Elbrus – South Route | Climbing Europe's Highest Mountain

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Elbrus – South Route | Climbing Europe's Highest Mountain

If somebody asked you what’s the highest peak in Europe you’d probably think about the Alps and Mont Blanc and you’d be wrong It’s actually Elbrus! Although it’s located in the Caucasus mountain range, which straddles the border between Europe and Asia The location of Elbrus has definitively been confirmed by geographers as European, which also makes it Europe’s highest mountain As such it’s also one of the Seven Summits However, it’s only the fifth highest in the group only ahead of Mount Vinson and Mount Kosciusko Standing at 5,642 meters Mount Elbrus is far from the hardest mountain to climb However, adverse weather conditions and altitude sickness can make your summit attempt very difficult and with that out of the way Let’s go to Russia Perhaps now will be a good time to go over the plan Day one: having arrived in Terskol the night before we’re now ready for our first acclimatisation trip Which would most likely be climbing to the top of Cheget peak? Day two: we use the lifts to get to the barrel huts and go on a small trek up to Priut 11 and back Day three: we move from barrel huts to Priut 11 and take a hike up to 4500 meters and back to Priut 11 Day four: we make another hike this time up to 4,800 meters and back to back to Priut 11 Day five: Summit day, we wake up at 2 a.m. for a 4 a.m start Trekking for 10 hours to the summit and then another 6 hours back to Priut 11 Day six: we go all the way down to Terskol and celebrate our achievement Overall it’s a solid plan with plenty of acclimatization treks and two days to spare so really, what’s the worst that could happen? So, good morning, we’re now in Russia we’re at the base of the mountain and Have some negative developments already. It’s gonna be raining for three straight days so now Saturday The forecast is to rain until Monday. So the plan was today for us to walk around but As you can see the weather… It’s just not gonna allow for this We wouldn’t risk it, we wouldn’t want to get our clothes wet just before we start climbing Another thing the Forecast for the summit is good for Wednesday, but only Wednesday Which means that we have to just keep going as scheduled. After Wednesday the weather on the top wouldn’t be good enough for us to climb So as far as the plan goes we’re not up to a good start. The bad weather prevented us from getting any acclimatization hikes But instead we got a thorough brief from our guides. It went something like that You know when you take something as harmless as vitamin C there are a bunch of nasty side effects that could happen as a result Well, it turns out that climbing Everest although relatively easy comes with its own leaflet of side effects. They go something like this Crampons could cut your trousers and your shoes and if you’re especially unlucky You can even slip and break your ankle. The ice axe could hurt your face in case you fall and use it to stop yourself from sliding. Getting stabbed in the cheekbone however is still better than falling into a crevasse Altitude sickness would most likely hit us with a cocktail of headaches, nausea, dizziness, high blood pressure and swelling. And Finally during our final ascent. There is an area of around 5,000 meters where if you slip you’d probably It got real quiet after that one Stocked for the trip – three bottles each You want to be the star again? Thoughts at the beginning? Come one you’ve got to be used to this by now Diesel camp in sight

As you can see we made it fairly quickly to the barrel huts thanks to the three lifts we took for Azau It might not seem like much what we actually gained about 1,800 meters in altitude And if you’re wondering where the summit is on this map, it’s right here Almost two kilometres higher than the barrel huts. Now let me give you a quick tour of the camp There are nine main barrels each sleeping six people There are also several other structures around the barrels some of which is where the guides sleep and some which serve as kitchens The toilets are breezy and they’re affectionately named the house of pain and the house of horror. Personally I’ve seen worse, but do be prepared Proper accommodation with the Russian flag and all I gotta say it looks much better than I expected It’s like brand new look at that door man fancy Do we have electricity looks like we do Yeah, unfortunately weather is bad so we’re not gonna do any any acclimatisation walks today Just sitting indoors and reading Ahmed’s book Everyone can appreciate Everyone who doesn’t have a book and shall remain nameless And maybe we can watch the World Cup if they have a TV somewhere there first meal on site Pot Noodles, of course with some tuna Time for lunch and a quick nap because I’m dead. The altitude is really getting me. When I stepped out of the third lift Carrying both my bags. I felt lightheaded so definitely feeling the effects of the altitude Hopefully in the next three days we can acclimatise so that we can do this thing, right? Fortunately for us we did find a working TV in the local cafe where they were playing the World Cup Oh nice! We ended up watching the final at almost 4000 meters altitude Which is a personal best that I’ll probably never beat So we watched the game we had some food plenty of water and we headed back to bed the thing is, however Getting to such high altitude in such a short period of time comes at the price Like I said earlier Altitude sickness hit us and it hit us hard with headaches, nausea, dizziness, high blood pressure Morning number one on the mountain So bright outside I need my glasses Probably slept like six hours. Maybe. Still have a headache, my t-shirt Today we move to the second camp. I don’t think we’re gonna be walking too much but It’s just this altitude sickness. I’m really feeling with symptoms Headache, nausea, let’s just hope it gets better You guys ready nope Moving the luggage to the snowcat and then we walk

