The first Elbrus downhill on ash skis



12th July successful expedition of climbing section Sokol Vrchovina - Caucasus 2009. This expedition started somewhat unlucky 22nd June, when she had to marry one member who on holiday in Corsica injured his shoulder and just came to Ruzyně wave and wish good luck. By the way, we learned the lesson for next time, not to go with the family before the expedition to the sea! So we set out only at nine and hope to somehow fight for the missing space in the tent.

As the base camp we chose a camp near the village of Elbrus, where the next day after arrival we take a four-day acclimatization trek through the Irik, Irikchat, Mkiara and Syltran valleys. From one valley to another we get across the saddles of the same name, which reach an altitude of 3850 meters. During the trek in addition to excellent acclimatization, we also record the first success in the form of the Irikchat peak 4030m. From this trek we were most interested in the beautiful lake Syltran, incredibly beautiful and rich flora that surpasses alpine meadows, the mentioned climb, beautiful views of Elbrus and surroundings and above all unbelievable toil with backpacks on back.

Immediately after this difficult acclimatization, one of the main points of our expedition awaited us, namely the demanding climb through the northwest ridge to the unwritten queen of the Caucasus, the Ushba peak 4694m (miserable mountain). Access to the mountain itself is a nice purgatory, when it is necessary to overcome the entire length of the Shkhelda glacier, which is famous for its debris, moraines, floods of all kinds of rocks and boulders. On the way we use bivouacs Aristova and German. In the latter, we are experiencing one of the worst nights in our lives, when a heavy thunderstorm attempts our lives, and after which avalanche after another falls from the surrounding walls. So we have to postpone the attempt to climb the Ushbin Icefall one day. The next day, the weather wishes us more and we are resolutely following a beautiful and exposed icefall between huge seraks and cracks. Unfortunately, but our determination just before the end of the icefall encounters a tear crack, which has such parameters that it can not be overcome. We try all but unthinkable possibilities, but unfortunately we always end up falling into a crack or in a dead end between seraks. We already understand why this beautiful mountain got such a negative name and why everyone who has been talking about this mountain with great respect. Unfortunately, we have no choice but to be satisfied with the fact that we have at least survived in health, unlike those who have their plates everywhere along the way. Hopefully we will have more luck next time. During this experiment, a separate three-member group is more fortunate and takes the ascents of the Cheget 3461m and the Trapetsia 3740m.

After a day's rest and shopping for souvenirs, we pack our backpacks again, but this time we add two pairs of ash skis without iron edges, old leather boots and go to Russia's highest peak, according to some geologists and Europe, to Elbrus 5642m. about her first descent on the above-mentioned ash trees, in the telemark style. With regard to the weight of all equipment (about 9 kg more than normal) and the difficulty of downhill with this equipment from the beginning of the last century we choose the classic ascent route. To diversify and increase the difficulty of adjusting the layout of the output and burn the first day with backpacks of 1000 meters high up to Pastuchovy stones (4700m), thus avoiding all other climbers and tourists who have a bivouac on Mira or Priutu o 700 and 1000m below. But our bold thickening of the ascent takes its toll, and when a frosty whirlwind fills our tents with snow all night, we lose one of the two skiers who freeze when they build their tent so they chill the fever all night and the fever and its further advance is virtually impossible. After a freezing night, the top team eventually narrows down to only four people, including the only skier who attempts to make the first descent. These four members are finally successful and as of July 6, 2009 they climb to the top of Elbrus. At the top there is a change in stylish ski clothing, photography with caves and finally the first trip of Russia's highest mountain on wooden skis without edges, with a free heel, leather boots and telemark style. We will celebrate this success the next day in Azau and then in the camp in Elbrus. During the ascent and descent from Elbrus, a separate two-man group attempts a technical and mostly rocky climb to Nakratau Mountain (4,451m), which ends without reaching the summit.

The main point of the expedition was fulfilled by the exit from Elbrus, but we wanted to make up for the failure at Ushba and so we went on the last days under the mountain named Jantuganu 3991m, nicknamed the Matterhorn Caucasus. Here, five members in two teams set off through the Jantugan Plateau and begin the ascent through two different ascent paths. One path leads along the eastern ridge and the other through the groove in the southeast wall and then along the eastern ridge to the summit. They are beautiful, but dangerous ascents, where practically all the ascent threatens avalanches and mainly falling stove