Elbrus Northside Team caches gear near Camp 1
A calm and warm night gaveway to another gorgeous morning here at Base Camp. After breakfast we shouldered our packs and set out. The first stretch of walking brought us through a series of steep valleys and rolls just above Elbrus Base Camp that are blanketed in lush green grass and wildflowers. Picking our way amongst the giant protrusions of volcanic rock from the mountain’s formation we made our way higher, leaving the vegetation behind and entering the alpine zone of rock and dirt.
By midday we reached our goal for the day - a flat plateau at just over 11,000’ below the morraine leading to Camp 1. There we unloaded our packs and cached our gear amongst the rocks. This strategy of caching our gear higher on the mountain and then descending back to camp serves a twofold purpose: it allows us to move a portion of our gear ahead of us, making packs lighter tomorrow when we move camp, and also gives us a jumpstart on acclimatization by exposing our bodies to a higher altitude before descending back lower to recover. This strategy of “climb high, sleep low” is an important part of any climbing expedition to high altitudes and will greatly benefit us tomorrow when we move to Camp 1.
After caching our gear and resting for a bit in the sun, we retraced our steps back to Base Camp, reaching our tents just before a small sprinkling of afternoon rain swept through the valley. Thankfully the rain blew through and the evening is beautiful. We have just wrapped up dinner and are getting ready to turn in for the night. The setting sun has lit up Elbrus’ west side in a pink alpenglow as well as the small clouds hanging near the summit. It is a gorgeous night to be out in the mountains.
We will check in tomorrow after moving up to Camp 1.
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