The time has come! I’m off to Mount Elbrus in Russia! I’ve had my eye on this mountain for months and I’m proud to say that I’m about to make this dream a reality.
You can follow my climb live (!) with my GPS tracker right here at https://share.garmin.com/ValerieOrsoni
I leave San Francisco for Paris, and then Moscow, followed by a 2.5 hour flight southeast to the charming town of Mineralnye Vody (The meaning of “Mineralnye” you can guess, and vody = waters). After 24 hours of travel, I’ll arrive to the city of mineral waters at midnight. There I’ll meet up with my super guide, Ksenia – a small girl with pink hair who assured me that she’ll find me. (Side note: she did a 7134m climb last week before moving onto Mont Blanc to rest!!). We’ll hit the road together and drive 50km to the foot of Mt Elbrus in the city of Kislovodsk. We should arrive at around 3am. Between the 9-hour time difference, and white nights driving and flying, I think I’ll be exhausted!
After a short but well deserved rest, we will check equipment and food. The list of equipment is long as you probably know from my previous climbs! This time I’ve also added a new backpack which I’ll wear on the last day, as well as for acclimatization climbs. It’s got to be big enough to fit a jacket, food, and a few small things – but not too big either. The one I had was too small and the narrow straps were quite tight, so I invested in a new one, but still 100% loyal to the Osprey brand!
After our final purchases and equipment checks, we’ll depart at the base of the North side of Elbrus. The South face is simply too well-equipped for my taste with its shelters, snowcats and chairlifts – not the mountain for your challenge-seeking coach ;)!
Here is the North route and the two possible peaks. I’m aiming for the West Summit, but depending on the conditions, we may do the East Summit. The mountain will decide for us!
And from there, it will be 100% adventure. Everything will depend on the weather, snow conditions, crevasses, and other unpredictable elements in the mountains. I’ll fill you in when I return! But in short, it’s really all about acclimatization. This involves climbing with equipment to set up camp at various points, ascending in increments, and returning to sleep and recuperate at lower altitudes. This is the classic approach to acclimatize and limit the effects of altitude sickness. Time passes slowly in the mountains, so it’s a great opportunity to learn new things, meditate, draw, write, read, etc.
The weather is very important of course, and it’s critical to stay informed. I like getting the forecast at https://www.mountain-forecast.com
As you can see below, we’ve got snowfall expected every day!
As for language and communication: well, I did a few years of Russian in college and forgot everything ;). But between the incredible human memory that has a sacred power to recall in times of need and Google Translate, we should be fine.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your constant support and confidence in me! (Hey, it’s fun to be a coach, isn’t it? Supporting others is fun 🙂
Womup: a drink created by a woman – my friend Nathalie – for women, satisfying our love for tasty things without impacting our waistline.
I will proudly wear this brand’s colors on the roof of Europe!
And as soon as this drink comes out on the market, I’ll certainly tell you more about it!
Meanwhile, you can follow the adventures of this foodie entrepreneur on her Instagram account @Drinkwomup.
Oemine Omega-3 Krill: I’m a big fan of these supplements. If you are an anti-krill fishing activist, you know that Oemine’s krill fishing company works with WWF (who even uses their boats for research!), and that Greenpeace endorses their approach to fishing.
I knew about their good practices long before I started using their products! I take a 5-day cure: 2 x 2 capsules a day (amazing for my joints!), followed by 2 per day for 1 month. I take a break for 2 weeks, and then repeat the same routine. If you’re on LeBootCamp, you likely already know the amazing benefits of Omega-3s! What’s more, I negotiated a special 33% discount coupon code for you on all Oemine supplements! Use coupon code “BOOT” at checkout on the oemine.fr website until September 30, 2018.
Clarins: this fantastic brand provides me with Serum 38 to protect my skin before, during, and after sun exposure at high altitudes (ok, and also in San Francisco!).
I’m a great fan of these products, and they are really well made.
Did you know? You can return your empty packaging to Clarins stores for recycling and receive small thank-you gifts in turn!
Alright, off I go!
Check out my Instagram @valerieorsoni for prep pics and more!
Your LeBootCamp Coach