July 21 - Conditioning and Acclimatizing

The BAI Elbrus team during our first hike

It’s the 21st of July and it is another bright and clear beautiful morning in the Caucasus Mountains.  I’m giving you my daily, morning report from this group.  Yesterday we went on our first hike; it was good to stretch our legs after days of travel, hotels, airplanes, trains and etc. 

We walked up the Kashkatash Glacier and had a brilliantly clear day with the big peaks of the Caucasus Mountains all around, wildflowers and just a remarkably enjoyable easy day in the mountains.  Our legs felt the effort after days of inactivity of course and we just sat around at an elevation at about 9,400 feet (2865 m) before descending back down to the valley.  When we returned to the hotel here, a group of us met in the sauna which gets remarkably hot.  We enjoyed the steam and then of course stepping outside and dipping into the cool water to cool off.

So our routine is in place here, we are working up our acclimatization and conditioning level each day.  In fact today we are off to climb the VCSPS pass which was named for an old Soviet Worker’s party and I believe it’s going to be another beautiful day in the Caucasus Mountains.  We’ll enjoy a bit more effort today climbing steeper and higher and we’ll report to you of how we are doing before we move up for our night of camping at the base of Gamachi Peak. 

So everybody’s doing great, healthy and I see no problems with acclimatization.  We are having a great time here with our Russian friends here in the Caucasus Mountains.

Above: Comet Hale-Bopp over Mt. Elbrus from Pik Terskol, Caucasus, April '97. ©"Observers", AlltheSky.com