July 24, 2006 - Life at the Barrels

Life at the Barrels

It’s about 5:00 in the afternoon on Monday, July 24th.  I have my fingers cupped around the Iridium satellite phone, trying to make this audible during a high wind storm here at the barrels.  I am happy to report to you that this team is very comfortable and cozy inside the barrels.  Olga is preparing wBAI Guide Alexonderful meals.  We have a group of 12 here which includes the 10 Berg Adventures team members, Vladamir and Alex.  We are all very comfortable.

Today was not a good summit day.  Teams that went high came back reporting very bad visibility, winds and cold temperatures.  Our team climbed to Prostokov Rocks at 15,585 feet (4750m) and we actually weren’t in the storm but we could tell higher on the mountain it was really cold and inclement. 

I called down to the valley and told them that we would not take a snowcat ride for our summit attempt at 2:00am tomorrow morning and that we’ll use our second summit day.  I’ve got a weather report that I think the second summit day might be better.  In the meantime the acclimatization and good life at the barrels will only help us for our summit attempt.  So we’re all doing well, Olga is going to fix us a nice meal for dinner and we’re cozy in our barrels.  We’ll report to you sometime tomorrow.

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