Head guide Sid Pattison reports:
Karanga, meaning “peanut”, seems to undersell this camp. Big views all the way down to the plains below and the towering Kilimanjaro above.
Since leaving Machame Gate we have trekked through rain forest, arid dry lands, hidden moorlands and scrambled up the Baranco Wall. Today at 4000 m / 13,220 ft. the crew is feeling good, eating well and staying hydrated as we prepare for our summit bid tomorrow night after our morning hike to our high camp: Kosovo Camp (4860 m / 15,950 ft.).
Our local staff has been endlessly helpful and entertaining. There really is no comparison when it comes to how committed these guys are to this mountain and helping us along our journey to the roof of Africa.
Wish us luck for a clear and pleasant summit day!
Exciting news in this quick text-only update from Lead guide Mark Tucker. More details and PHOTOS to follow:
- 16 of us left high camp at 2am
- 16 of us literary crawled to the tallest point in Europe due to high winds
- 16 of us are now in the forest of Cheget 7000’
I call it a nice day!!
Congratulations to the entire team for 100% success on reaching the top of Europe – Mt. Elbrus (5,642 m / 18,510 ft) and descending safely to the lush valley below.
Seven Summit: Mt. Elbrus
The team is in bed for some final rest before the summit push in about four hours! Weather is looking good with just some clouds down below in the valley. Everyone is fired up for the summit climb and ready for the alpine start. We will check in again soon.
Life is good here at 3,900 m / 12,800 ft! We made an easy departure from our hotel with a great breakfast filling our stomachs! After the short transfer to the lift system and following the same drill as yesterday, but this time loaded with lots more gear for our stay at the luxurious LEAPrus huts. At the top of the lifts, a snow-cat was waiting to take us up several more meters to the wonderful accommodations that are shaped like a giant barrel on it’s side.
After a nice lunch, we were off for another training hike. Just a little over 4,267 m / 14,000 ft. we turned back towards the huts while continuing our training and briefings to prepare for the summit day ahead.
Weather was perfect and the team is in top shape!!
It was a nice day in the mountains! After breakfast, the few missing pieces needed to form complete climbing kits for some of our team members were tracked down. In Terskol, nice equipment is available for hire and the next thing you know it is getting put to use!
We took the day to make a dry run for tomorrow’s training program. Three ski lifts up and you are at 3,658 m / 12,000 ft. and it’s acclimatize on! Hey, never walk when you can ride! Top of this chain of lifts puts you right on the lower flank of the upper mountain, a perfect place for a few hours of snow school. The team is in fine shape with a nice introduction to snow travel and well trained for tomorrow’s move up. It’s really nice to run through the drill and tighten up the process and techniques to make for an easier day going up – knowledge is power!
The old adage of climb high, sleep low could not have been done better. The team is in good shape and spirits are high!!
[ small sized pictures of big sized adventure! ]
The 2018.07 Elbrus expedition team today had a timely and smooth flight from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody, grabbed some supplies at a local grocery, and hit the road via bus for Terskol – at the base of Mt. Elbrus.
Along the way they enjoyed fresh made chicken sandwiches (Wolfgang Tuck style!) while avoiding herds of milk cows roaming down the middle of highway!
Cleaning up before dinner was quite the experience! There was no hot water!! Flooding in the valley knocked out the natural gas supply. All was forgotten as the team shared a wonderful farm to table dinner. The stunning alpine glow at sunset highlighted the amazing view of the Caucasus mountain range.
Head guide Mark Tucker reports:
The Elbrus 2018 team arrived in Moscow yesterday after a tiring day of travel. As most of the team is still adjusting to the nearly 12 hour (!) time change, we kept things simple with a little round of introductions and a brief discussion of the days ahead.
After a very nice breakfast buffet, we meet with our local tour guide and started our Moscow tour by bus. Then onto Red Square, catching as many sites as we could squeeze in — of course St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. Last stop the famous Kremlin Armoury, a must if you can. The amount of wealth and history displayed under one roof is mind boggling!
Packing up for the early flight to the south which will get us closer to Mt Elbrus. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow!
Today our team of climbers and Sherpas is preparing to begin our summit rotation on K2! The weather is looking good, our equipment is in place up high on the mountain, and we are acclimatized and feeling ready!
We will climb from K2 base camp tomorrow to Camp 1 on the 17th of July, then our plan is to move up to Camp 2 the following day, then Camp 3, and arrive Camp 4 on the 20th of July. If everything looks good we will attempt the summit on the 21st of July, then descend down to Camp 2 or 3 that evening. We should be back in base camp by July 22nd.
Our rope fixing team of Sherpas is currently at Camp 2 and they will move to Camp 4 tomorrow, and aim to fix the ‘bottleneck’ and hopefully fix ropes higher on the peak by July 19/20. Conditions are looking good and we hope for continued good weather!
Last night as we were finishing our dinner and preparing to go to bed some climbers came into our camp and alerted us to an accident taking place on Broad Peak. Apparently one of 2 climbers (1 Poish & 1 Chech) was struck in the leg by rockfall and was in need of assistance, however they were not too far from base camp having just begun their climb that day. We dispatched 2 of our strongest Sherpas (Tashi Sherpa and Lakpa Dandi Sherpa) and they climbed with a few other climbers up to the injured party. They then carried the injured climber back to base camp by early morning, and the injured climber is now doing fine and waiting for a helicopter.
Today our team rested in base camp and made a short acclimatization hike to the Gilkey memorial nearby base camp. It was a sobering moment to digest the many memorials to climbers who did not return from K2. One of our climbers left a memorial to a friend of his who perished on a prior expedition here in 2008.
Our plan is for part of our team to move up to Advanced Base Camp tomorrow. The rope fixing schedule is on track, four of our staff (2 Nepal Sherpas and 2 Pakistani HAPs) will be working to fix ropes from Camp 2 to Camp 3 in the coming days.
The Japanese team that arrived in Pakistan nearly a month before us was able to make good progress on the climbing route by fixing ropes up to Camp 2. This allows our team and the Seven Summits team managed by Dawa Sherpa to work together and fix lines from Camp 2 upwards. By working together our 2 teams will oversee and complete the remaining work fixing lines on the Abruzzi route on K2.