The expedition "On the High Shores" of the Kuban team of sportsmen, led by RGS member Yuri Kashin, set a record in the high-mountain ice diving. The dive was made at an altitude of 2650 meters on the Lake of Robert Scott on the border with Karachay-Cherkessia. The previous world records belong to France (1,200 meters) and Armenia on Lake Sevan (1,900 meters).
The expedition took place from May 17 to 19. The team included divers: Yuri Kashin, Dmitry Apalkov, Sergey Litvinov. Three tourists helped to achieve the goal: Maxim Kostenko, Dmitry Suvorov, Pavel Sotnikov. The total time spent at the bottom is about an hour.
In 2018, the team of Yuri Kashin set a record for Russia in high-mountain diving on Lake Lunnoy in Karachay-Cherkessia.
“I had been developing the expedition since February”, - says the head of the group. - “We found three volunteer tourists. They are strong guys who can hike in the mountains and help with the equipment. We got from the Solionovsky cordon to Hatsavit (translated as the "mountain of wandering spirits"), and then we were given horses that carried our cargo from there".
"We set out on May 17, climbed to Hatsavit mountain, overpassed Markopidzh Mountain (Turovaya Gora). Then we moved to the very last cordon independently", - says Yuri Kashin. - "We found ourselves there at about 21.00. Then the road became even more difficult because of snow deposits. There is 8 kilometers to the lake directly, but you cannot pass directly, there were large deposits of snow - so you have to walk along a cliff. Horses helped to carry the cargo only in 3 kilometers. After that, the animals began to sink in the snow, we had to wean off of the cargo".
The conditions, in which the members of the expedition found themselves, did not correspond at all to what they had hoped for organizing their trip. There was a real threat to lives and health of divers.
“The danger level was maximum”, the expedition leader admits. “We didn’t walk along the lanes, secondly, the highland region, thirdly, under the ice. This can only be compared with diving to vast depths. But after a consultation, considering how difficult the path was, we decided to dive".
The dive was perfect. A running rope with a cargo was carried to the bottom to reduce the danger. In case of emergency, it was possible to pull the diver quickly to the split with its help. Yury Kashin recalls: “The diver couldn’t get there with an aqualung, so we first put the aqualung and a diving regulator down - so the diver was able to breathe. After that the diver went carefully, grabbed the aqualung already under water, after this he dived to the bottom, made photo and video fixation".
At the bottom of the lake, the expedition members conducted research: they measured the depth, estimated the flora and fauna, and recorded the bottom relief. All the time divers had video equipment on them. “The record book does not trust to words only”, says Yuri Kashin. “Therefore, we shot a full HD-quality video at a frequency of at least 30 frames per second. The dive was recorded. There was a device in front of the camera that showed a GPS point, an altimeter, showing the height. Separately, photos and videos of the entire lake, of all the mountains, standing next to it, were taken, so that you can match them".
The way back turned out to be the same hard, the members of the expedition were exhausted. “I arrived at 5 o'clock in the evening on Sunday, I laid down. It was only on Tuesday evening that I started to walk,” the expedition leader admits. - I had bruises on my arms and legs, my legs were chafed, my face was burned, and my lips became weatherbeaten. It is turned out to be the very hard expedition".
The expedition materials will be soon appreciated by biologists. The record is confirmed by the World Record Book (Inter) on ice diving. During the week, according to Yury Kashin, the expedition participants will be given the appropriate certificate.