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11 Jul 2003, 6:58pm Singapore time.
Just returned from acclimatisation. We climbed to just below 4,700m near Pashtukov Rocks before returning. All of us, Grant, our Russian guide, Rudolf, and me, felt great about today’s efforts. The weather looks good. We will make an attempt tonight for the summit, a day earlier than planned. We will begin our ascent at 2am… It would take at least 6 hours to summit. For now, its rest, tea, a bit of that black bread and some soup… Dave

11 Jul 2003, 10am Singapore time
We have reached 4,200m. Living on a patch of ice for the next 2 nights before we make a summit attempt. Hope to make it to the top by 13Jul. We have been having pretty nasty weather over the last 3 days…. Dave

9 Jul 2003, 7:58pm Singapore time
Just found an internet terminal ( 2 months old ) near my hotel. Primitive and slow but it works.

It’s been raining for 2 days and we have been having some cold and wet acclimatisation. We just spent 2 nights at about 3000m up the Jankom glacier near the Adyl-Su peaks; about 15km from where I am based in the Baksan valley. Some interesting snow trekking and just keeping dry was a challenge!

Elbruz has just had a plastering of 30 cm of snow and we are spending (maybe) a day to wait for better weather. Folks are bailing from the area although I am sure some will tough it out if they are on a tight schedule
A possible schedule for us:
Jul 10 – Rest at Baksan valley
11 Summit push to 4300m, near the Garabashi/Diesel Huts
12 Acclimatisation hike to Pashtukov rocks 4800m
13 Rest day
14 Summit day
We have the 15 and 16 as spare days.

So far, all is well although Russian security and related checks are irksome and an eyeopener to travelling in this varied and fascinating country.

Food is typically Russian – creamy salads, sour cabbage, meat ( and more meat ) and lunch today had some stewed veal on offer. Great black bread… Dave

8 Jul 2003, 3:25pm Singapore time
The skies just cleared after a day of rain and wind. It has been a nasty day… gusty winds. We did some trekking on a nearby glacier. Good fun except for the stinging winds. Will spend the night here at 2,859m. Next, we will go down to the village for a bit of rest and resupply before we make our summit attempt of Elbrus. We plan to make the attempt on 9Jul (Elbrus time), the push will take about 4 days in all. For now we are well and feeling good, a bit wet though… Dave

7 Jul 2003 9pm Singapore time
Woke up to a wet and grey day. We did some hiking around Adyl-su Valley. Crappy weather all round but we did managed to do some good amount of walking. Had a bit of mis-communication with our guide, he thought that we had brought food for him when we had only brought enough for two…. so now, we have to share our grub between three persons. Feeling a bit peckish!! We hope to make a summit attempt on 9/10 Jul, hopefully the weather clears up by then. For now we sleep at 2,859m…. Dave

6 Jul 4.30pm Singapore time
We have reached the Baksan Valley. Looking at Elbrus right now. It’s big! Patches of ice on its side. We will begin acclimatisation tomorrow, For now, rest and a bit of stretching after the travelling to get here. It was an eventful journey. Yin Chew lost her passport in Bangkok during our transit there. Only discovered this in Moscow. The officers here were not helpful and refused to provide a new visa for Yin Chew. She was refused entry and had to return.
The weather is good. Very hot here in the valley…. Dave

June 30: The bags are being packed and mountain food stashed for the Elbrus trip. Climbing Elbrus should be logistically easier than the Mexico volcanoes ( see left ) but few Russians in those areas speak English – so it should be an interesting cultural experience climbing in the Caucases. Dispatches from Russia will be more sporadic as a full SATCOMs rig will not be used, so don’t expect too much!


Grant Rawlinson on the summit in 80km/h winds David Lim on the summit in 80km/h winds. East summit in the background Team Elbrus after the summit. L to R: Rudolf Rother, David Lim, Grant Rawlinson. The main summit is the cone on the left.
Dave slogging up the final steep slopes to the summit plateau. the traverse to the west ( main ) summit is below in shadow Traverse from the base of the East summit cone to the main summit cone. Main summit area is in the sunlight Shadow of the main summit, 630am, summit day on Elbrus
David at the campsite at the Adyl -Su glaciers. 3000m . Jul 8.

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