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ELBRUS - 2002 EXPEDITIONS

In summer of 2002 we worked with American, South African, Dutch and Finnish groups in the Central Caucasus. The American expedition was organized by Mrs. Erica Clarkson, two groups of South African climbers were sent to the Caucasus by Adventure Dynamics, the Dutch expedition was organized by Edward Bekker Ski & Alpinisme and the Finnish group was collected by Mr. Heikki Ravela, Mr. Pertti Kalliola and Mrs. Arja Ahokangas. Mrs. Marina Ershova, Mr. Valery Ivanov, Mr. Alexey Shalaev, Mr. Marat Smirnov and Mr. Igor Lebedev worked with the groups as mountain guides of Ersh Travels.

The weather conditions in the second half of July were good enough and after short acclimatization the American and the first South African groups led by Marina Ershova and Valery Ivanov successfully climbed Mt. Elbrus (5642 m) - the highest top of Europe.

In the beginning of August the weather was not so good. After acclimatization treks and climbs in the Adylsu Valley the Dutch team tried to reach the summit of Mt. Elbrus. However, very bad weather stopped them on the saddle (about 5300 m) and Alexey Shalaev was forced to turn them down. A few days later several South African and Finnish climbers led by Marina Ershova and Igor Lebedev could overcome strong cold wind and blizzard and summited Mt. Elbrus.

view of Mt. Elbrus from Garabashi
view of Mt. Elbrus from Garabashi

blizzard on saddle of Mt. Elbrus, 5300 m
blizzard on saddle of Mt. Elbrus, 5300 m

snow fields of Mt. Elbrus and surrounding mountains
snow fields of Mt. Elbrus and surrounding mountains
Finnish group is going to Mt. Gumachi
Finnish group is going to Mt. Gumachi

American and South African climbers on the top of Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m
American and South African climbers on the top of Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m

village of Terskol
village of Terskol
Great (3891 m) and Small (3850 m) Kogutay peaks
Great (3891 m) and Small (3850 m) Kogutay peaks

above the saddle on the way to the western summit of Mt. Elbrus
above the saddle on the way to the western summit of Mt. Elbrus

Tony van Marken, Marina Ershova and Richard Beek on the top of Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m
Tony van Marken, Marina Ershova and Richard Beek on the top of Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m

photos: Ray Schulz, Tony van Marken and Igor Lebedev

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