July 25 – Diesel Hut Rest Day
Today was a rest day in preparation for our summit attempt tomorrow. We slept in and had breakfast at 8:30am. Breakfast was a large pan omelet with sausage as well as the usual assortment of tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, and salami.
Rest days can be long as there is not much to do. No TV, no radio and no power. Books, cards, conversation, iPod, and staring into space are your basic choices. There is also the additional weight of the upcoming summit on your mind.
After breakfast we played Gin Rummy and Euchre until lunch and after lunch Ryan called us together for a knot workshop. On Elbrus there is not much rope work required as most of not all of the route is climbed un-roped, but the rope workshop would be a review of the knots we might need for those who have used them before and new information for those who had not used them before. It was also a way to kill a couple of hours as a team.
At the same time we reviewed clothing needs and logistics for the summit climb. The plan will be to wake at 2:30am, have breakfast at 3:00am and depart for the summit at 4:00am. That should get us to the top around 10:00-11:00am.
The weather today was a little cooler, but seems to be clearing. There was a light wind and the mountain was veiled in cloud most of the day. I am feeling well and acclimatized and everyone else is the same. There are a few small stomach issues in the group, but this is normal at altitude and in the less than sanitary conditions of the hut. Nothing that should stop us however.