Mt. Elbrus: Mallory & Team Prepare for Summit Climb

Posted by: Linden Mallory | July 13, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

The weather has been steadily improving each day on the mountain and today was no exception: we’ve had beautiful clear skies all day here on Mt. Elbrus. We enjoyed a relaxed breakfast this morning of French toast and fresh fruit before heading out on the surrounding glacier to cover some additional mountaineering training in preparation for tomorrow’s climb. By lunch the team was well versed in a variety of climbing techniques, including ice axe arrest, climbing as a rope team, and crampon techniques for a variety of conditions.

In the afternoon we took a walk down to the top of the tram station where a little museum sits. In translated Russian, the museum keeper walked us through the small rooms, explaining the significance and events of Mt. Elbrus during World War II. So close to Russia’s oil supply at the time, the Caucasus were a major focus of Hitler’s advances into Russia and there was a great deal of fighting between 1941-1943, including on Mt. Elbrus itself as the mountain held symbolic importance in the fighting. It was a very interesting tour and a very different change of pace from the climbing focus we’ve had.

We returned to huts in the afternoon and prepared our gear for tomorrow’s climb. The weather forecast looks promising and the team is feeling strong so we are going for the top tomorrow morning. We will make an early start, getting up around 2:00am, and hope to reach Europe’s highest point by mid morning. We will check in tomorrow to let you know how the climb goes; keep your fingers crossed for good weather and smooth climbing conditions for us!

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

Looking up toward the summit of Mt. Elbrus at 18,510 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom

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