Elbrus Northside Team at Camp 1
Around midnight last night the winds began to pick up here at Camp 1. Sweeping down off of the mountain’s scoured glaciers, they would come barreling through camp, howling as they relentlessly shook the tents. Needless to say, sleep was intermittent as the tents shook and flapped throughout the night. Although the winds had yet to abate by morning it was clear and the sun soon found us, warming us quickly.
Because of the wind we dragged our feet a bit during breakfast before departing, escaping the gusts by retreating to a nearby hut used by our outfitter where we could enjoy our hot drinks with a little more protection. Thankfully, the deterioration in the weather didn’t affect us much since we descended back below camp to our cache where the morraine deflected most of the winds coming down off of the mountain.
We made a quick descent to our cache carrying only light packs, reloading them with all of the gear we stashed there on Tuesday. Our improving acclimatization and growing comfort with the trail was evidenced by how efficiently we climbed back up to Camp 1 through the loose rock and scree, everyone clearly showing their strength as we made good time through the difficult terrain. Back at camp the winds had lessened but continued to blow as clouds began to settle in. As we traded stories over lunch a wet groppel began to come down, lightly at first and then in sheets, covering the rocks around us in an uneven dusting of white. We retreated back to the tents in the afternoon to relax and rest and escape the weather outside.
The groppel has since stopped and the storm seems to be lessening at the moment. As we head off for dinner the occasional sun beam breaks through the clouds and illuminates the tent walls. Our plan tomorrow is to make an acclimatization climb towards Camp 2, hopefully leaving another small cache up there in preparation for our summit bid. We will check in tomorrow and let you know if the weather cooperates.
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