hope we haven't overburdened you with too many questions!
Lynn DeLuca
Thank you for your attention and wish you success in reaching the goal you are set up for yourselves!

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