Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Elbrus: Training Day

Elbrus 2017  •  July 20

Today we went higher, to about 12,300 feet, courtesy of a gnarly network of trams and chairlifts. The goal: Practice our roped travel skills.

Grey skies, slashing rain, corn snow. It was fun!


Things started out blue, hot, and sunny.
Mustering at the tram.
Shade… It’s a good thing.
There are two trams. One old, one new. We took the new.
Sizing up the lift.
We went to 3780 meters today.
On the upper chair lift… airy, and a great view. Summit hidden in cloud cap.
Obligatory selfie, for my lovely wife.
A pile of rocks: Our base of operations during training.
Bruce and Ross.
Pete has a little captain in him.
Snow cats. And not the leopard kind.
I really truly wanted them to slide down the hill out of control. Sadly, this did not happen.
This little guy chased snow machines until he got bored and came over to play with us.
I think he wanted a snack.
Bruce and Ross.
The view looking down valley.
Practicing with a running belay.
Taking the air at our high point.
The Barrels. Most climbers stay here. We will go higher, to Igor’s cabin.
They are made from old industrial storage containers.
Homey, right?
Rain slashed down as we beat a hasty retreat to the chairs for a ride home.
It warmed up as we descended.

Hail gave way to nasty rain, and we headed down on schedule at 2 PM.

In summary, all went well. We are having fun.

Tomorrow we will move up the mountain until we summit, which will probably happen on Sunday or Monday. You may follow my progress on my moving map page. Probably no net connectivity up there… I will be in touch again in a few days.

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