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Elbrus Expedition: Mallory & Team Acclimating Hike to Pastukhova Rocks

We caught our first real views of the mountain this morning when we emerged from the Barrels. The clouds were low in the valley below us, and above Mt. Elbrus rose clearly in the morning light. We could see the entire first portion of the route and high above, several teams were visible traversing into the saddle between the two summits of Mt. Elbrus.

We set out on our acclimatization hike shortly after breakfast. The cold night temperatures left the snow still frozen firmly, giving our crampons good purchase. We retraced our route from yesterday, quickly passing our high point and gaining elevation. By late morning the clouds returned and we climbed in a fog bank, occasional rock outcroppings appearing out of the mist ahead and gradually disappearing below us. By the time we reached around 14,400’ - the same height as Mt. Rainier - a cold breeze picked up and we climbed the remaining portion in our jackets with the hoods pulled closely to protect us from the wind.

We reached Pastuhkova Rocks, at 15,100’, and dropped our packs, resting in the thin air of today’s high point before returning to the hut for a late lunch. The team climbed well today, negotiating the altitude and varying weather conditions well. It was a long day on our feet and we are looking forward to a mellow day tomorrow to brush up on some of the final training we still need to cover and get in a restful afternoon before our planned summit bid on Saturday.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory

On The Map


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