Leader and Updates: Dave Fisher
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20th July: David has just called in from the barrels to give an update on the teams final bid for the summit. At 2 am this morning the weather finally cleared and the summit bid was on for the team. They took the snow cat up to 4700m at the rocks of Pastukov. From there they worked their way up to the long traverse to the saddle. At 5070m Nick, Norman & Antony decided to call it a day and headed back down with David. The rest of the team pushed on with the local guide Vladimir and reached the summit at 9:15 local time. All the team are now back down at the barrels and looking forward to heading down into the valley for a celebration and shower. Tomorrow they will fly back home via Moscow.
19th July: David called in this morning – the team got up and ready for their summit attempt at 2am this morning but the weather wasn’t good – heavy snow and windy. They waited till 3am, then set off but after reaching 4400 metres, they decided to turn back to the barrels.
They will have another attempt tomorrow, once again getting up at 2am, but whatever happens they will be return to the hotel in the valley by tomorrow night.
July 18th: Seb and Angus left the Barrels at 1am walking rather than taking the Snowcat. They made the summit at 8.30am in windy, wild and cold conditions. They arrived back safe and well at 11.30.
The remanding 8 members of our group are hoping to go for the Summit tomorrow and will set off earlier than usual. We’ll catch the Snowcat at 2am rather than 3am ti give them more time to ascend and miss other groups on the mountain. The forecast is looking ideal for tomorrow and everyone is feeling good.
July 17th: Our group moved up to the Barrels followed by a rest. Yesterday morning we our destination was the Pastukov Rocks at 4850m, a good view point for Ushba, one of the most famous mountains of the region. Afterwards we returned to the Barrels for a late lunch.
Tomorrow Angus and Seb are going for the Summit with Vladimir and walking from the Barrels at 1am. The main group are hoping to make their summit on Friday with myself and Vladimir. We will likely use the Snowcat and set off around a 3am start.
July 15th: We are all back down to the hotel showering and eating after a long day up to Krumrichi today, it was a challenging day but we all achieved the summit and had great weather on the way. We moved up to VCSPS Pass Camp yesterday and Ian, Peter, Angus, myself and the local guide all summited Andirichi with Anthony taking a rest day.
We enjoyed a night at camp with a huge thunderstorm overhead. The group are all in good spirits and looking forward to going to the barrels tomorrow and more views of Elbrus which so far have eluded us in the cloud.
12th July: We have all arrived safe and well yesterday, though be it tired from the traveling. First day out today to acclimatise, we used Cheget peak to get up to 3226m (not to top) by 1pm (started 9am) walking from hotel, patchy low cloud with some blue sky am, rain showers pm.
Stopped for drink in cheget village after decending. Had a few teasing glances of Elbrus through the cloud. First carry to vcsps pass camp tomorrow as per itinerary, starting 9am