Mount Elbrus Day 2 – A day for acclimating

I was very warm last night. That hot water bottle really did the trick.  It rained most of the night, which meant it was snowing higher up on the mountain. Either way, I woke up with a beautiful view.

 Mount Elbrus sunrise

Roman wanted us to get another acclimatization in today since we didn’t go as high as he’d liked yesterday. Our goal was to make it to 15,000 feet. The forecast was calling for rain/snow, but it was beautiful the entire time we hiked. We walked in the clouds and wind for a little bit which was chilly, but bearable.

We eventually made it to about 15,300 feet and took a long break to soak in the [lack of] oxygen. Then we headed down for some lunch, and soon after it started to rain and thunder.

These guys were camping at 15,000 feet. They were probably miserable when it started to rain/snow/thunder.

 Camping above the clouds on Mount Elbrus

It was amazing looking down at Mount Cheget from 15,000 feet. I was looking UP at Mount Elbrus from Mount Cheget just a few days ago.

 Garmin Fenix GPS watch altimeter

 See the hikers below?

 View from Mount Elbrus climb

See them now?

 Hikers on Mount Elbrus
 Climbing Mount Elbrus
 Clouds Mount Elbrus
 Our guide from Pilgrim Tours on Mount Elbrus
 Taking a break on our acclimatization hike up Mount Elbrus.
 Walking in the clouds on Mount Elbrus. We have decent visibility here, but on summit day it was terrible!
 My backpack and hiking poles on Mount Elbrus

 I felt great today, and my headache is gone! I checked my pulse ox yesterday and it was 79%. Today it has jumped up to 91%!

The rest of the day was for relaxing since tomorrow was a possible summit day. We had dinner at 7: Rice and chicken. Yum! I’ve been hungry all day and eating like a pig, probably because I didn’t have dinner last night. We had fun talking to the German friends in our group. Thomas and Uwe thought Don and I were funny because we put water in our hot chocolate instead of milk, and we eat peanut butter. Apparently Germans aren’t too fond of peanut butter.

While descending today, we passed by a climber who was going uphill and only had one leg. He had a crampon on his one foot and was using walking “poles” with specialized crampons on them. I couldn’t believe it. What an inspiration.

Tomorrow is supposed to be our summit day, and we have a reserve day on Thursday. The weather is looking bad on both of those days, but Thursday looks like the better of the two. Therefore, tomorrow will be a rest day. We are going to take a short hike to learn rope/ice axe/crampon technique, and then we will have the rest of the day to ourselves.

I started a new book, Shutter Island, and I’m already halfway through it. I’m also cuddling with my hot water bottle again, and it’s awesome!

 At night in the barrel huts, I used a hot water bottle in my down sleeping bag to keep me warm. I wrote in my journal every day and also had my book to read. This kept me busy during our down time on the mountain.

Click here to view my Garmin Fenix GPS data from today’s hike.

Next in Sarah’s Elbrus Diary: Practice. Relax. Anticipate.