Monday, July 25, 2016

Some pics from Elbrus

Hi folks--RC here.  Our team is down safe and sound from our big day on the highest mountain in Europe.  Thanks to Judy for sharing with you some of the highlights of our adventure over the last few days--wish i could write as well as her.

As you know all 11 of us made it to the top.  It was especially gratifying for our lead guide, Mike Hamill, as it was his 100th professionally guided expedition--pretty remarkable in and of itself, but super special to be part of a 100% team on his 100th!  We all, for the most part meet as strangers at the start but as we work together we inevitably become much closer as a team.  It's really important to all of us on this team that we all summited.  It wasn't easy!

I'll write some more (in my usual Summit Report fashion) in the days ahead and also include a bunch of the photographic images our team captured (one of our team members Varun is an avid and exceptional photographer).  In the mean time, I thought you might enjoy a couple of photos from climb:

This first picture is one I took the evening before our climb.  The route moves up through the two sets of rocks in the foreground.  Then it basically heads straight for the Eastern Summit--the one on the right.  It then curves to the left and upward--if you look carefully you can see it in this picture.  It then curves around into the saddle or Col between the two peaks.  The final route is hidden from where we were based:

Anders getting ready--happy and raring to go!

We left at about 2:15 am and after about 3 hours of climbing, at our second rest stop above the Pastuckhova Rocks we look to the west and can see the shadow of Mt. Elbrus superimposed over the distant peaks.  We are at about 15,400 feet at this point:

Looking south from our perch above the Pastuckhova Rocks, we have a front row seat to the sunrise on the Caucasus mountains--truly an unforgettable sight!

Anders on the summit--his fifth highest continental highpoint summit.  Once again proudly displaying our family picture:

Mike Hamill providing me some guidance as we meet on the summit plateau--he had already summited with Anders, Aaron and Varun and I was still a good 45 minutes away...

Gina, Sasha, RC and Kristen on the peak!

My summit picture--earned the hard way!

Back at the hut after nearly 14 hours--tired but satisfied:

Team Christofferson--pretty great moment in my life!

Descending today we stopped for a photo with our good buddy, the V man!

Thanks for reading and your support, more to follow.  Oh, and i think we're climbing another (much smaller) mountain tomorrow!  Onward and upward!

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