Ascent of Mt. Elbrus (5642 m), Caucasus, Russia

July 11-23, 2003

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Day 5.

The next day the weather pattern repeats itself and we thus get the opportunity to do an acclimatization trip to 4900m in good weather - although we did experience strong westerly winds.

Lotte on the acclimatization trip from camp 3 at 4400m to 4900m with the mountain chain towards Georgia in the background.




Hans on the acclimatization trip from camp 3 at 4400m to 4900m with the Elbrus peak in the foreground.

Day 6.

At 2 am the alarm clock rings and a quick look outside the tent reveals that the weather pattern is still stable. The sky is cloudless and the winds are westerlies. We decide to attempt the summit and at 3.30 am we leave our camp!

Sunrise. Our summit attempt has begun.

(Photo taken at 5 AM)





The sun is now above the horizon and paints the mountains and clouds in a brilliant red hue.

(Photo taken toward the east at 6 AM)




Elbrus throws its shadow toward the west.

(Photo taken at 6.15 AM)

The strong westerlies continue as clearly shown in this photo. This results in a wind chill of us and our drinks. I get the questionable task of carrying 1 liter of frozen water both up and down the mountain....

Lotte on "the traverse" above the Pastukhova Rocks and toward the saddle between the peaks of Elbrus.

(Photo taken toward the east at 6.30 AM)

Lotte on her way toward the saddle (5416m) between the peaks. Finally we begin to walk without climbing so we get the chance to re-energize before the final steep ascent.

The route contains almost vertically upward from Lotte's position until one moves behind the peak to continue. Snowdrift from the summit reveals how strong winds are up there!

(Photo taken toward the north at 8 AM)


The route takes one from the saddle toward the summit, these leads to some unexpected peaks along the way. One is not in doubt when the final summit is reached as it is the largest and marked with stones, flags etc.


Lotte on the summit 10.00 AM

What a view! Even though the clouds have now gathered below us we can see the Black Sea and mountain chains off to the south. An impressive sight. Because of the rapidly gathering clouds below us we quickly head downwards. At 1.30 pm and after 10 hours of walking we are back in out tent.

Hans Bräuner-Osborne on the summit of Mount Elbrus, Caucasus, Russia

And now its Hans' turn on the summit.

Day 7.

We would have liked to have continued to Terskol directly after our summit but we were too dehydrated and thus decide to stay at camp 3. The next day the weather is again good and we pack our tent and start our climb down to Terskol. Great getting back to the hotel to a hot shower and lunch in a cafe.....

Lotte walking the last few meters toward the Barrels huts and then the lift into the valley.....

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Last update: 17-12-2007

© Hans Bräuner-Osborne