Posts

On the summit of Dykh-Tau!

Congratulations to our Dykh-Tau team on their 100% success reaching the summit of Europe’s second highest peak! Here’s, expedition leader, Garrett Madison from Russia:

Hello, this Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Dykh-Tau expedition team. Today is Friday, September 17th and yesterday our team summited Dykh-Tau, beautiful route up to the second tallest peak in Europe and second tallest peak in Russia as well.

We are now back safely in our Bezengi base area here, a little mountain village and very happy that we had a successful climb, it was a tough four days and three nights up on the mountain climbing alpine style, with heavy packs. We had a little bit of weather on summit day-some fresh snow.

Everyone did great! We got up to the summit and down safely and we really enjoyed the experience. It was a wonderful trip here in Russia, between climbing Elbrus and then climbing Dykh-Tau! We were very lucky with good weather on both mountains.

Happy to be back safe!

In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Chase M. and Garrett on the summit of Europe's highest peak, Mount Elbrus!

With a beautiful summit day, our team topped out on Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus, this morning.  Here is Garrett Madison with a recap of this quick climb:

Hello, this is Garrett calling in for the Madison Mountaineering Mount Elbrus climb. Today is Friday, September 10th and we had a perfect summit day on Mount Elbrus.

We were blessed with beautiful conditions, couldn’t have been a better day. No winds, no clouds in the sky and good route conditions. Chase and I got up to the summit with our Russian guide, George around 7:00am and had it all to ourselves for a little while. We took some photos and admired the views and made it back down to our high camp and then descended all the way back down to Terskol and Cheget, where we had a celebration dinner with our group and another group that we summited with today.

It’s been a great climb here on Mount Elbrus, a very quick climb.  Normally we spend a few days here, acclimatizing here at the Terskol/Cheget area and also up on Elbrus at the high camp.  But due to the weather, we knew today was the good day, and we had to go for it. So, we took advantage of the good weather and did a quick climb and got lucky with a beautiful summit.

So, we’re going to rest here a couple of days, do some fun activities and then head off to our next mountain, Dykh-Tau in the Bezengi base area, not to far from here.

The view of Mount Elbrus's twin peaks from the high huts

The view of Mount Elbrus’s twin peaks from the high huts

Sunrise on Russia's Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain

Sunrise on Russia’s Mount Elbrus, Europe’s highest mountain

Perfect summit day on Mount Elbrus!

Perfect summit day on Mount Elbrus!

At the Mount Elbrus summit with Chase and our Russian guide George

At the Mount Elbrus summit with Chase and our Russian guide George


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

View from our camp at 3,800m on Mount Elbrus

Our 2021 Russian adventure is in full swing.  Garrett Madison and team member Chase M. are in position for their summit attempt on Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus starting in just 11 hours:

Hello!  This is Garrett calling in from Mount Elbrus, Russia – highest mountain in Europe!

Chase and I arrived here on Mount Elbrus and we’re up here at the mountain huts at 3800m.  Looks like the weather is going to be great tomorrow.  And then after that, a few days of snow and high wind – some stormy weather.  So, we are going to go for our summit push tomorrow morning.  Just a short trip up here, hopefully good weather.  If we can’t get up tomorrow, we’ll rest a few days, let the storm pass, and then go for the summit next week.

At the moment, it looks like good weather tonight and tomorrow, so we’re going to go for it – fingers crossed for calm winds.  We are looking forward getting up to the highest point in Europe (5685m / 18,650ft).

We will check-in soon!

The view of the Baksan Valley from the slopes of Mount Elbrus

The view of the Baksan Valley from the slopes of Mount Elbrus

The twin peaks of Europe's highest point, Mount Elbrus in Russia.

The twin peaks of Europe’s highest point, Mount Elbrus in Russia.

Enjoying the high camp huts on Mount Elbrus

Enjoying the high camp huts on Mount Elbrus


In addition to these expedition dispatches, you can also follow our teams as they make their attempts on the world’s most formidable mountains on:

Amazon Alexa devices with the Madison Mountaineering Flash Briefing skill:

  • Enable the skill and add to your flash briefing to hear Garrett Madison’s daily audio expedition updates on select expeditions.  Just say, “Alexa, play my Madison Mountaineering flash briefing.

Instagram:

– our Garmin inReach Mini powered real-time tracking map:

Straight from head guide, Mark Tucker, here is the full recap of summit day on Mt. Elbrus:

We got pretty lucky with the weather — except for it trying to blow us off the summit ridge! And then after we descended the fixed lines (that are installed annually to protect against a fall on the steep terrain) we hit some white-out conditions, but just for a bit. Aside from that, I guess you could call it a beautiful day on the mountain!!! Which it was.

We started with a bit of help from a snow-cat at 02:00 AM moving up the lower part of the climb.

After a few hours of climbing, we were welcomed by a beautiful warming sunrise. We were fortunate to witness the very unique sight of the mountain’s shadow being cast on the horizon by the rising Sun. The beautiful hues of pinks, blues, and greys were enough to take your breath away. Or was it because were were working so hard at 17,000’? 🙂

The team did a fantastic job taking care of themselves and climbing strong. On the last bit to the top, the wind was blowing so hard that the team gathered even more strength to crawl to the summit! We hunkered down for a quick couple of photos.

