2013 Elbrus Climb Wrap-up

Hello and thank you for following the 2013 Mountain Trip Mount Elbrus expedition.

Earlier today we all drove from Azau to Min Vody for our flights to Moscow, with the exception of Jung Mi and Masako, who flew on to St Petersburg. I’m looking forward to spending one or two more days in Russia exploring the amazing city that we briefly saw before flying south to climb Mount Elbrus.

I want to thank all of my team mates on this trip as it takes really good people to make a great team. We truly had a great team! Time flew when we went on acclimatization hikes, ate out at cafes and played cards for hours while waiting for the weather to improve.

Elbrus is now one of my favorite trips. It has everything, from varied cultures, beautiful cities to explore, and is steeped in a rich history. Virtually everyone we met was really friendly and eager to talk about where we were from and share their stories with us. And of course, there are a ton of big mountains that are easily accessible! Being able to acclimatize in old ski towns was a lot of fun and what a treat it was to go on acclimatization hikes with a shower at the end of the day! Staying at the Barrel huts was a lot of fun.  We shared good food with a lot of friendly people.

After a day of bad weather up high on the mountain that turned many teams around, we woke up at 4am for breakfast and left for the summit at 5:30am after a nice breakfast of cereal or oatmeal with yogurt (it’s good to have choices!) and eggs with a selection of fruits. We then took a snow cat up to where we had climbed a few days earlier. What a great way to start a summit push!

At first we had a little bit of wind, but it then turned into a beautiful day with amazing views of the Caucus Mountain Range. We made the summit around 1:30pm and were back in the Barrel huts by 5pm for tea and coffee! Later, we all sat down for a celebration dinner then we enjoyed our comfortable beds. At least I think the beds are comfortable, but what do I know? I spend over half the year in a tent! (Ha ha!)

I think we all have made new friends during the last week and a half. I look forward to climbing with them all in the near future. I can tell everyone in the group is as excited to get back to the mountains as I am.

Hope to see you in the mountains!
Jacob Schmitz,
Moscow, Russia

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