July 22, 2006 - Last Minute Details
It’s the 22nd of July and I’ll report to you that as we ascended up the glacier above the barrels for Vladimir and Alex’s crampon technique class, most of the crampons that were worn had never been used before and to be honest they were on the feet of those who had never used crampons. But no matter because the group took to it very well and by the time they returned to the barrels after a couple of hours practice they were showing a great deal of confidence.
We descended back to the valley tonight to our hotel. On the way we stopped and met Olga at the market where she was busy packing our food that we will take up for our 3 to 4-day stay at the barrels for our ascent of Elbrus.
Our driver, Rushallam, who always has a kind smile and is a big man, stood around as we got things ready. A few people went into the market to buy a few last minute items. Then we returned to the hotel where we did a rental session. We went into the gear room and Adam and Steve rented snowboards and they do plan to have some fun on the lower slopes of Elbrus when we go back up. Then a few people got boots, crampons, ice axes, and a few last minute things.
We then had a wonderful dinner, nice wine as usual and went to bed pretty early because tomorrow morning is an early start to the slopes of Elbrus. We’ll keep reporting to you by satellite phone from the upper part of Elbrus as we continue our attempt to reach the summit.