You travel why?? because someone needs to thats a bit **** Ahmed the sherpa so much water left I dont know what it’s called. What’s the camp called? Do you know? PRIUT 11 Originally built as a small Hut in 1929 it stands as 4050 metres today the camp consists of several container shelters one of which serves as kitchen we just got all the luggage up from down there and we made this emergency shelter fantastic establishment anything you want to say guys? NO no words My actors are always so difficult to work with so there were some Russian guys who asked Ahmed if he wants them to break the lock of the shelter Because the guy who has the keys comes at 1pm only and thats like two hours away but um, we said no. we’re gonna chill, we’re gonna chill. the weather is nice 12 seconds later As you can see we gained another 300 meters in elevation and again fairly quickly and at this stage My altitude sickness was quite acute and I was eager to go on a hike and get some exercise to at least get a feel of what the final date would be like Fortunately for us the weather was fairly good when the rest of team made it to the Camp So I finally got to do some hiking I’ll sleep like a baby tonight

SO COLD! So this is it. This is where we spent our first night As you can see it’s lovely lovely place just gorgeous Let me shoot this before I forget. First night at Priut 11 shelter – very very challenging Very cold, windy, noisy Made me made me appreciate everything I’ve got back home Thats it for now After the tough night, I was very low on energy and due to the altitude sickness I got no appetite either So I headed out on our final trek before the summit on an empty stomach After five long hours, I made it back to the camp. I was exhausted, cold and in pain At that point there was no doubt in my mind I won’t make the summit! Later that day I made my way back to Terskol What Okay, so given that I wasn’t there for the final day I don’t think it’s right for me to talk about what went down So instead I asked my friend Ahmed to tell the story from his point of view You caught me by surprise when Sylvia told me that you left while I was sleeping I was like what the **** I did not expect that coming Especially given that you were actually pretty good on the on that day right when we did the acclimatization hike but yeah I woke up – you’re not there anymore. You left me your poles. The weather come down a bit So there was like a really really beautiful sunset. So that’s that’s what you missed and then the next day man the summit day innit I woke up feeling like **** the headache just wouldn’t leave me It felt really bad, but then after I got the breakfast then I took another pill it kind of eased up a little bit Yeah, and then we started off but it was super windy. It was windy as hell Basically, the forecast said it was gonna be about seven kilometers per hour wind, but it was thing like 50 That’s what the guide said So it was terrible like like I saw people going down like from other groups from 4-5 am and then the lady from our group turned back down So like two hours in but we still had hopes Once the Sun comes out it’s gonna be a bit better because it’s gonna be warmer But then the Sun came up and it didn’t really get any better and the guy just told us – look at this pace It’s dangerous. Like we’re not gonna make it to the top. It’s just not no point for it So then we contemplated a lot. But then eventually we turned back down. One of the hardest decisions in my life Like I was literally crying Because like you realize the amount of training and like effort and money you’ve put into this trip into the whole Climb, and then you have to go down because you’re not fast enough So I was kind of blaming myself but I think like two hours after we saw that the rest of the group got down like the guys who were faster than us because it was too hard. The wind, the wind, the wind That was the main problem. I mean it was i think around -10, -15 I don’t know. But with the wind and the snow thats the killer. Like I did get a frostbite on my nose and there Were some other people in our camp someone in their group had a severe frostbite. So yeah sad story, yeh? So to recap Elbrus proved to be a difficult mountain and none of us made it to the top However, we will be going back at some point I hope this video was helpful to you because God knows it took me ages to make If you’d like to see more of the same, please leave a like share and subscribe to the channel Thanks, and I’ll see you next time It’s so difficult to make these films interesting

Whenever I go hiking anything like this, and it’s mostly filming rocks rocks and paths and people walking film the snow melting True survival camp