The Rha is “a river of Asiatic Sarmatia,” according to Ptolemy – quite possibly the Volga, whose upper reaches are near the heart of Muscovy. The Rhipean, or Riphean, mountains “thought of as in the far north of Skythia, were to the Greeks as a region of clouds and thick darkness, sending forth the chilling blasts (ῥιπαὶ) of the North.” They are commonly identified with the Urals.
Now There Are Always Snows (“Теперь всегда снега”) is the title of a poetry book and a standalone poem by Gennady Aygi. I am not sure I understand Aygi’s work but I can’t resist thinking about that 1978 title now and then, imagining life in Moscow as a string of terribly long winters broken by brief spells of heat at times.
I blogged as the Russian Dilettante on Blogspot in 2003-7. I’m still based in Mordor and still trying to make sense of what’s going on in the (un)real world, though less hopeful than ever of success. I have cleaned up some of my old posts and hidden others from public view, effectively deleting them as vacuous and/or embarrassing.