Today we talk with our professional mountain guide Nikolay Gutnik.


How did you start your climbing?

When I was about 7 years old I dreamed to get to the mountains. I really don’t know how this crazy idea appeared  because my parents or relatives didn’t go to the mountains.

While I was a child that was my dream to get to the mountains. Just in middle school I could join the hiking club at school. My first coach was Ludmila Chekanova.

And after that I fell in love with mountains.



What was your first summit?

Pioneer peak and Komsomolets (in Ala Archa, Kyrgyzstan) in 1993.



How did you spend trainings?

We had so much theory and practice at school: books, tents, ropes and maps. We took part in many different competitions. Later I started running. As I think the best training is to go to the mountains climb and hike a lot. Quantity turns into quality.


What was your first high altitude experience?

Khan Tengri in 2002, Lenin peak in 2003.



What was the most severe expedition?

Lhotse in 2009. It started as acclimatization and then we had to survive.


Tell us about your achievements in sports.

I became a Candidate Master of Sports in 2000. Then I climbed walls in winter. Later I started climbing for myself. I climbed Ama Dablam in 2008 and became Master of Sports. Every year I climb high peaks (Lhotse, Nanga Parbat).


What is your inspiration?

New projects and adventures.



Please continue the phrase: “Mountains for me are…”

The meaning of life.


What is your the most desirable dream?

The word “most” can be applied only to physical quantities. I have many new projects and each of them is the most desirable.


What qualities should have a good guide?

In addition to professional knowledge and skills, the guide should be able to talk with the client. Guide – it’s not just a good athlete but also a teacher and psychologist.


What is needed to become a good alpinist?

Desire, health, financial stability and no permanent job.


How many years have you been skiing?

I’ve been skiing for about 15 years. First ski tour experience I had 5 years ago at MсKinley.


Tell us about your high altitude ski touring.

After McKinley it was Muztagh Ata (7546m). I think this is one of the best mountains for ski touring. And couple of times I reached Razdelnaya peak under Lenin peak (6148m).



How many months do you spend in the mountains?

Usually it is different. Normally 6-7 month.


If you are not in the mountains what else can make you happy and bring positive emotions?

I like to travel, new place, and people. I like to meet up with old friends. I like guests in my house.



What can you wish to our readers?

To take care and new summits and interesting projects.