Posts for Elbrus Southside

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Wait out the Weather

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 19, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Not that we needed it, but yesterday’s thunderstorms with hail, lighting, and strong winds only confirmed we’d made the right call to delay by one day. By morning today the clouds had blown off and the sun was back out but you could still see the wind up high blowing strong. Rather than rest all day again, we went for a nice hike after breakfast to stretch the legs and exercise the lungs a bit. Being a Saturday there were dozens of snowcats full of people and endless snowmobiles flying past as we hiked. 
After our hike we enjoyed another nice meal cooked by Albina and then sat together to discuss our upcoming climb. We have gone over all the details and are already packed up ready for morning. Our plan will be to wake up around midnight, have breakfast at 12:30 and hopefully be riding our snowcat by 1:30. The snow cat will drop us off basically where we ended our highest acclimatization hike two days ago. From there it should takes us about 6-8 hours to reach the summit of Mt. Elbrus if all goes according to plan. The forecast looks better than yesterday’s and the team is very ready for the climb.
We’ll do our best to call from the summit, and will undoubtedly check in when we return.
Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Train in Preparation of Summit Bid

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 18, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Today the team got up a little early to make use of the firm snow to practice using our crampons, and we revisited how to self-arrest also.  After our morning session we enjoyed breakfast and then relaxed near camp till lunch. The weather has slowly been changing here and shortly after lunch we decided to postpone our climb by one day as the forecast is showing a slight improvement for tomorrow evening. So that means another day of rest tomorrow!

Not much new to report here, but everyone is doing well and we have our fingers crossed that the weather improves enough to allow for some amazing views.

We’ll check in again tomorrow before our big climb!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Training on the lower slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Acclimate on Mt. Elbrus

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 17, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 15,000'

It was another beautiful day here on Mt. Elbrus! We woke to clear skies, calm winds and a amazing view of the enormous Caucasus range. (Really you should google it sometime!) We had our standard breakfast of porridge, boiled eggs, assorted meats, cheeses and coffee. Today was our planned acclimatization hike and we did just that. The team hiked for about three hours uphill and reached about 15,000 ft, which was a new record for some. We enjoyed the views took a few photos and then headed back down to camp for lunch. The remainder of the afternoon has been spent playing cards, reading and napping.
All is well and we are looking forward to having a rest day tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The new huts on Mt. Elbrus, 12,000 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom The July 11th Mt. Elbrus team on an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Reach Hut at 12,000’

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

July 16, 2014 - 5:12 am PT

We started our day at a reasonable hour with breakfast at 8 am, we had porridge, fried eggs, and of course plenty of the Starbucks coffee we brought along. :) After breakfast we finished the remainder of our packing and headed over the the gondola to hitch a ride further up the mountain to our new Base camp on Mt. Elbrus. Two gondola rides and one super long single chair lift delivered us at our new home just over 12’000’. Our new home is basically a retro fitted shipping container, they’re brand new and rather comfortable.
After we settled in we had a nice lunch cooked by our wonderful and cantankerous cook Albina. She’s a great cook, but I think is a little over worked and runs a tight ship. 
After lunch we headed out to stretch our legs and continue our acclimatization process by hiking for a little over an hour and gaining well over a thousand feet. Everyone did great and we are now back at camp watching the evening clouds roll in and getting ready for dinner.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team takes a break during their acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom An acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus by the July 11th team.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI July 11th team loading the gondola to reach Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Explore St. Petersburg

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 16, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

I’m not too big of a man to admit…our adventure is officially over…and I’m actually sad. Our team took off early this morning after a grand finale here in St Petersburg. We had a tour of all the historical sites and finished with a great canal tour.

I want to thank every team member who I now consider friends. And ask my 3rd grade school teacher Ms. Buchanan, I have a tough time making friends!

Yes, we climbed Elbrus. Yes, we all made the summit. And yes, we all had a safe climbing experience…always number one on the list.

But for some reason this team was pretty much the same as all my RMI teams from the past. They were AWESOME!! I can’t wait to climb with all of them again. Plans are already being made for Vinson and Aconcagua.

In the meantime, here is a short video of how we ended our time on this incredible adventure…

RMI Guide JJ Justman

The canals of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Acclimate in Cheget

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 15, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

All is well here in the Baksan Valley, at the base of Elbrus. We’ve settled into our comfortable hotel here in Cheget, which doubles as a ski town in the winter. It reminds me of Jackson Hole with Mt. Rainier instead of the Grand Tetons.

We woke to a beautiful morning and finally we were able to get out and stretch our legs a bit. We made the most of the local ski lifts, (to save our knees of course) and hiked up the neighboring peak to start our acclimatization. It started off a little cloudy today, but eventually cleared for some decent views of Elbrus. After our ascent we headed back down to town for a nice lunch and headed over the local climbing shop to pick up a few last minute things. We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, getting our bags packed and just wrapping up another enjoyable Russia dinner with plenty of borscht.

