I’m writing this from the base camp on the north side of Elbrus at 2590 metres. The facilities are spot on – we are in four-man semi-permanent tents. The walk in was straightforward and took us past several impressive waterfalls. There are numerous natural springs that a local guide was trying to encourage me to drink from: apparently each has different health-giving properties.
We stayed in the low camp last night and we went on an acclimatisation walk this morning up to 3400m, then back via the ‘Mushroom Rocks’ which presented me with interesting bouldering problems to solve.
There’s heavy rain outside now so we are tent-bound till dinner time, when we’ll head over to the permanent structure that is the food building. There’s even a hot shower here so really life is good!
Tomorrow we decamp up to high camp at just over 3500 metres, where I expect facilities will be more spartan. With a bit of luck, we should have have summited four days after, but we are at the mercy of the mountain for a weather window. Fingers crossed!