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A Cold War Climb of Mount Elbrus

By: John Alexander

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April 8, 2019 | 50th Anniversary Stories

Our Mount Elbrus climb with Leo and Nadia LeBon took place in the Caucasus, in 1987, several years before The Wall came down, and it turned out to be a joint Russian/American climb. Leo and Nadia are the two climbers depicted on the far right.

There were Russian officials present, television cameras captured the activities down at the base of the mountain, and vodka toasts celebrated our achievement after we returned from the summit. Here is a photo of me with my Russian guide.

This historical event would not have taken place were it not for Mountain Travel, and in particular for Leo LeBon. Leo’s reputation in those days as a  leading figure in the global adventure travel business was well known even behind the Iron Curtain. For them to have Leo LeBon lead a group of American climbers up the slopes of the highest mountain in Europe, in a joint effort with a team of Russian climbers, they saw as an occasion well worth organizing and celebrating.

For me, needless to say, it was one of the most exciting and memorable adventure travel events I have ever experienced…and I shall forever be indebted to Mountain Travel Sobek, and to Leo and Nadia Lebon, for making it happen!

John Alexander, MT Sobek Guest

MT Sobek Trip: Mount Elbrus with Mountain Travel