SUMMITS & PROGRAMS
Elbrus (5,642mt) Russia.
Mount Elbrus is a 5,642mt (18,510ft) dormant volcano located in the western Caucasus mountain range, in Russia. First climbed in 1874, it is considered the highest peak in the larger Europe.
Its name is derived from that of Hara Berezaiti, a legendary mountain in Iranian mythology. Greek mythology states that here Zeus had chained Prometheus, the Titan who had stolen fire from the gods and given it to the ancient man - likely a reference to its historic volcanic activity.
Landing in Mineral Vody, the small town in the Caucasus region, already provided a feel for the dramatic change from the busting and buzzing Moscow: the tiny airport immediately opened to the road, surrounded by sparse stores and houses, that would eventually bring us to our destination. That would be 4 hours driving away, at the foothill of the Elbrus range and would entail driving past abandoned factories, cows invading the highway, military tankers monitoring traffic, and a random bust of Lenin in front of a government office. After all, this region had been suffering from war in its very recent past (and we learnt that the border with the neighboring Georgia has been moved the month after we left, making it impossible to climb one of the mountains we visited during our trip).