Paul Pottinger’s Adventures from the Top of the World

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Category Archives: Ascent


Elbrus: The Blizz

Elbrus 2017  •  July 23

As usual before an alpine start, I had trouble sleeping. This is always the case, on any mountain, large or small. Being in the bunks made things more challenging because of cramped quarters, etc. Great hut-mates, I assure you, but not a restful spot for any of us. Nevertheless I did sleep, with the deep … Continue reading Elbrus: The Blizz


Elbrus: On the Rocks

Elbrus 2017  •  July 22

Our job for the day was to acclimatize further by hiking to the Pastukhov Rocks, at about 14,500 feet. So, after breakfast, up we went. Beautiful location, and fine conditions, although cold and windy after the first hour. Our views expanded as we went higher. We moved well. I felt pretty good up there.   … Continue reading Elbrus: On the Rocks


Elbrus: To Igor’s Hut

Elbrus 2017  •  July 21

The climb starts in earnest now… moving the team onto the mountain is key. One of our guides, Igor, has a modest “hut” on the mountainside above the top of the lifts. That is our objective for the day. Our kits are heavy. In fact, this is the heaviest move of the trip, which is … Continue reading Elbrus: To Igor’s Hut


Top of Planet Earth

Everest 2016  •  May 21

I don’t remember actually sleeping that evening. We laid there from 6:00 PM until about 8:30 PM, and I tried to settle my thoughts, to achieve some sort of mental—if not physical—rest. But, my monkey mind continued chatter and squawk. I must have drifted off briefly, though, because when I checked my watch for the … Continue reading Top of Planet Earth


To the South Col…

Everest 2016  •  May 20

After I came home, I was asked the same questions over and over again: Did you make the summit?  Did you use oxygen?  Would you do it again?  And… How did you go to the bathroom?  The answer to that last one depends on the phase of the expedition you have in mind, but on … Continue reading To the South Col…