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)
ImagePeakBass listMessner listElevationProminenceContinentRangeCountryFirst ascent
Everest kalapatthar crop.jpgMount Everest8,848 m (29,029 ft)8,848 m (29,029 ft)AsiaHimalayaNepal / China1953
Aconcagua 13.JPGAconcagua6,961 m (22,838 ft)6,961 m (22,838 ft)South AmericaAndesArgentina1897
Mount McKinley.jpgDenali6,194 m (20,322 ft)6,144 m (20,157 ft)North AmericaAlaska RangeUnited States1913
Mt. Kilimanjaro 12.2006.JPGKilimanjaro5,895 m (19,341 ft)5,885 m (19,308 ft)AfricaTanzania1889
Эльбрус с перевала Гумбаши.JPGMount Elbrus5,642 m (18,510 ft)4,741 m (15,554 ft)EuropeCaucasus MountainsRussia1874
Mount Vinson from NW at Vinson Plateau by Christian Stangl (flickr).jpgMount Vinson4,892 m (16,050 ft)4,892 m (16,050 ft)AntarcticaSentinel Range1966
Puncakjaya.jpgPuncak Jaya 4,884 m (16,024 ft)4,884 m (16,024 ft)Australasia (continent)Sudirman RangeIndonesia1962
Mount Kosciuszko01Oct06.JPGMount Kosciuszko 2,228 m (7,310 ft)2,228 m (7,310 ft)AustraliaGreat Dividing RangeAustralia1840