After resting in the saddle,
we began the long climb up the ridge below the snowy summit
This was our first view
over into Russia.
We took a minute to view the
way we had come. We could see Suicide Ledge from here, the
darkish face just above the grey scree (about a third of the way
in from the left of the photo, centered vertically). Click on
the picture to enlarge.
We continue up the ridge and
head towards the summit slope.
Fall line was very
important, and Misha led the way with expertise.
The curved path up
exhibited a teasing horizon that was always just out of
reach. We plodded on.
Finally, seven hours from base
camp, WE MADE IT!
Click on the picture to
It was pretty cold up
there, and the clouds didn't allow us much of a view, but it
still felt good to be there.
The rusty pouch with the rock
on it held the summit log - Misha recorded our names. I'm not
sure what the Lenin bust is for.
Soon we headed back down.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that it is harder going down
than up. It is not.
The Caucasus Mountains in
Russia as seen from the snowy summit slope.
Sometimes I would come to a
track like this, indicating Misha and Ian had deemed it safe to
glissade. A welcome change of pace, but you do have to hit the
ridge; veer to the right or left and they will have to search
for your body.
I follow Paul down the
slope. It was all I could do not to yell WHEEEEEE like a
Our last view of Russia -
the cloud cover was as far as the eye could see.
Misha leads us back to the
Clouds from each side of
the ridge were flowing in from each valley and rising upward
to a point above the ridge above our heads. VERY cool, first
time I have seen that.
Back in the saddle again.
Misha and Ian rest while Paul and I make our way down the scree.