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Title image - BAI takes you to: Mt.Elbrus
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Elbrus Expedition Dispatch

July 7, 2011 – Another Great Acclimatization Hike

Last night around 2am, many of us were awakened in our lodge by the sound of a violent thunderstorm and heavy rain. Then when we awoke, the clouds were about, but we could still see some of the peaks. It was a much cloudier and much warmer day than we had seen so far in the mountains.

Most of us were really looking forward to getting a good hike under our belts. As you know, we’ve been traveling and getting adjusted to life in the Caucasus after time in St. Petersburg and Moscow and all of our international flights. It is good to get settled in, but exercise was really something that was on our minds.

Chairlifts give us access to spectacular day hikes that would otherwise be inaccessible.

Chairlifts give us access to spectacular day hikes

that would otherwise be inaccessible.

We rode the gondola to the first stage out of the valley, to get out of the heat primarily. Karina, Vladimir and everyone in the group started walking slowly up to the beautiful meadows. I remained behind for a little while and then got on the chairlift with a giant duffel bag full of our tents and some sleeping pads and extra beer. I met the group up at the top.

Here we are at about 10,827ft/3,300m and I am happy to report that the weather has definitely improved. Now all of the clouds are below us down in the valleys. I can’t see below the very top of the mountains, but I can see the spectacular ridge crest and the sun setting on the steep peaks all around including the twin summit of Mount Elbrus. There are clear skies over head. It is a beautiful evening.

For dinner tonight we had shashlick – a BBQ lamb dish and perhaps one of the most classic meals we could have in the Caucasus or many other parts of Russia. The meat was really tender and it was grilled with nice onions. We had a beautiful tomato and cucumber salad and a great soup too.

We are eating well, that is for sure, and everyone’s oxygen saturations are looking really great tonight for our first night at a relatively high altitude. As I said earlier, we are looking forward to sleeping under beautiful starlight in the Caucasus Mountains at 10,827ft/3,300m this evening.

A beautiful waterfall

A beautiful waterfall