It was a full day of traveling but we made it to Mt. Elbrus safely! (though a bit jet lagged)
Our itinerary had us flying through JFK and Moscow before reaching our final destination of Mineralnye Vody. However, before we could board any planes we had to check the 7 large duffel bags with all our gear. Each bag was stuffed to the brim and we had to re-shuffle to avoid extra charges since 5 of the 7 bags were initially over the 50 pound weight limit! Although we are carrying all our gear up the mountain, I am very relieved that much of it will be left in the hotel.
From JFK we had a 9 hour flight to Moscow that was filled with a lot of napping and movies (you should go watch Divergent if you haven’t seen it). Once in Moscow we got a bit of extra excitement after landing 2 hours before our next flight – seemingly plenty of time. Due to some horribly inefficient processes for handling overweight bags (we had 1), we ended up running to our gate (with the help of an airline agent). Thankfully we made the flight right as they were about to close the doors!
Many hours later we were finally outside the airport getting picked up by one of our guides. She led us on the 3 hour van ride to get near the base of Elbrus. We’ll spend the next three nights acclimatizing here before heading up onto the mountain.