We just got a call from our team in Russia, and everyone is doing great. They have been busy doing acclimatization hikes on the flanks of Elbrus and are now poised for a summit bid.
We’ve had some technical glitch occur with our audio posting, and have our IT guys looking into it. We apologize for the delay in posts for this team, but we hadn’t realized that their posts were not going through. We’re working on sorting it out.
The team has hiked up to 4900 meters on the mountain, enabling them to both acclimatize and also work on their glacier travel skills. Everyone has been spending time refining their crampon and ice axe techniques and they are just waiting for a good window of weather in order to make their summit bid.
Speaking of weather… the weather was pretty rough today, with moderately high winds and about a foot of new snow at the Barrels Huts. Fortunately, the huts are quite comfortable, and everyone is warm and dry. The forecast looks somewhat unsettled for the next couple of days, but we are hoping that the skies are clear when Jacob pokes his head out of the hut tonight at about 03:00. If things look favorable, they will make an attempt for the summit in the wee hours of the morning.
The plan is to take a snow cat (tracked vehicle, designed to move over the snow) up to near the high point of their most recent acclimatization hike. This will save them several hours of climbing on their summit day, and they have already climbed that stretch. Departing the snow cat, they will climb up a long, rising traverse to the saddle between the twin summits of Elbrus, before heading up the steepest part of the route, which leads to the higher, west summit, at 18,510 feet.
Let’s all hope for a break in the weather!!!