July 27 - Berg Adventures Team Reaches the Summit of Elbrus!

Moving up on Elbrus in the early morning light

It’s 9:15am on the 27th and we have arrived at the saddle.  Our Elbrus summit attempt is underway; we are already at 17,200 ft (5242 m).  This morning at 4:08am two snowcats picked us up at the barrels.  Opus had already taken off because he wanted to walk the entire distance, the rest of us rode in the snowcat to Prostokov Rocks.

We got off the snowcat onto relatively steep slopes.  We are on a typical Elbrus summit day right now, almost full visibility as it comes and goes, moderate wind but all in all good weather.  Already we have taken advantage of splitting up a bit, Nikki and Sasha are behind and we are in radio contact with them, Wayne and Vladimir are ahead of them and the rest of the team is together.

We passed Opus on the snowcat but he joined us up around 16,000 ft (4876 m).  We are going to keep climbing now, the team looks strong, this is a demanding mountain and don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s not.  With luck we will call you from the summit, it may be a bit windy but we’ll report to you from the top.

Everyone but Opus takes a snowcat ride to Prostokov RocksSECOND CALL

It’s 11:15am and we just reached the summit plateau and we are over 18,000 ft (5486 m).  Visibility comes and goes, it’s not that windy for Elbrus but we certainly do have some wind.  The team is focused and staying dressed with their big jackets on and they have been busy eating and drinking and everyone is holding up very well.

We have radio contact with Nikki and Wayne via Sasha and Vladimir, they are just right behind us, not very far at all and it looks to me that we have a good shot for the summit.


OK, we are on the summit of Mount Elbrus!  It’s about 11:30 in the morning, a windy day, I have seen much worse mornings on Elbrus but I’ve seen some easier ones to.  The visibility is coming and going here on the top, in fact we are in the sun and everyone feels quite warm.  We have a strong team here and… (lost transmission)


It’s just before 4:00 in the afternoon and I am very happy to report that the entire team is safely back down at the barrels and that we had a completely successful day on Elbrus.  All the 11 climbing members of the Berg Adventures team who went for the summit did stand on top along with the 5 Berg Adventures guides. 

Climbing higher on ElbrusAt 11:40am Mike McCabe, Peter, Steve and Mike Shuel, Jerri, Steve Slaughter, Martin, Danny, Opus, Vladimir, myself and Alex were on the summit.  Just a short time later at about 12:20pm Nikki and Sasha stepped on to the summit and then Wayne and Vladimir reached the summit at about 12:30pm.

You can tell from the last dispatch I did from the summit it was a bit windy but we are very happy and proud.  Now it’s very relaxing and satisfying to be back down at the barrels and we are preparing to have one of Olga’s wonderful meals quite early, we are not going to wait for a late dinner tonight because we are all so hungry and Olga’s prepared a wonderful meal for us.

Please continue to watch these dispatches, we’ll be back in the valley tomorrow and be reunited with Erin back down at the hotel.  Berg Adventures is not going to rush out of the Caucasus, in fact tomorrow evening we’ll have a big party with all our friends here and everyone who helped us with this successful Elbrus climb and we will report to you at that time and maybe send some summit photos as well.

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