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Author Topic: Elbrus solo  (Read 14169 times)

markvfr

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Elbrus solo
« on: Aug 23 2006, 05:04 »

Hi, I'm kind of new to the site but not new to climbing. I will be going to Elbrus next week and since my climbing partner just bailed I was wondering if anyone has any beta on soloing the climb?  The only part I'm curious about is the final icy pitch to the summit... how often is it icy and should I expect it to be ice in early september?  If so, is there any good anchors for rapelling or is it possible to face out downclimb?  If I have to rap, I'll have to donate a couple of ice screws to the cause... :) 
Any other advice? 

Thanks a bunch.

Mark in Canada
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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #1 on: Aug 23 2006, 11:52 »

Hi Mark, welcome :)

the pitches are not that steep, so depending on your experience it should be ok. It might be getting icy, though normally early september is still ok.
A bigger problem is that visibility can be reduced to zero very quickly on Elbrus, and that the result can be that a slight deviation from the route will take you from a very safe route into a dangerous crevasse zone.
So definately take a compass and GPS and kno whow to use them if yo are going alone or hook up with a local guide. People have dissappeared in reasonably good weather, those white-outs are infamous..

Take care, Cheers, Harry
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markvfr

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #2 on: Aug 23 2006, 21:22 »

Harry, thanks a bunch for the advice.  :)  I think I'll still bring a half rope just in case the face is icy but if its got fresh snow, then it'll be nice and straightforward.  I was also thinking about getting a local guide down there as a backup but for 16 hours of support they charge 300Euro which is almost as much as a fully equipped 8 day guided trip.  We'll see, I might still use him/her. 
GPS, great idea.  I have been avoiding the use of GPS for a long time as I find it hinders my route finding skills but it might be worth it to get it for this occasion. :)


Cheers,
Mark
« Last Edit: Aug 23 2006, 21:25 by markvfr »
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markvfr

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #3 on: Oct 13 2006, 04:11 »

Well, I'm back and I guess I can tick this one off as well.  I summited on September 8th at 8:38am, six days after leaving Azau.  It was a lot easier than I expected and no ropes, screws or ice climbing axes were needed.  Its pretty much a simple slog, as long as you've got good weather.  I had bad weather for three days but that just prevented me from being tempted to summit too early before fully acclimitizing.  On another note, I was surprised to see that I was the only person on the summit day (and only 2nd during my whole 6 days on the mountain) not using the snow cats!  I'm sorry, but I don't know if you can say you've climbed a mountain when you make it to 4800m of 5642m by motorized means.  I felt guilty enough taking the cable car up, but I drew the line there.  Even the chairlift was too much for me. Hey, but thats just me.  Anyway, if anyone needs beta on the route or anything else related to Elbrus, give me a shout, I might be able to help.

And the preparations for Denali 2007 begin. :)

Cheers,
Mark
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m.c. reinhardt

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #4 on: Oct 20 2006, 13:52 »

Hey Mark

Big time congrats. That is awesome that you were the only one on summit day! Sounds like you had a great climb on Elbrus. Good luck with Denali 2007!

MC  :)
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617

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #5 on: Oct 24 2006, 01:29 »

  I'm sorry, but I don't know if you can say you've climbed a mountain when you make it to 4800m of 5642m by motorized means.  I felt guilty enough taking the cable car up, but I drew the line there.  Even the chairlift was too much for me. Hey, but thats just me. 


I'm sorry, but I don't know if you can say you've climbed a mountain when you take the cable car up the first leg.... etc etc. etc

And then the next person says: because you used oxygen

And 10 years from now: because you used down suit

And 20 years from now: etc.

This whole discussion is so boring. If there was a highway straight up to the summit I'd drive my luxurious Audi A6 straight on up. I'd not vote for such a highway, but if it was there... fine by me.

Why not just let people climb mountains exactly the way they want to without getting into this "your way of climbing is not right" mode.

Some might say you should have  taken a bike and peddled to Elbrus region... where does it stop? Everybody should just  stay home and look at pictures of mountains instead???
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Kilimanjaro (2005), Elbrus (2006), Kosciuszko (2010), next is Aconcagua

markvfr

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24 2006, 01:30 »

And which part of "Hey, but thats just me" didn't you understand?
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MvdB

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #7 on: Oct 24 2006, 02:25 »

Everybody climbs his or her way indeed 617, and if they dont destroy a mountain too much with it...and do get the thing from it for which they are/where looking its all fine, wether its with or without oxygen, sherpa's, snow cats etc.

but that is my markvfr kept it to his own opinion ;)

Markvfr: gratz, nice climb :) I got Elbruz on my list aswell for one of the mountains to do soon, but most likely not before the end of my study times.


sidenote: 617 I would be amazed if yer audi A6 would survive with temperature's of -20/-30 C ;-P think yer fuel injector would mess up at such temperatures :P
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markvfr

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #8 on: Oct 24 2006, 02:32 »

MC and MvdB, thanks for the congrats. :)  It was a great six days on the mountain and met some great people. 

MvdB, if you need any info on the logistics give me a shout.  I did most of the organizing myself but did get a company to organize an invitation/visa support and climbing permits.  Russian bureaucracy is something else.  ;)

Cheers,
M
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MvdB

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Re: Elbrus solo
« Reply #9 on: Oct 24 2006, 12:18 »

Thanks for the offer Markvfr :)
I know that Russian Bureaucracy is another challenge to pass, have to get a visa for another trip aswell... Luckily my brother has some friends in Russia, so that should speed things up a bit ;)
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"Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."  -Mahatma Gandhi
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