After resting in the saddle, we began the long climb up the ridge below the snowy summit slope.


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 enlarge.


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 kid.


Our last view of Russia - the cloud cover was as far as the eye could see.


Misha leads us back to the saddle.


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.




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