Elbrus Summit Dispatch!
We are back in Terskol after a successful trip. Steve Pigott, Joe DeHart and Hanse Ringstrom made the summit under clear skies with windy conditions on August 11th with local guide Soltan Kochkarev. Honorable mention to Dave Smith for achieving a new high point of 5000 meters.
We made our initial ascent to the barrels in bad weather on the 8th of August. The 9th proved to be even worse than the day before as we made our ascent to Pastakhov Rocks for acclimatization. After a well deserved day of rest at the barrels camp waiting for the weather to improve, the group got on the snow cat at 4 AM to begin our ascent to the summit. It was initially very cold, but the snow was firm and made for easy cramponing up the slopes above the Pastakhov Rocks. It was not until the headwall below the summit that progress became slower due to soft snow conditions. As the team approached the summit they were battered by fierce wind that threatened to knock them down at every step. In the end they were victorious, standing on top of the highest point in Europe. Mount Elbrus is 5,642 meters high. A worthy summit for even experienced climbers.
See you all next year in the Caucasus!
Baksan Valley, Russia