Sunday 7th July 2019
‘If it scares you, it might be a good thing’,
So today was a reserve day incase the summit climb was not attempted due to bad weather.
When I awoke this morning there was another three guys sleeping in our already cramped hut! These guys were from a different company but where using our base. Due to my exhaustion last night I hadn’t even been aware!
Poor Anna was outside in a tent but she wasn’t complaining as her husband guide had arrived and stayed in the tent with her.
I was told the previous night Anna had been worried about me and had said I should eat as it would help my altitude sickness but once again I had been unaware…I was so glad I hadn’t as last night’s meal had been buckwheat!!
Today she came in to see if I was ok. She is a sweet and lovely young woman.
I was feeling much better today, well certainly better than yesterday that’s for sure.
However the whole left hand side of my face was swollen including my eye…on showing Maks he just smiled at me, shrugged his shoulders and said “altitude”…I guess it will go down as I head back down…I hoped!
Anna called me through for breakfast, whereby she had cooked me 2 fried eggs and had tossed them so they were well cooked for my tender tummy…and I managed to keep them down.
Just before leaving again though my tummy was at me again!
Maks had told us we wernt in any rush to head down so we chilled on the rocks chatting to Anna. Anna was staying at Assualt Camp 2 and would spend the rest of the season here – probably until the end of September. Now I love remoteness but this takes remoteness to a whole new level. She is one tough cookie.
Our group with Maks at front as always
Anna tells me she enjoys it here. I watch her doing yoga on the rocks and I can see how well she adapts!
She tells me she has 3 degrees, can talk 6 different languages and still chooses to learn more…I like her attitude.
It was time to leave the remote and wilderness of Assualt Camp 2. It was time to say our goodbyes to Anna.
Our group with Anna and Azimat assistant guide, 3rd from right
Anna told us she loved our group, we exchanged numbers and she asked if she could possibly travel with us next time – we welcomed her on board.
We begin our descent to Basecamp 1 at 2500m at rapid speed, Maks is on a mission!
We navigate back down through scree and boulder fields and rock formations.
The scenery as stunning as ever.
Eventually we descend back into a carpet of green and yellow alpine grasses and small shrubs appear.
You can clearly feel the difference in the air here…so thick.
I can see Basecamp – it’s over!
We are welcomed back into camp with high fives…Maks stands at the gate and greets everyone of us as we come through congratulating us on our achievements.
We get into camp and simply sit on the grass.
In Basecamp I reflect on what was. I have enjoyed my minimalist time on the mountain, walking each day, sleeping in huts by night.
It has been the perfect way to slow down, and enjoy our beautiful world and the simple things in life. I have lived in the moment and it felt beautiful.
I have never felt so exhausted in all of my life, I have never needed to push my body so hard than what I have done here.
I have never undertaken something so difficult in all of my life…I have never felt this type of exhaustion.
I feel proud.
We have some soup which I manage followed with some buckwheat and meatballs which I cannot stomach.
Tonight’s a chilled out night. We celebrate with a coke, shots of vodka and play Monopoly Deal.
I have especially enjoyed night time on Elbrus as it has been beautiful. I sneak out for one last special moment on my own.
Without lights for miles the stars are simply stunning, stretching for miles covering the dark sky, simply glowing. Beneath it all it feels peaceful. I am going to miss this place so much.