Day 4: Betlemi Hut to Stepantsminda
The First Section: Summit to Meteo
When you’re on the summit, you’re only halfway there, you still have to get back safely.
We spent about an hour on the summit of Mount Kazbek before we slowly started the climb back to the Meteo Base Camp. I was feeling so energized, happy. The many obstacles I’ve faced on the way up suddenly didn’t feel like obstacles anymore. The steep sections which have made me breath harder, now were turning into tiny slopes, the crevasses which have posed a big danger on the climb up, now were visible and so easy to navigate around.
Soon we reached our high camp, where I decided to take a quick nap. Even though it was only noon, I thought it would be better to recharge a bit before starting the final section of the climb back to BC. I fell asleep immediately after getting out of my boots. After an hour, I woke up and we began to pack our gear, the big tent, stove, gas, sleeping bags, mattresses, everything needed to fit into our backpacks again. It took a while to reorganize.t 2pm, we continued with the descent. The Rolling Stones couloir posed the biggest threat, apart of the many crevasses which increased in number due to the higher temperatures in the afternoon. We had to jump over some, climb into others, only to ascent again on the other side. The rockfall was pretty intense, every other second we could hear or see bigger parts of the upper plateaus making their way down the couloir. We needed to be quick in that section, but finally made it back to the Meteo.
The Second Section: Meteo to Stepantsminda
We decided to stay for another night at 3600m in order to already acclimatize for the next objective, Ararat. In the evening, we had dinner with all those amazing climbers and even though all of us came from different parts of the world, we told each other stories, everyone was able to follow. It was an amazing evening. I love that kind of company ❤️
It was only on the fifth day after I’ve left the lovely town of Stepandsminda, that I returned to a bed, shower, clean clothes and a mirror.
Altitude, the lack of sleep and the shortage of minerals in the glacier water I’ve been drinking, have left their marks. My face was still swollen from water retention, which can be traced back to all the reasons mentioned above. My lips were dry from the sun and the cold temperatures.
But all those superficial marks would vanish, while the feeling of accomplishment and joy of pushing through all those physical as well as mental obstacles and hurdles shall stay with me.
The hike back was easy, with one exception. We had to jump over several smaller and bigger rivers, that obviously have increased in size since we started the climb.
Once we arrived in Stepantsminda, we treated ourselves a bit with drinking tea in great company and a good, well deserved lunch.
But not long and we’d be off to the next mountain already. Always chasing the next challenge, the next summit, the next adventure.
Ararat, here we come!
Follow me for more on Instagram! 🙂
Not fancy reading? I’ve got you covered! Listen to the full audio podcast here 🙂