I started dressing at 12am, it looked great outside to me, but I couldn't really see properly. I couldn't hear any wind or sleet/snow falling so I took that as a good sign.
Robby got up a few minutes later and warned the group that he did not think it a good idea to go out for the summit, as he felt the weather was not right and that the snow would still be too deep. He also mentioned that it had snowed all night and was in fact snowing a few minutes before the chat...anyway, we all said no, we wanted to go!
I needed the loo so badly, that I asked Joe to quickly accompany me as it's not a little path I would like to do on my own...and guess what!!? It was the most beautiful weather we had seen there in the middle of the night! The stars were shining brightly...the moon was full and we could see the twin peaks of Mount Elbrus glistening and looming over us!! Yeeha...I just knew the weather was good...no wind, no snow, just amazing! This gave us so much more confidence as well...breakfast at 1am should be fun!
We all piled into the little kitchenette and sat down for some warm oats, cookies, tea etc...at least I got some oats down...I knew that today I would have to dig deep!
Back to the barrel to get my harness on, pack the final goodies and head out to put my crampons on. My pack felt quite light as I was wearing everything that I had to carry the previous day...those training sessions at gym with a heavy pack sure paid off...and I would do it exactly the same way again!
I put my snow goggles around my neck for later (I really don't enjoy wearing them much..I feel that it restricts my sight as well as my breathing...and the fit is great, so it's just me!), head torch on and I was ready! The realisation that all we had trained for, travelled for and prepared for was now about to happen just gave me butterflies in my stomach - but that could also have been the dread for the waiting snow cat beast?