August 23 – A Bit of Drizzle But High Hopes

I am calling you from that lovely meadowed campsite called the Green Hotel. Soon after lunch we moved into a glacial basin near here that I had not visited yet. It was really spectacular. This was on the Jantugan Glacier. We walked around getting some crampon practise and also to get some photographs and look around. As we walked back into camp (we had a very beautiful day today as a matter of fact) we had clear views of Gamachi Peak which will be our ascent tomorrow. We’ll go up and do some work on the glaciers and we will move high and try and climb Gamachi Peak. We got a very good view of it today – quite a lot of clear skies.

But as we moved back from the Jantugan Glacier into the Green Hotel camp, steady drizzle began. When Nadia served us our dinner tonight it was quite a different scene from lunch in that it was served in the rain with people eating kind of hastily and getting snuggled into their tents for a good night’s rest, not wasting any time. Now the drizzle continues and at 3:30 tomorrow morning we’ll wake up and by 4 a.m. Nadia will have some breakfast on and we’ll get ready to move up onto the glacier. So I’ll give you a report perhaps somewhere from the high ridges above here tomorrow.

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