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Mt. Elbrus: Reid & Team Summit and Make a Ski Descent

This morning we awoke to stars above and stars below (no clouds whatsoever), a welcome change from the pattern we've experienced in our time on the mountain thus far. A light but steady breeze at the level of our camp was telling of the wind we'd encounter up high, but we went with optimism. At 4 am we were cramponing above Pastukhov Rocks, and the sunrise came quickly, illuminating dramatic Caucasus peaks we've yet to see on this trip. By the traverse at 5000m we were in the wind for real. It came in waves. Sheets. Rapidly approaching freight trains threatening to knock you off your feet if you didn't acknowledge them with the brace position. Then it was fine for 30 seconds. Then another train. Snow blowing everywhere. Spindrift filling in the trail, and any open zipper, backpack, or jacket cuff. Carrying skis on your back was another matter. Somewhat ridiculous feeling, climbing in the wind carrying sails. I think we made other climbers feel as if maybe they didn't have it so bad. At least in relative terms they were aerodynamic. But it was warm. Slow going, but sunny and not as threatening of a situation as it may sound. Just some strong, annoying wind. The wind took it easy on us for a short window of time that we stood on the summit. Much appreciated wind! The ski down was not effortless for the first few thousand feet - I'd describe it as typical high altitude ski mountaineering. You don't do it for the snow. More a game of dodging bare ice patches that aren't supposed to exist until August, and finding smooth ribs of sustrugi to rail slide. Maximizing efficient elevation loss. The aerodynamic climbers were all of a sudden jealous. Then it got good. We hit the corn line around 14,500' and the skiing became fun. And all of a sudden we were back at camp. Proud effort team - everyone brought it today. Not a casual Elbrus ski ascent, but well earned. RMI Guide Tyler Reid

On The Map


Comments (3)

It seems that you had a great time there. I also want to share another article here which is about Elbrus climbing.

http://outdoors-with-cenkertekin.com/elbrus/

Posted by: Whocares386 on

Good for you, what a great feeling you must have!!!! Bob and I are having a celebratory vodka for you

Posted by: Barb on

Nicely done!
Enjoy the well deserved rest and celebratory vodka!!!

Posted by: Greg Barber on

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