Mt Elbrus – Chasing the Seven Summits

Saturday 17th June 2017 see Irish Mountaineer & Endurance athlete Jason Black set his sights on his next Adventure endurance challenge to climb Europes highest mountain Mt Elbrus in Russia. This will be the next chapter in Jason Blacks quest to successfully climb the worlds  Seven Summits. which are the highest mountains of each of the seven continents. Jason states “This will be my 5th conquest following on from, Mt Everest (Aisa) – Aconcagua (south america) – Kilimanjaro (africa) – Denali (north america). Im super excited to return to the big mountains and ive trained really hard to make this a successful ascent, again ill be in the careful hands of mother nature and hoping the weather gods are kind. I was due to return to K2 this season but the team collapsed in early may which was was hugely disappointing as i was keen to return to the greatest mountain in the world in pakistan, never the less my preparation wasn’t lost as i quickly shifted my focus back to following my dream to successfully climb the worlds Seven summits”. 

Swapping his bike for a set of crampons and ice axe for this mission is now becoming the norm in his adventure life. Jason went on saying “I’m so looking forward to returning to that peaceful world where it’s just me and the elements working in harmony, removing myself from this busy world filled with exceptions & pressures and simply the shear noise of life will be a welcomed reality. There’s something special being at one with the true beauty of a huge mountain taking in the surroundings, reflecting on pervious experience and visualising what’s next will be incredible. I’ve never climbed in Russia before , simply getting the visas was like climbing a mountain itself ..I’m taking on the mountain solo & with a Russian guide to help share navigation. We are planning a speedy ascent of the 5.642mtr true western summit. Tempatures look reasonable with -17 at the summit with reality low winds. What will be very interesting on this ascent unlike others will be the fact I’m fat adpted and keen to seeing how burning fat transfers at altitude will work out..the positive thing is that i don’t have to carry a ton of food to survive…full credit again must go to my sponsors supporting and making it possible -Renault Ireland & local dealership highland motors , velo revolution , bubblegum & diesel, CBM signs, Voodoo performance , Altitude Ireland, Prima fittness , Aura leisure Center, Blueface communications & Joe hunter technical. 

Summiting all of the Seven Summits has become noted as an exploration and incredible mountaineering accomplishment, and a list reserved for some of the greatest climbers in the world, first achieved on April 30, 1985 by Richard Bass.

Mount Elbrus is an extinct volcano in the Caucasus Main Range, the European border with Asia in southern Russia. Mt. Elbrus has two main summits – the western summit at 18,513’/5642m and the eastern summit at 18,442’/5621m.

The normal climbing season is May to September. The climb is quite short by 7 Summits standards taking less than a week at most. It can be climbed from the north or south with the north being significantly less crowded and more difficult. It is snow slope from there to the summit. Climber stay in ‘huts’ which are single room, rock walled building with tin roofs at 12,700′ and/or the Barrel Huts, 13,600′, which are, well, huge barrels. The north side has a longer, more complicated approach and is considered more of a climbing experience than the south. As with most mountains that have a reputation for being easy, they are also deadly and Elbrus is no exception. About 25 climbers die each year due to ill-preparedness or the weather. It can be extremely cold and windy.

So here goes… 

Seven Summits (sorted by elevation)
Image Peak Bass list Messner list Elevation Prominence Continent Range Country First ascent
Everest kalapatthar crop.jpg Mount Everest 8,848 m (29,029 ft) 8,848 m (29,029 ft) Asia Himalaya Nepal / China 1953
Aconcagua 13.JPG Aconcagua 6,961 m (22,838 ft) 6,961 m (22,838 ft) South America Andes Argentina 1897
Mount McKinley.jpg Denali 6,194 m (20,322 ft) 6,144 m (20,157 ft) North America Alaska Range United States 1913
Mt. Kilimanjaro 12.2006.JPG Kilimanjaro 5,895 m (19,341 ft) 5,885 m (19,308 ft) Africa Tanzania 1889
Эльбрус с перевала Гумбаши.JPG Mount Elbrus 5,642 m (18,510 ft) 4,741 m (15,554 ft) Europe Caucasus Mountains Russia 1874
Mount Vinson from NW at Vinson Plateau by Christian Stangl (flickr).jpg Mount Vinson 4,892 m (16,050 ft) 4,892 m (16,050 ft) Antarctica Sentinel Range 1966
Puncakjaya.jpg Puncak Jaya   4,884 m (16,024 ft) 4,884 m (16,024 ft) Australasia (continent) Sudirman Range Indonesia 1962
Mount Kosciuszko01Oct06.JPG Mount Kosciuszko   2,228 m (7,310 ft) 2,228 m (7,310 ft) Australia Great Dividing Range Australia 1840