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Elbrus in winter

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Postby Dan Helmstadter » Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:48 pm

Marcin- I will try to make it this winter, the airfare expense is reasonable for flying halfway around the world, but the price is still a lofty sum. It might still be cheaper than denali though, and i would like to get high this year.


Elbrus has the reputaion of being one of the coldest mountains in the world, and also deadliest. but so does mt. washington... I am sure that qualilty "artic" weather gear is needed. Although the climb up the standard route sounds like it is fairly straight forward, not steep enough to be scary, but steep enough for avis if the conditions are "right". The length of the climb from the barrel huts "sounds" like it is not very long. I do not want to insult you by telling you obvious commen sense precations like going when the weather is good etc...

I will let you know if my Elbrus plan materialize,, likely sometime on febuary,,, mostly depending on cheap airfare etc.... take care
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Postby cho_mik » Mon Nov 26, 2007 12:39 pm

danhelmstadter: What does avis means? I try to find it in dictionary, but I can't. :)
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Postby andiy » Sat Dec 01, 2007 5:46 pm

HI
to cho_mik
If you want to start from high altitude you can camp on the rocks of Pastukov. I spend a day there in the last summer . May be it is possible to camp there in winter .I think it is the highest plase you can camp . Although i've heard someone made a camp on the saddle ,but it was in summer
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Postby Scott » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:11 pm

Elbrus has the reputaion of being one of the coldest mountains in the world, and also deadliest. but so does mt. washington...


I don't know about wind, but temperature wise, Elbrus is way colder than Mt. Washington. Although it almost sounds unbelievable, supposedly weather records indicate that temperatures have dropped to -47F in summer and -94F in winter at the Kazbek station and Elbrus is likey a bit colder than Kazbek. If that is true, the coldest summer days in the Caucasus are equal with the coldest winter days on Mount Washington. Whether or not the weather data is reliable, one thing for sure is that Elbrus is way colder than Mount Washington at any time of year.
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Postby Dan Helmstadter » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:48 pm

Marcin-- I was useing "avis" as a slang term for avalanches.

Scott- Thanks for the interesting temprature info, I was implying that reputions are often misleading, I used washington as an example because it has the reputatoion for the coldest weather on earth, just ask anyone from the east coast they will tell you. I have only heard that elbrus is one of the coldest places on earth, but pherhaps i was just echoing a myth cast by Europeans to glorify there "big mountain". those stats shed a cold reality of winter or even summer!!
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Postby Flachlandtiroler » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:17 am

danhelmstadter wrote:I used washington as an example because it has the reputation for the coldest weather on earth

surely due to wind(-chill), because as I got it Mt. Washington is one of the windier places on earth.

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Postby alexey » Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:31 pm

Elbrus in winter is alltogether quite a different proposition compared to "high-altitude walk-up" of high season. Apart from weather conditions you've already discussed, the biggest problem is that strong winds expose the ice. It's not uncommon that the bigger part of the normal route is hard winter ice. One has to be much more facile with crampons and ice-axe compared to summer conditions, when quite a few just use poles.
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Postby codelancer » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:05 am

please, dont do it alone.

1. Lot of crevasseves between barrels and priyut-11. if you dont see trail - you have problem.
2. Naked ice above Pastukhova Rocks - more than 400 meters up, about 30-40 degress. You should use fixed ropes. But in february not fixed ropes, of course. You should carry own rope, icecrews and other ice stuff. You can spent more than two hours for this part. Descent can be more dangerous - better if you have partner. Look at my profile photo - it is. In May.
3. Strong wind. Cold+wind = double cold, you know. But more dangerous - strong wind in ice part. One mistake, one step without rope, one movement without safety baley - you are dead. Its serious. In 2007 two climbers dead (poland and austrian) in the same point and two other was broken - only in two weeks (end of April - first day of May). I saw dead body :(
4. Time gap. If you dont reach the summit at 13:00 - go down! immediatly! Elbrus has very fast changed weather and usually it changed after 14:00 any day. In May 2006 11 (ELEVEN) people died in ONE day at Saddle on descent because no visibly. Looks like Everest'96. Remember it.
5. Because Priuyt closed in winter - you cannot use it for rest on descent. So, +1-2 hours for back way. Dark started at 16:00 in February, i think. Just calculate.
6. "Kosaya polka" - traverse East summit face from ice part to saddle. If lot of snow - you should broke trail. Its hard. Many people have rest in this part and fall asleep because exhaustion.
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Postby codelancer » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:12 am

O, you are from Wroclaw! I think you can ask ALL about Elbrus in Klub Górski "OLIMP" im. Tomka Nowaka - AWF Wrocław.

http://olimp.awf.wroc.pl/WEB/index.htm

Four people from AWF was at Elbrus together with my team. And Andrzej was broken on descent.
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Great website for temperatures on the summit of Elbrus

Postby bighornmonkey » Sat Jan 19, 2008 12:08 am

This website:

http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Mo ... s/3day/top

gives you the weather forecast and temperature (with and without windchill) at the summit.
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