Category Archives: Russia

On the mountain and off the grid!

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Accilmatisation walks in the valleys around Chajet

After posting almost daily for a period of time while I travelled in Turkey I must apologise for the last few weeks that have been devoid of updates.


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On the summit. Even though my watch was reading several hundred feet lower than the summit there was nowhere higher to go!

The reason – I stepped off the grid and went to climb Mt Elbrus in Russia. For me Mt Elbrus was another step toward completing the 7 Summits – the highest point in each continent .  And I’m pleased to say that the trip was successful.  At 10:41am on the 27th July I, along with 6 others from our IMG team stood on the summit of Mt Elbrus.

Our day had started much earlier – at 2 am we were awake and by 3:00am we were on the trail. The weather at the time was good, cold, – clear and still. Six hours later we were in white out conditions in the saddle between the two summit cones of the mountain with a growing sense of urgency pushing us along. If we didn’t summit soon then conditions were likely to prevent any progress higher.

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Summit photo – but no views to be had here.

We only spent 20 minutes on the summit – we definitely had no reason to stay and admire the view as you can see from the photo but with weather conditions worsening getting down safely was a priority for us.  By the time we reached the saddle on the descent there was lightening and thunder very close by and we could feel and hear the electrical charge in the air.

I’ll admit now that my training for the climb had been a little short of what it should have been. As the descent progressed my legs became less able to handle the punishment they were receiving and at times I collapsed into the snow unable to hold myself upright.

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Serious preparation time in our cabin at 13,500 feet.

In the end our team of 10, plus 3 guides completed the ascent and made a successful return to the cabin. Unfortunately this was not the case for all on the mountain that day.  One climber died near the summit after being struck by lightening.



Thanks for stopping by & share my story with your friends please.



Mountaineering on the World Stage – a big year ahead!

Never heard of the 7 Summits?  Worse still, never heard of the aussie7summits mountaineering team – now that’s a biased position to take I know, but one that, with a few minutes of your reading time we can overcome.

OK – let me bring you up to speed.

The 7 Summits is a well known mountaineering challenge with the aim of climbing the highest summit on each continent.  Mountaineers have been chasing this objective since April 1985 when Richard Bass, an American, was the first to achieve all seven summits.  Since then there have been all types of variations – youngest, oldest, first female, married couple, the list goes on.  And that list is not as long as you might think.  In the 28 years since it was first achieved there have been approximately 350 climbers who have successfully completed the objective.

And the aussie7summits mountaineering team?  We are 3 mountaineers based in Sydney Australia, and of course we are chasing a first – the first asthmatic to complete the 7 summits.

In the past year we have completed an ascent of Mt Kosciusko in Australia and Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. And having had the opportunity to sit down and make some plans for the year ahead we can now confirm –North Face of Mt Elbrus

  • we will be departing Sydney for Mt Elbrus in early August.  Elbrus is a dormant volcano and at 5,642 metres lies just inside the Russian – Georgian border.
  • that early in December we will once again be in the queues at Sydney International airport – this time boarding a flight for Santiago, en-route to Mendoza to collect our permits so we can commence a climb of Mt Aconcagua in Argentina.  This is a big one – known for it’s windy and cold weather conditions the summit, at 6,960 metres is not an easy ask.  And we’ll be making it that little bit more difficult by ascending across the glaciers on the Polish route.
  • our plan for 2014, although not locked in, is to be back on Mt McKinley in Alaska for the April climbing season and then hopefully down to Antarctica in December for an attempt on Mt Vinson and who knows – maybe several other unclimbed peaks.

There’s a lot of water to pass under the bridge before this all comes to fruition, but leave requests are already in with the boss for the first two climbs so we are technically underway!  From here it’s on with getting logistics in place for each climb and, of course, the ever present training programme that each of us undertakes to ensure we are ready to lace on the boots and start climbing when the time comes.Mt McKinley

And as we progress through the next 12 months and stand atop each of these summits in turn, we’d like to know that we had you following us and staying in touch with updates on our activities.

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Give us a go – stay with us for a few months and see how we go – and of course give us some feedback.  If we’re not keeping you entertained let us know – we’ll have to lift our game.

Thanks for taking the time to read.