Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Elbrus: Treading on the Trail

Elbrus 2017  •  July 19

The plan for today was for an acclimatization hike to 10,000 feet.

And so we did.

Getting ready to move out for the day… We stopped at a small shop in Terskol to buy bottled water. The tap water here is not reliable.
A military base next to our lodging.
The day’s agenda is for an acclimatization hike partway up Elbrus, from 7,300 feet to 10,000 feet.
Some very rustic stables at the start of the trail.
First break of the day. It is seriously hot here.
View across the valley. Terskol at the bottom.
Panorama from our break point.
Mike enjoying his birthday in high style.
Dave, Alison, Ross, Fred, Steve, Ali.
Me. Because my wife asked for a photo of me.
I always take off my boots and socks at breaks on the trail.
By the time I put them on, after 10 minutes, they are about 90% dry.
This waterfall attracts many from the town. It looks very refreshing. We did not go there… too low for us.
Our first glimpse of Elbrus. The true summit is the farther one, on the left.
Moving up the trail towards our high point, near an observatory.
Wildflowers are out in force today.
Last push to the observatory.
This stone marked our break point. I recall hearing that Russians like golden showers… so, I obliged by sharing copious doses of my own perestroika.
At the rest stop. No lightning we could see or hear. Fine place to break for 15 minutes.
John pulls into the high point.
Sasha and Alison.
Sasha, one of our great guides.

The observatory.
At the break.
One last look at the summit before we return to the hotel.
Check out the basalt pillars forming on the left.
Basalt hexagons are awesome.
Just totally awesome.
Heading down to lunch.
We are staying at an athletic training center, where wrestling and judo teams stay. The food is highly caloric… and pretty good!

Gear check is done. Massive thunderclaps and rainstorm are cooling everything off. We are comfortable and happy. Tomorrow, we will ride the trams and head higher still. It will be a good day.

3 thoughts on “Elbrus: Treading on the Trail

  1. Such a beautiful valley. You look like giant being photographed by a normal sized man in your portrait. Send my regards to Sasha, Igor and the Big Man.

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