Today we got our first views of Elbrus and it is gorgeous! (photos to come as wi-fi permits)
For the first of our acclimitization hikes we would be heading up to a cafe at 3100m (10,200 ft) – a long way from our hotel at 2000m (6,600 ft). Clearly that is a large elevation gap to cover, but I wasn’t quite prepared for how steep it would be. We covered that gain in just 3 miles!
Of course, when you start and end in the same place you have to do the reverse coming back down. This was actually the worst part of the day for me, my knees weren’t too happy coming down trails that steep. Thankfully there was a lot to distract me along the way.
In addition to getting fantastic views of Elbrus there are numerous other peaks surrounding us. Our trail also zig-zagged underneath a chair lift so we got to watch the numerous people taking the easy way up. And to top it all off on the way down we were surrounded by hundreds of sheep making their way down the mountain.
Overall a difficult hike but we’re all acclimitizing well. Always feels good to actually be out in the mountains after all the preparations!