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Expedition to Climb Mt. Elbrus, July 2013

Michael Mason


Brief summary of project:
A mountaineering expedition traversing Mt. Elbrus (5642m), in the Western Caucuses, from north to south. July 2013.

Brief description of activities:
We flew into Moscow and transferred to Kislovodsk by train. A two hour off road drive took us to base camp on the north side of the mountain. We walked slightly higher up to establish our first camp (2900m). Over the first few days we walked up scree and snow patches to camp II (3800m) to acclimatise and leave some equipment, going up the next day taking the rest of our things and setting up camp. This was repeated, now on the glacier, to our camp III (4650m). The next day we waited for bad weather to pass, the day after we went to the west summit and back to camp III. The hardest day followed, carrying everything over the saddle between the east and west summits and descending the south side of the mountain to camp IV. From here we descended into the Baksan Valley and returned: by taxibus, coach and train, to Moscow.

Personal development statement:
From this trip I have learned a lot about planning and doing expedition mountaineering trips, combining previous experiences of expeditions or mountaineering. I have also started to think about how everybody in the team has a role within the group, and how in a small group [4] to all get along well in difficult situations.


Tents at camp III


Elbrus summit (5642m) from left to right:  Alex Mathie, Simon Smith, Pete Edwards, Michael Mason

Crossing a stream in the Baksan Valley

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