Elbrus 2002 Expedition Trip Reports!
100% success on Elbrus this year!
Welcome to our summer 2002 Elbrus expedition trip reports page! A super season in the Caucus Mountains of Russia this summer. Below is a series of reports from our August 4th Expedition.
August 4th, 2002
Everyone arrives after the long flights across the Atlantic. Ready for some relaxing along the cafes near the Kremlin. Our hotel is across the street from Red Square and Saint Basils Church. Right along the river. Lots to see and explore here. We tour the Kremlin, visit Red Square and the Gardens. Spend some time in the famous Gorky Park and enjoy Russian hospitality at its best. Lots of great little street cafes for an interesting mix of food.
August 6th, 2002
Off to Mineralye Vody on Siberian Airlines this morning. A few hours in a cramped vintage airplane and were there! From Vody its a 4 hour drive to the Baksan Valley. A beautiful trip across flat farmland, slowly winding up into the mountains near Checnya. We've joined up with Nikolai now who with Olga have just come down from the summit with another American group.
August 9th, 2002
We stay in a beautiful Dacha that used to be the famous summer house for the presidents of the USSR. A nice place in the middle Baksan Valley. This is our base for trips into the Adylsu Valley, the Yusengi Valley and some acclimatization hikes to Chegit Peak and the observatory. Super nice people throughout the area. Some military presence over towards the Adylsu Valley and the border. A good time to enjoy the Mountains of the Caucuses and acclimatize before going up high on Elbrus. A careful schedule has to be planned on Elbrus as its possible to go very high quite fast with the trams and ski lifts that go up to the higher huts on the normal route. Were staying tonight up at the top of the tram station near a small lake with absolutely beautiful views out over the Baksan Valley. A good place to acclimatize.
Above the Pruitt 2 Hut
August 11th, 2002
We spent the last couple days climbing up to the highest hut on Elbrus. Some fog earlier but overall great weather. Cold and clear, with hot sun during the days. Quite nice. Up above 14,000 ft. now with only one more day to the summit. Everyone's very excited as the top gets closer. We plan to have a go at the summit on the 13th now. We have joined with Olga, another guide that works with Nikolai. Things are looking good. Some quite high winds higher up toady and thick clouds. Its been good here at the hut lounging on the small deck in front of the hut enjoying the afternoon sun.
Above the Pruitt 2 Hut
August 13th, 2002 Summit Day!
Up early before dawn to catch a ride on the snow cat up to about 15,000 ft. on a cold clear morning. Its still a hard day up to the saddle below the twin peaks of Elbrus as the sun comes up. The summit is well over 18,000ft. and even though we left early it gets quite hot before we arrive at the summit. Everyone makes the top in good time! The highest summit in Europe! A spectacular day. As we descend, it gets very warm. We were one of the first groups to the summit this morning, it looks like a lot more work for some of the groups still going up in the heat. We take our time going down to the hut, to relax in the sun and watch all the other groups slogging in the heat. Tomorrow, down to the valley!
August 15th, 2002
A couple days to enjoy some hiking in the lush lower valleys around Elbrus. Time to drink the local beer Baltika, and eat Sashslik BBQ. Really a great trip. Back to Moscow tomorrow, with flights home the next day. Next up, our 2 week European Alps trip after afew days off. Scott Woolums