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Elbrus Expedition: Mallory and Team Summit!

After a few hours of fitful sleep, interrupted by the anticipation of the climb, the alarm went off at 1:05 a.m. this morning. We pulled on all of our gear, forced down a quick breakfast, and then loaded onto the snowcat for a lift up to 15,000’. The night was perfect, an awesome amount of stars covered the sky and a faint crescent moon was rising in the east. Well, almost perfect: the
temps were cold and a steady wind was blowing out of the west. It was cold. We began climbing in our big down parkas and didn’t end up taking them off until we were back down off of the summit many hours later.

Besides the biting wind the climbing was perfect, wind compacted snow that was great for climbing but still soft enough to keep the slopes from being too slick. The sun began to rise as we approached 17,000’, casting long shadows of mountains across the landscape below us. But, unfortunately the wind didnt let up with the sun and it stayed cold. The team did a fantastic job of keeping themselves warm, avoiding even the smallest bits of frost nip. By 8 am we reached the saddle between Elbrus’ twin summits and we started up the steep slope above to reach the summit plateau. We were briefly sheltered from the wind until we reached the summit plateau and traversed across to the highest point, a small rise on the far side perched over massive slopes descending the west and north side of the mountain.

Despite the wind, it was wonderful to reach the summit and we spent 20 minutes or so admiring the views, exchanging high fives, and snapping photos, before we beat a hasty retreat back down from the top.

By midday the afternoon clouds were already building and they blew in and out around us as we made the long descent back to our hut. We are now settled back into our bunks, tired from a long day of climbing but happy with the climb. Tomorrow we will descend back to Cheget for hot showers and clean clothes.

RMI Guide Linden Mallory


Linden Mallory Callling from the Summit of Mount Elbrus

On The Map


Comments (1)

Congratulations to all on a great climb.  Can’t wait to see more pictures.

Posted by: Mary Ann Papp on

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