This isn’t a valley - a different space, Where avalanches quite often will race. And here, after a rockfall a rockfall will roar. We can turn around, bypassing the chute, But we always choose the hardest route, That’s risky as a trail in time of war. Who’s never been there, who never took risks, For sure, he tested himself the least, Although down below he was grabbing stars from the sky. It matters not how much you would strive, You still won’t see in your happy life A tiny fraction of such wonders and sights. No scarlet roses, no mourning bands, Nor is it like a monument, That stone that provided you peace at the end. And shining like the Eternal Flame, The emerald summit forever will stand, The one that today you have failed to ascend. And let them all say, oh, let them all say! But no! No death should be in vain, It’s better than from vodka or from the flu. And others will come, give up their time For risk and hardships of the climb, And they will send the route unclimbed by you. A vertical crag - be attentive you must, Your luck is not something you’re willing to trust. Because in the mountains you can trust no snowfield nor rock. We only rely on the strength of our hands, On hands of our partners and well-placed cams, And we are all praying that our protection will hold. We’re cutting the steps. And not one step back! And from the exertion our ankles would shake, Our hearts are ready to race to the top from the chest. The whole world’s below - you’re happy and mute, But there’s a little envy in you: For others who have their summit awaiting ahead.
© Kirill Tolmachev. Translation, 2022