July 24, 2011

Climbing Mt. Elbrus North Side

Just got back to civilization after a long and bumpy ride from the north side of Russia's Mt. Elbrus. The standard route up Mt. Elbrus is typically from the south, but due to tension along the Russia / Georgia border, that side of the mountain is currently closed. Some operators decided to cancel their Elbrus trips this year, but a few of the more courageous guiding companies threw down the gauntlet and ran their first Elbrus North expeditions.

I led the Adventure Consultants expedition and will be starting a second trip in a few days. Unlike the South side, Mt. Elbrus is vast, wild and undeveloped on it's northern flanks and provides an authentic Russian experience from start to finish.

Surprisingly, the hardest day was not the 1900 meter summit push, but rather a 4 hour power tour of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Base Camp on the north side of Elbrus.

Mt. Everest.

Hiking around base camp.

Early morning on summit day.

Nearing 5000 meters.

Traversing to the saddle between the East and West Summits.

Summit white-out.

Clearing on the descent.

Back at base camp.

A happy team at BC.

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