Greetings from the Baksan Valley deep in the Caucasus mountains at the border between Russia and Georgia! On August 8 our team arrived here after spending time sightseeing in St. Petersburg the team flew south to the town of Mineralnye Vody then drove to the town of Terskol where we will base ourselves out of for our climb of Mt. Elbrus. Our hotel is at 2100m/6889′. This is a very pretty area with pine trees, a glacial fed river, and green hillsides displaying many varieties of wildflowers.
On August 9 we took our first acclimatization day hike. We hiked to Chegit Mtn at 3400m/11,154′. This made for a nice first day hike. After several days of traveling and sightseeing it was nice to get outside and get a nice hike under our belts. We had a nice view of Mt. Elbrus in the morning before clouds obscured our view of it. We hiked for 3 1/2 hours to the top of Chegit Mtn. Weather was pleasant which allowed us to take time to relax and enjoy the view while having a snack. Afterwards we descended back to our hotel. There are a couple ski lifts on this mountain that operate in the summertime. We took advantage of those and rode them back down to where we started our hike!
On August 10 we completed our second acclimatization hike getting to 4060m/13,320′ on the flanks of Mt. Elbrus. The team did well and we’re now ready to move up and sleep at the Diesel Hut at 4060m/13,320′. We plan on acclimatizing to higher elevation once we’re settled in the hut. This will be our base of operations from where we’ll make our summit attempt. Currently the region is experiencing evening thundershowers but the forecast is calling for a clearing trend. Since we can’t control the weather we plan to get ourselves ready physically and mentally if/when weather allows for a summit attempt.
We will post updates and pictures when possible but given the limited internet access in the region it may be a couple days before we check in again. Thanks for all the support from family and friends back home and we look forward to being in touch soon!!