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Khehtsirsky Challenge

"It can not be that all these thorns appeared here spontaneously!" In the Far East "jungle" - to the top of the Great Hechtir

Bolshekhekhtsirsky nature reserve begins in 20 km to the south of Khabarovsk, in clear weather its blue ridge is visible from the embankment of the Amur. But the feeling of a cozy, almost park suburb is an illusion. In fact, this is 450 km² of wild forest, "staffed" with tigers and bears, where any activity is prohibited except for scientific and security, and tourists are allowed only on equipped trails. To the participants of the photo club Nature DV and the reporter of "East Russia" was allowed to go on the route of the first category of difficulty - and climb to the highest point, Mount Khekhtsir, from where China is seen better than Khabarovsk.

Khehtsirsky Challenge
Photo: Kirill Chernykh

Immersion in Khekhir begins after the village of Bychikha. At first, it seems that our guide chooses a way by random principle, but through time, the eyes distinguish between the paint and serifs on the trunks, and the special trampling of the path. Who now awaits the traditional Khabarovsk moaning about the nasty, I disappoint: we walked in perfect weather, on fragrant conifers and blossoming glades, to the singing of birds and the sound of streams.


But on Hekhcir there are other hunters on people, because of which everyone had to be packed from head to toe: taiga "Ixodes" ticks (Ixodes persulcatus - East Russia). Blood does not take these parasites any more than a nurse from a finger in a polyclinic, but they are dangerous as carriers of tick-borne encephalitis and borreliosis (Lyme disease). In the photo below, the pliers we took off our clothes in the middle of the road, 30 pieces from seven people. Inspect yourself and your companions in such conditions you need constantly.


In these concentrated Far Eastern debris on the mobile all participants of the group came the message: "Welcome to China! Incoming calls 25 rubles, outgoing - 100 rub, SMS - 20 rubles. " We are on Russian soil, but the Chinese cellular "towers" (the border with the PRC runs along the river's channel) is more powerful here. The majority decides on temporary mobile abstinence.


At the Sosnensky cordon we have lunch, we throw heavy backpacks and are preparing to lightly take the main "skyscraper" of the Great Hechtir - the same mountain with an altitude of 949,5 m above sea level. Then the word "easy" can be forgotten as awkward: the top was fenced off by decays and gullies, bumps and fallen trees, lianas and thorns, swamps and fields sticking out at different angles of stones. I do not know how Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, came to this 76 (about his trip to Bolshoy Khekhir there is an entry in the reservation book of the reserve for 1997 year), but many of us thought that they would leave their legs here. On the approaches to the summit they did not bend, did not obey, stiffened. Fortunately, there were minor bruises and scratches.


- It is impossible to measure the distance in kilometers, simply because there is climbing, and a kilometer on the asphalt, and a kilometer diagonally across the fallen trees and the taiga - these are absolutely different kilometers! Because we measure time. The path to the top of Hechtir is the first category of difficulty in hiking. The very top was of interest even from a military point of view, from here China is seen at 200 kilometers, and at such a short distance from Khabarovsk here is the real mountain taiga! Wild coniferous forest, centuries-old cedars, birches, a place untouched by man. But the beauty that we see is secondary. We are going for the sake of the road, "says photo traveler Kirill Chernykh. "It's interesting how people change their priorities on the road," Kirill continues. - Everyone goes and aloud dreams of a cup of hot tea, and about how not to get off the trail. How little we need to be happy ...


The "crown" of Hekhtir we found in the lilac crown of the Dahurian rhododendron, in the common race - the Ledum. Under it is the geometry of the Chinese rice fields of the northeastern province of Heilongjiang (literally the Black Dragon river) and poetry painted in gold Ussuri, from such a height can be seen both her and the Amur channel with a bridge on the Chinese side.

We were lucky on the weather, and a light haze almost did not interfere with the review.


Among the rocks we found a roof of some structure, an old transistor, a conch and a cast-iron battery (at an altitude of almost 1000 m).


- During the Great Patriotic War here, at the top, was the observation post of the Red Army. In 1942, the men went to the front, and a women's platoon, called "rumor", arose here. Manchuria was occupied by the Japanese Kwantung Army, and the interventionists aimed to fly to attack us. Rumors on the radio broadcast down the message about the upcoming air attack. The battalion held out for a couple of years for sure! In general, the route is not yet equipped and tourists do not drive here, only specialized groups, scientists, photographers, operators and local lore specialists go by special passes. Here, of course, a paradise for photographers: sunsets, sunrises, panoramas of rivers, as in the palm of the hands lying on all sides of Hechzir. The place of power, fantastic, we stand in its range, and the peak is the brightest, - shares Viktor Matashov, tourism specialist of the FGBU "United Directorate of Natural Reserves and National Parks of the Khabarovsk Territory "Reserve Amur Region", which includes the Bolshekhekhtsirsky.

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This newborn deer photographer Kirill Chernykh photographed during the previous campaign against Khekhir. Two weeks ago, one of the two "lodging" Amur tigers was seen in the reserve. In our "march-throw" we did not meet anyone bigger than a chipmunk, plus, judging by the sounds, a fox was hovering around the hut at night. To see more would help the photo traps and drones, the expert in tourism Victor Matashov is assured. Perhaps, they will appear in the arsenal of Bolshekhekhtsirsky already this year. And after a week or two mosquitoes will appear here, and at least one more "skill" will be thrown at the passage of the great test of Hecher.

Photo Shoot: Cyril Chernykh, Elena Vertyankina, Tatyana Kim, Yang MaeJason.

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