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What Does it Take to Climb Elbrus?

What Does it Take to Climb Elbrus?

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   No comment

Many friends ask me “What Does it Take to Climb Elbrus?” Well, it takes a lot of guts!

Once I decide on climbing a mountain, which is anything between 6months to a year ahead the planning begins. First I check when is the best time to climb that mountain to avoid avalanches and Crevasses. Once I decide on the mountain and time of a climb I used to search for the best outfitters that will arrange me the guide and logistics. This was a lot of trouble especially when you want to climb in Argentina, Nepal, or Russia there are many outfitters but choosing the right one is extremely important. Having the wrong guide might jeopardize the whole trip.

Luckily now Rahhalah (www.rahhalah.com) owned by my 2 very good friends Zeddy Al Refai and Suzanne Al Houby (1st Arab male & female to Summit Everest respectively) take the headache away by adding their 7 Summits program, they partnered with one of the largest companies in the world to provide the best level of service. Thats what I got in Vinson last year with Alpine Acsents.

Then gearing up depending on each mountain, I need different thickness of sleeping bags, down jackets and many different climbing boots depending on the climbing conditions. Logistical issues is usually not easy especially traveling to very remote places, Sometimes I change 3 or 4 planes to reach my destination.

After all this, the training start. 6 days a week of intense cardio, strength, and stress training. I have to be in the best shape of each and every mountain. One can never be over ready to climb, thats why I keep pushing the bar higher and higher. Just recently I started training at the Altitude Chamber at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club.This is helping my stamina in a big way. I also hope it will help me acclimatize on Elbrus, I guess I will find out in a week or so.

I tried to keep it as short as possible while mentioning the main parts of preparing for my climbs.  This is just an over view the real this is way more stressful.

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The Gear that Takes you to the Highest Point in Europe (Mt.Elbrus 5,642m)

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   No comment

Climbing Gear 

  • Ice Axe with a leash
  • Crampons
  • Alpine Climbing Harness
  • Locking Carabiner
  • D Carabiner
  • 3 section Trecking Pole

Foot Wear

  • Light Hiking Boots
  • Double Plastic Climbing Boots
  • Gaiters
  • Wool Ski Socks

Technical Clothing

  •  Lightweight Long Underwear
  • Heavyweight Long Underwear
  • Soft Shell Jacket
  • Insulated Synthetic Pants
  • Insulated Down Parka
  • Hard Shell Jacket W/hood
  • Hard Shell Pants

Headwaer

  • Wool Hat
  • Baseball Cap
  • Buff
  • Balaclava
  • Headlamp
  • Glacier Glasses
  • Ski Goggles

Hand Wear

  • Lightweight Synthetic Gloves
  • Ski Gloves
  • Hard Shell Mitts

Personal Equipment

  • Expedition Backpack
  • Sleeping Bag -20 deg C
  • Self Inflating Pad
  • Sun Screen/Lip Screen
  • Hand/Toe Warmers
  • 3Water bottels with Parka
  • Knife
  • Sanitizer
  • Ear Plugs

Traveling

  • Travel Clothes
  • Large Duffle Bag
  • Camera
  • lots of Gummy Bears and Snickers

These are the Items in my back pack, NO there are no porters in Mineralnye Vody I will have to carry everything. It is all in the head, actually not… You really can feel 20kgs on your back. The way you do it is one step at a time all the way to the TOP.


 

 

 

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Arabs with Altitude

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   2 Comments

Hello, time is passing so quickly and I am getting more and more excited for the climb. I have already packed all my gear, I think I over packed so I am sure I will leave some things here and go Alpine style (bear minimum). I would like to Introduce the team my way, Climbing along side me are:

Vern Tejas (our guide): We was my guide in Vinson (Antarctica) such an amazing character with many talents other than an amazing climber (he climbed the 7 summits over 8 times!!! He is also a musician, with an amazing voice. Very tough on us and takes safety very seriously which makes me feel better. I am looking forward in climbing with him again.

Raed Zidan (@raedzidan) We started our mountaineering together, along with Masoud in 2009. A climb does not have the same taste when Raed is not there cracking us up with his amazing jokes. A tend to have the same pace, so the guides rope us up together while we glacier travel. With us we push each other when we climb, he knows what gets me moving and vice-versa.

Masoud Mohammed (@massymoe) What can I say, most famous for his Chicken Dance on the summit of Kilimanjaro. My childhood friend and tentmate, we climbed every mountain together. On sea level we are best friends, in the mountain lets say not so much! But thats what you need sometimes, to get you to the top. Mass is hard headed, stubborn, and tends to get summit fever(its when someone only sees the summit). I am sure I will have a lot of funny things to say about him on Elbrus.

Ali Jaber (@aligjaber) Lets say this, he is 110% ready for it, he takes every little detail seriously, the first one to sign up, buy the gear, and book his tickets. He know how to get what he wants in the mountain (by spoiling us with all the chocolates).  We climbed Kilimanjaro last November, It was his first, and now he is hooked!

Ziad Al Sharabi (@ZiadAlSharabi) Along with Ali, Ziad climbed with me Kilimanjaro last November. He has a heart of a lion, in the mountain this guy is fierce. The last few days in Kilimanjaro he only had Snickers to eat. I will make sure he has loads of them for this climb.

Abdelaziz Kafoud (@abz_kafoud ) There is a first for everything, and Elbrus will be his first. Just graduated from high school Aziz decided to join our climb to the Top of Europe. I see him train, he is very persistent. If he keeps it up, nothing will hold him down. He is also an amazing song writer, stay tuned to hear him.

Elia Saikaly (@EliaSaikaly) is our cameraman/director on the trip, he climbed most of the 7 Summits including Everest plus Cho Oyu (8,210m). He is a very strong climber from Canada, he also has an Arabic background. He is also the founder of http://www.findinglife.ca

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A Journey to the Top of Europe in 2 Weeks

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   1 Comment

In 2 weeks I will be of to Elbrus, I am super excited to be climbing again. The last time I was on a mountain was Mount Vinson in Antarctica 7 months ago. I have also stepped up my training with my trainer Walter Moore @trubeast33 who is really pushing me hard with his insane Tru Beast Cardio (TBC).

At the moment I try to train as hard as I can, Ramadan is not making it easy on me so I train twice a day. Before Iftar I do the TBC, and then a killer Stair Master at night. What is really helping me is the Altitude chamber at Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club (www.golfandshootingshj.com) I set it at 3,700m and spend as much time as I can on the treadmill at a 15% incline. Whats really cool there is the apple tv, I get to catch up with my favorite tv series while getting acclimatized at the same time. 

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Next on the list Mt.Elbrus

  |   7Summits, Elbrus   |   No comment
In just over 3 weeks I will be attempting to climb Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe standing 5,642m(18,510ft). Many think that Mt.Blanc is highest in Europe where it is a technical climb, however it is not even one of the top 5. The top 5 lie in the Caucasus mountain range.
Mount Elbrus is located in the western Caucasus mountain range, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay–Cherkessia, Russia, near the border of Georgia.
Elbrus at 5.642m is an extreme, high altitude climb. I should be comfortable climbing up to 8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 8 hours for the ascent and 7 hours for the descent, that is 15hr straight . The expedition requires strength & endurance. Being in sound physical condition is the single most important aspect for me to maximize my chances to summit. The better my physical condition, the more likely I will perform well and have an enjoyable experience. I had my issues with other mountains, you can never underestimated the fitness level needed to fully enjoy they trip.
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