When the thunder strikes you on the mountain high (May 2023)

I really love thunderstorms. The nice, exciting atmosphere, the rain, the dynamics of the wind…

But being inside of one just between the summits of the Karasay and the Eznevit at 3500 meters altitude was a very different experience.

When I started the ascent, the weather looked good and after some kilometers of walking on nearly flat ground the real ascent started. It was basically just going up, up, up the steep slope.

When I was about 200 meters away from the top, the thunderstorm rapidly arose and I was standing on the very steep, snow covered slope in my snow shoes and thought about what direction would be better. Up or down? No cover in any direction. So I decided to go up between the two summits to have at least a less steep place when the thunderstorm would hit me.

I found a tiny spot, sat down, wrapped myself in my emergency blanket to have some protection from the wind, hail, snow and whatever there is to come and looked in the direction of the approaching thunderstorm.

I saw big lightning hitting the rocks of the mountain in front of me and it looked so impressive. But after just a couple of minutes the view drastically deteriorated and everything went white and the storm was tugging and pushing my blanket.

But sitting in the blanket felt ok to me. The lightning did not close in on me which made me feel pretty safe. But still I had some interesting thoughts. For example, I thought if there is something I should do before I may die in this thunderstorm. I guess I was very far away from dying up there but still this thought occurred to me but I did not find anything and just continued sitting.

The whole time I had this song from East 17 on my mind: “When the thunder calls you, from the mountain’s high, it’s time to spread your wings and fly”.

After the thunderstorm had passed, I just ran/ slided down the slope and felt totally pumped.