Everyone did an awesome job heading down safe, healthy and yes, a bit tired!

Jeffrey Glasbrenner and I are now up at the high camp at 12,700′ in the luxurious LeapRUS huts. Fine dining and great views! Today we rode a Jeep up to the hut and then climbed to 15,200′ for acclimatization and are now enjoying a great dinner! We will do another acclimatization hike tomorrow then go for the summit of Mount Elbrus on the 27th, fingers crossed for good weather!

Garrett Madison

.

luxurious LeapRUS huts

.

.

On July 12th we were blessed with near perfect weather and climbing conditions when we reached Mount Elbrus North Summit in Russia, the highest peak in all of Europe at 18,506′, and one of the ‘seven summits’ on Earth.  David, Matthew, and myself began our climb from our high camp at 11 PM on July 11th, as the elevation gain from high camp to the summit of Mount Elbrus is 6,200′, a big summit day!  With a slight breeze we made our way up the glaciated slopes of Mount Elbrus in the dark using our headlamps, up to Lenz Rocks at 15,000′, then onward up the glacier to the saddle which is in between the East and West (highest) summits of Mount Elbrus.  We continued on up the West summit to the highest point in all of Europe at 9:30 AM, had unobstructed views as far as the eye can see, it was truly a magnificent day.  We then descended back down and reached our high camp in the early afternoon.  The following day we descended back down to base camp where we had a nice dinner and shower and slept in our comfortable cabin.  Yesterday we drove from the base camp on Mount Elbrus back to the town of Pyatigorsk and had a celebration dinner, now we are heading to St. Petersburg for some sightseeing and then home.  It has been a wonderful trip!

Note: This was a ‘North Side’ climb of Mount Elbrus, whereas our regular and other recent programs on are on the ‘South Side’ of Mount Elbrus.  Madison Mountaineering has led successful expeditions on both sides of Mount Elbrus, and as a boutique mountaineering guide service we strive to develop customer expeditions for intrepid climbers!

.

Photos:

Garrett and Matthew gazing at Mount Elbrus from the hotel in Pyatigorsk

Mount Elbrus North Summit

.

Summit selfie at the top of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

.

Garrett and our driver Yuri enjoying dinner in base camp

.

Matthew and David on the approach to high camp

.

Matthew and David on the summit of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

.

Watching the sun rise from up high on the glaciated slopes of Mount Elbrus

Mount Elbrus North Summit

 

.

David and Matthew descending from high camp after a successful summit of Mount Elbrus!

Mount Elbrus North Summit

Elbrus north route summit

Mount Elbrus north route summit!! Congratulations to our team of climbers for making a safe and successfully ascent of the tallest mountain in Europe. Listen to our audio dispatch below, Garrett Madison checking in after reaching the summit with David and Matthew. Photos and complete expedition recap will be posted shortly. Onward and upward!

.

Garrett with David and Matthew at high camp at the north side of Mount Elbrus, roughly 12,500ft. Our team did a acclimatization hike today. Plan to rest tomorrow and then go to the summit tomorrow night. Hopefully summit the morning of the 12th then return to high camp that day. Descend back to base camp on the 13th, everyone is doing well and excited to make the summit ascent!

.

Pictures to come!! Onward and upward!

Yesterday we reached the Mount Elbrus summit at 6:45 AM, the highest mountain in all of Europe.  We had fantastic conditions, very calm winds and almost no clouds in the sky, allowing us to see for miles around!

We began our summit push in the dark using our headlamps at 2:45 AM and passed a few teams as we made our way up the snow covered glaciers, eventually reaching the saddle between the east and west peak around 5:30 AM.  The sunrise was spectacular!  Then we continued up to the west peak (highest) and to the summit.  We had it all to ourselves for about 30 minutes, enjoying the 360 degree views of the Caucasus mountains, then another climbing team reached the top and we took a few photos together.  Accompanying the climbers was a wolf dog, who was very friendly!  On our way down we used our skis / snowboard, a fun way to quickly descend part of the peak.  We descended back to our hut and now have reached the village of Terskol, and are planning a few fun activities here today.  Tomorrow we will head back to Moscow!

.

Mount Elbrus summit

.

.

.

.

Greetings from 12,870 ft. on Mount Elbrus! We are currently at our mountain hut for the night. We had a great day riding the lifts up from the village of Terskol, where we spent the previous night, after an acclimatization hike on the local trails. Today we climbed to 15,000 ft. on Mount Elbrus to continue our acclimatization strategy and we skied down which was very fun and saved a lot of time. Conditions were great for skiing and snowboarding. Our newly constructed mountain hut on mount Elbrus is very clean, has wifi, nice bathrooms, and we are served 3 meals a day. We feel a little spoiled but we appreciate this level of comfort in the mountain. Tomorrow our plan is to continue our acclimatization in preparation for a summit attempt in the following days. The weather forecast looks promising so we hope for good conditions in the days ahead.

.

.

.

Mount Elbrus

.

Mount Elbrus

.

Mount Elbrus

.

Mount Elbrus