August 5, 2007 – Going up to the hut and getting ready for our summit attempt

Alex going up on the chairlift.

Today is Sunday, the 5th of August and it is a big day for us. We are moving up to a hut at the base of the glacier that is going to lead us to the summit of Elbrus in a few days. It is hard to believe that we have already spent 5 nights in this area.

This is sometime called the Russian Chamonix. We will drive today, we ride a chairlift and then we hike a steep mountain trail to a great place, and as we hike along the trail we see many people from all across Europe, all around the world. Many are here on their mountain holiday, just like we are. Many are doing other things in this area; many are going to Elbrus just like we are. Many are doing training, athletic activities; lots of young people here from Kiev, Ukraine, who come from Moscow and all the other SIS, the Former Russian republic.

We are proud of being part of this scene, pleased to be a part of this scene. We have made good friends here in this hotel; there are literally tears in their eyes as they send us off to mountain Elbrus today. And of course we will return after 3 or 4 nights; living up high on the mountain, getting acclimatized, and watching the weather for our summit attempt.

We will come back down here, hopefully with an Elbrus success summit behind us but regardless, we have had an amazing few days spent up high in one of the most beautiful mountains I have ever seen, Mount Elbrus.

Lida getting help by Vladimir with her crampons

James is ready with all his gear on the way up

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