Foot of the Mountain Elbrus #5
Hi this is TA calling in from the foot of Mount Elbrus in Russia. We arrived here after a fairly long day of travel, up early to get to the airport, a couple hours of flying on Aeroflot, then another four hours of driving and trying to find one of our gangs luggage, we are hoping that it gets here soon for him. We had a wonderful dinner, we are staying at a brand new ski lodge here. Tomorrow we start our acclimatization walk/hike/climb. It sounds like we are going to be down in the valley here for three or four nights and then we will start t moving up the mountain to the various huts. So time to start drinking lots of water, getting well hydrated because we made a big jump we are at 2350 metres above sea level just around 7500 feet or so. So far so good, the foots alright, the backs alright, holding their own. Although, it was a bit iffy moving some of the bags suddenly I wished I had packed much lighter as I often do
So that’s me checking in here from the foot of Mount Elbrus
Talk to you again tomorrow
Bathe of Endorphins Elbrus #6
Hi this is TA calling in from the village of Azau at the foot of Mount Elbrus. We had our first acclimatization hike today, we went from above the village of Cheget, starting at an elevation of about 2100 metres and climbed to 3100 metres. It was a good first climb since we just came up to 2350 yesterday. I started quite strong; 3 hours in I started to fade a bit realizing that I probably started a little too fast. So I was a bit humbled, but I knew I would be on this particular climb knowing that I was going in a little less fit then I usually do. But, the foot did well, the back did well. I’m enjoying the bathe of endorphins at the moment and the excitement of seeing the twin peaks of Elbrus across the valley today the sun broke through and let us see our objective. Tomorrow we are heading out to the observatory so we will get a view of the caucus. Things are going well the groups all getting along great. Enjoying our food here at the hotel it is quite unique or I should say its quite Russian. Some of the folks are learning about that, but all in all I go by the motto he or she who eats the most and drinks the most water gets to the top of the mountain, so you know what I’m doing. Heading into dinner now and then hopefully a really good rest for our second night at this elevation
Thanks so much for tuning in…take good care
Stuart McLean at Altitude Elbrus #7
Hi this is TA calling in from the village of Azau again, at the foot of Mount Elbrus in Russia. We had another great day of acclimatizing the weathers been spectacular, sunny, blue and warm, but not super hot, a nice cooling breeze seemed to come along whenever we needed it. We went out on the slopes of the foothills of Mount Elbrus today heading towards an observatory that has quote on quote “free guard dogs”, i.e: you can’t actually get too close to the observatory or the guard dogs will get you. Things went well, people are climbing well, we had a little bit of an easier pace today which makes it easier to find that rhythm that lets you go uphill for hours on end. I’m a little afraid that I might be brewing a little bit of a cold so I’m trying to pump the fluids and get lots of rest. I slept pretty darn well last night thanks to the vinyl café on my iPod it helps put me back to sleep when I wake up at altitude. So all is going well, we have a couple more days of acclimatization down here and then we will start moving up the mountain. Got another great view of the twin peaks of Mount Elbrus today as people were trying to imagine what it will be like to get up high.
That’s all there is to report from here today.
Thanks for following along and if any of you WOKies are out there and want send a few little encouraging words to the Sat phone I would love that.
Hope all is well…take good care.
Talk to you soon
Finding Strength Elbrus #8
Hi this is TA calling in from Azau again, at the foot of Mount Elbrus. We had another day of acclimatization; we went up the valley above the actual village of Elbrus and saw another approach that is sometimes used to climb the mountain. A couple of us were salivating at the idea we could actually climb it right from the bottom in traditional mountaineering style, but that’s not on our particular agenda. It was a bit of a low energy day for me, I didn’t sleep particularly well last night because of a severe soar throat, but I’m trying to drink lots. I know that whatever I’m suffering now with a little cold at altitude is nothing compared to what my dad has had to endure in his struggle with prostate cancer. I know that some folks know that I have been carrying Velma the doughnut with me, in some ways Velma is a bit of a joke about my love of vanilla dips, but its also a symbol to me of my dad because he was known for his generosity at work and was always the one bringing the doughnuts to the boys for coffee. So I think of him every time I pull Velma out. I’m thinking of you a lot dad, love you lots, your strength is bringing me forward. I’m also carrying some prayer flags in support of my Buddhist teacher Mo Harden who has also started the journey with prostate cancer. I’m hopefully going to get those prayer flags to the summit for him as well, and I think about him with each step I take up the mountain.
We have another big acclimatization day tomorrow moving from here at about 2100 metres all the way up to 3600 metres to the old ice camp, which was the way they used to climb Elbrus. Then we pack and get some lunch stuff together for our trip up to the barrel huts the next day. We’ve had the most amazingly hot gorgeous weather we all have to make sure we get on sunscreen on because it has been very, very warm. We have been blessed with cloud free skies and stunning views of the Caucasus. Today we could look over and actually see some of the peaks that are on the other side of the boarder in Georgia. We actually cant spend much time on that side at the moment because of the dispute. So we are looking from afar at some pretty amazing snow covered peaks, sort of wanting to be there as well some times the groups been able to go over, if they are able to summit Elbrus early. So that’s it from here. Hope you all are doing well; send your healing thoughts my way. I’m drinking lots of orange juice and trying to rest as much as I can.
Appreciate you all coming along for the journey
Take good care