A Stonehaven father has told us this week how he and his son had a summer break well spent climbing Europe’s highest summit.
We reported at the start of the month how the pair set off to conquer Mount Elbrus ,having climbed Kilimanjaro last year.
The pair were joined by polar adventurer Charlie Paton, from Aberdeen.
The team spent two nights based at Terskol Valley, which sits 2100 metres high acclimatising and getting used to the terrain . A couple of days walks up to 3400metres saw them gaining height each day but coming back to base in the evening and sleeping lower, which is the rule of thumb when gaining height and getting used to altitude.
Charlie told us of how the team heard news of another climber dying on the mountain while the group made their climb.
He said: “It was worrying as the rumbles were right above them and it’s not the best place to be stood around.
“Unfortunately, one guy got killed by the lightning. He had been advised by a guide not to continue up the mountain during the thunder storms, but chose to ignore this advice.“
Mike, a former Royal Marine,said that one comment from his son made the whole trip worthwhile
He explained: “Liam enjoyed the trip, and as the sun came up during the climb he turned to me, nodded at the view and said: ‘‘You couldn’t dream that view, could you dad?’’
It’s comments like that which make it all worth while.
“The days training doing ice axe arrests made me really think, watching Liam slide backwards down a hill we were using for training, using his ice axe to pull his body into position to give him best chance of stopping his slide.
“Liam grasped it pretty well but during the climb as we crossed a dangerous area Liam and I discussed what we would do in the event of him loosing his footing, we agreed but he remained very switched on and alert.”