Elbrus Team Acclimatizes
We slept well in the Barrels last night, the paneled walls providing a surprising amount of insulation from the cold mountain night. The morning again dawned clear and after breakfast we headed out on our final acclimatization hike. The fact that our bodies are already growing stronger at this altitude was evidenced by our pace this morning as we made it to our high point of yesterday a bit faster and with far less effort.
We continued upwards, donning our crampons and picking our way across the rushing rivulets of surface water beginning to run down the glacier as temperatures warmed. By midday we reached our goal, an outcropping of rock at 15,300’ or so. Above us stood the east summit of Elbrus towering another 3,000’ higher. Below us stretched the massive rolling glaciers of the mountain, enveloping all sides of the mountain like an apron. It was a beautiful view and we were pleased to be up there.
Retracing our steps, we descended back to the Barrels in time for an afternoon lunch before relaxing for the rest of the day. The weather once again turned unsettled in the afternoon, occasionally spitting rain and hail on us. A fairly consistent trend has emerged while we have been here - clear skies in the morning followed by light afternoon precipitation. It appears as though it will continue for the rest of the week, boding well for our planned summit bid the day after tomorrow - keep your fingers crossed!
A light hike and some rest is planned for tomorrow.
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