“Challenge Yourself And Head To Your Heights,” — Inna Zinovieva, Software Engineer

November 19, 2021 2 min read

What does it take to discover the mountains? An active member of our InnoClub community, Software Engineer (React) Inna Zinovieva, shares her experience and tips on hiking.

What could be better than mountains? Only mountains that you discover for the first time! They inspire, restore the balance of strength and energy, helping you to feel true freedom.
In the early fall, the Innovecsers got together to arrange the first joint Carpathian adventure, a hike in the mountains, to see the most beautiful landscapes with their own eyes and test endurance. And the first challenge our teammates faced was preparing for the hike and not-so-friendly weather.

We compiled a list of tips from one of our most active and passionate members of InnoClub — Inna Zinovieva, React Software Engineer at Innovecs. Inna loves to travel, is fond of mountaineering, and is engaged in preparation for mountain climbing. We also hope that Inna’s experience will inspire you to go to the mountains!

— What did inspire you for your first hike?

I first visited the mountains a little more than five years ago. I graduated from university and wanted to celebrate this event by doing what I had never done before. It occurred to me that I should climb to some peak in the Carpathians. It was Mount Strimba, 1718 m.

To be honest, although I did sports, it was physically difficult. I was extremely impressed by the beauty of the Carpathians because before that, I saw them only in pictures.

On my way, I met only two people, one ram, and a flock of sheep. I realized that mountains in photos and real mountains are entirely different! When you stand on top, it seems that you are alone in the whole world. You are overwhelmed by inspiration, joy, happiness; there is a desire to set new heights and achieve new goals (and this applies not only to the mountains). And when we went down, the plan of the future mountain hike was already ripening in my head.

— Does one need to be physically ready for the hike?

Of course, it is better to be physically fit to get the most out of hiking. But for short hikes and distances, you do not need to be a professional athlete. Anyone can do it, provided there is a desire. Psychological training also plays a considerable role: you need to be prepared for changes in weather, cold, rain, or wind, in some cases to overcome fatigue and move forward.

— What peaks have you already been to?

In the Ukrainian Carpathians, I visited the following peaks: Hoverla, Spytsia, Rebra, Pip Ivan Chornohorsky, Smotrych, Kostrych, Gimba, Velykyi Verkh, and many, many others.
Recently, I was in the Alps (Mont Blanc) and climbed to a record height for myself — 4400 m. Unfortunately, I could not reach the top due to weather conditions.

— What are the main challenges you may encounter in the mountains?

In the mountains, you have to be ready for everything: a sharp change in weather, strong wind, rain, fog, or snow. I used to overcome fear and fatigue, muscle pain, bruised legs, and fingers. I struggled with strong winds, snow above the knees, and frost.

Every hike in the mountains is a specific challenge, and when you attain your goal, it gives you the feeling that you managed, were not afraid, and brought yourself to cope. And you understand that you can do everything, even more than you expected. Everything you perceive as a problem is not terrible at all and is worth experiencing. You come to understand that you can handle anything. Every walk downhill makes you a little different, better, stronger, more motivated, happier; you know exactly what is really important to you.

— What peaks do you dream of visiting?

First of all, the peak that I could not climb, Mont Blanc. But next time, it will be another route with new challenges.

There are also plans to climb the highest peak in Africa, Kilimanjaro. Then it will be either higher mountains or more technically complex ones. It depends on what will be more significant to me at that point in my life.

— What would you advise tourists who go to the mountains for the first time?

Do not be afraid of difficulties, do some training, start with simple short hikes in a group under the guidance of an experienced mountain researcher. You need to understand that sometimes it is worth overpowering yourself and moving forward, and sometimes it is better to take a step back and retreat. Do not underestimate the mountains: you can be fully prepared for anything, both physically and psychologically. However, it is not all up to you.

Be sure to challenge yourself and head to your heights.