Bryan’s posts are always so to the point and informative. Mine are filled with fun details…like the fun detail most food they are serving him they call a “pancake.” Turns out these “pancakes” taste really good, which works out since I don’t think Bryan has worked out saying “Thank you, but I was hoping for some fluffy breakfast cakes with butter and maple syrup” in Russian yet. Upon arrival he received one of the “pancakes” from his guide Patrick filled with a ricotta-like-cheese and it felt more like a crepe. He had one with lamb and beef the other night for dinner and described it as tasty. We all know Bryan eats like a champ, so he might not even have to break into the PopTarts (cherry with frosting) I got for him just in case he got hungry.
Oh, the “real details” you say? OK, OK…He is currently sleeping at the Chryan Hotel in the Baksan Valley. Tomorrow he heads up past the barrels to stay in a “hut” at about 12,500 feet. Apparently these “huts” are shipping containers. Once there, they will sort out their gear and do a day hike to Pastukhov Rocks which is about 15,000 feet. From there, the guys will make a plan as to which day to summit. I have a feeling Patrick is skeptical of the effectiveness of the tent training (see prior blog post) and wants to see the day hike they have before setting anything in stone.
Back to fun details…On his team I believe he has a leader named Patrick who sounds just lovely. He mentioned a female cook and another Russian man who has a great name, but remembering it now is beyond me. I asked if they had conversations about Putin. Bryan has avoided the subject with the Russians, which is probably a prudent decision.
Mostly, I want the time he spent sleeping in a tent (and away from me) in our house to pay off. It was a pain for him, and not my favorite aspect of the trip planning. If it does, the summit will be quick so I hope he doesn’t forget to take many pictures of himself and his Russian mountain men sporting the ever amazing and respect demanding Pit Viper Sunglasses.