Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Carries to Camp 1
We awoke the first time this morning to the entrancing beats of Zivert, from songs of an intrepid hiker’s boombox, at 4:30 am. A bit confused and groggy we fell asleep again, waking to bright sunshine at a much more reasonable hour, all wondering if we had imagined the 4:30 episode. After a breakfast spread and fresh artisan drip coffee seemed better than Starbucks by Abby, we packed up our packs with loads of food and climbing gear that we won’t need until above Camp 1 and headed uphill to make our first steps towards the summit, get dinner off our weight up to the next camp, and accomplish some acclimatization as well.
Our sunshine lasted for about an hour and a half of walking, and by late morning, clouds had built above us and much of the mountain. It was cooler, and the occasional snowflake sifted down as we continued our upward progress. After just under five hours, we walked into Camp 1, on the terminal moraine of the glacier. We made a quick cache, then turned and headed down, hoping to drop underneath the clouds. We managed to just around Mushroom Rocks, some unique formations that have been sculpted by wind, rain, snow, and time to resemble giant rock mushrooms. After pausing for photos and snacks, it was all ahead to base camp, impressed to have the weight off our backs and be able to move. We rounded out the evening with naps and a hearty pasta dinner. Our plan tomorrow, assuming the weather cooperates, is to move up to the huts at Camp 1.
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Mike Uchal, and team
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