All is well here and we’ll check in again tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

Ski Lift in Cheget. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Arrive In Mineralnye Vody

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 14, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello again Everyone,

It was anyone long day of travel here in Russia for us again. We departed Moscow moderately early and flew southward to the town of Mineralnye Vody (which means mineral water) where we were meet by our local guide Alexander. We loaded all of our duffels into the waiting van and continued heading south towards Mt. Elbrus. This part of Russia is very rural and the countryside is mostly used for agriculture purposes, especially sunflowers! It has been heavily influenced by the Turkish and is therefore predominately Islamic. It’s beautiful here, but it also seems a bit behind the times when compared to Moscow or St. Petersburg. The team enjoyed the views, had a little fun, but everyone is ready for some exercise!
 
RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

 

Flight To Mineralnye Vody, Russia Photo: Casey Grom Traditional Ushankas. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom and Team Tour Moscow

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 13, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello from Russia everyone!

The team arrived yesterday, and after the long flights we took it easy with a brief team meeting and a quick bite to eat. We then retired to our rooms to sleep off the jet lag.

Today we woke up rather leisurely, had a continental breakfast, and walked just a short distance to meet our tour guide at the Red Square and Kremlin. We spent the better part of the day walking around the Kremlin, Red Square, and the famous St. Basil’s Cathedral. Along our walk we also passed by the tomb of the unknown solider and had a brief lunch at the G.U.M.

After our tour we took a short break to do a little exploring on our own, or snuck off for a quick cat nap. We wrapped up the evening with a nice walk down to a diner to grab dinner where we enjoyed mingling with the locals and getting to know each other better.

All is well and everyone is looking forward to heading to the mountain tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and team

RMI Guide Casey Grom and team on their Moscow, Russia city tour. Photo: Casey Grom RMI Guide Casey Grom and team enjoy dinner together in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Mt. Elbrus:  Justman & Team Summit!

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 18,510'

July 12, 2014 - 1:15 am PT

Hey - This is JJ.  Well, this morning we did not play Eye of the Tiger.  We did not play T-N-T.  But let me give you a few of the lyrics we played this morning:
I don’t mean to brag, I don’t mean to boast.  I do like jelly on my breakfast toast.

And do you know what else I like?  Not one, not two but every single climber on top of Europe’s highest mountain
What do you say gang?  (cheers in back ground)
It’s an urgent news message, we are on the summit of Mt. Elbrus.  Everyone did a great job.  Strong as can be.  And we are enjoying a beautiful day, a few puffy, happy clouds out in the distance, but that is about it

Stay tuned for some photos and videos.  We are going to head back down.  I do believe we have a well deserved dinner and maybe a little bit of a celebration back at camp. Take care and thanks for following along.  We will touch base again soon.

Sayonara from the summit of Elbrus.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Climbers en route to the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection Sunrise on summit day on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory RMI Guide JJ Justman ascending Mt. Elbrus, Russia yesterday. Photo: JJ Justman


RMI Guide JJ Justman and the team call from the summit of Mt. Elbrus.

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Mt. Elbrus:  JJ and Team Heading for Summit

Posted by: JJ Justman | July 12, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

July 11, 2014 - 4:31 pm PT

Hey Everyone –
This is JJ Justman with team #1 here on Mt. Elbrus.  It’s about 3 am in the morning. We have the crampons on, it’s a breathless night here for climbing.  We are about to jump on the snow-cat, which will give us a little lift higher up on the mountain.
It’s a gorgeous evening, it’s going to be a gorgeous day tomorrow. We will touch base again.  And I am pretty darn positive we will be doing that from the highest mountain here in Europe.
Take care everyone, talk to you soon.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Climbers en route to the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory


RMI Guide JJ Justman checks in just before summit attempt.

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Recent Images From Elbrus Southside

  • The Pastuhkova Rock feature at 15,100 ft on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • The July 18th RMI Mt. Elbrus team taking an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI July 18th Mt. Elbrus team enjoying time on mountain.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 18th team on an acclimazation hike.  Photo: JJ Justman
  • Grom and Team visiting St. Petersburg after Elbrus summit. Photo: Casey Grom
  • The Elbrus team enjoying the St. Petersburg canal tour. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Casey Grom & his Elbrus team's farewell dinner in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Rooftops of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Sunset view of the Caucasus Mountains above Cheget. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Cheget, mountain town at the base of the Caucasus Mountains. Photo: JJ Justman
  • The RMI July 11th team enjoying a celebration dinner in Cheget, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom
  • St. Basils Cathedral near Red Square Moscow, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The outer walls around the Kremlin, Moscow Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • The RMI July 11th team on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia, 18,510 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • Training on the lower slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The new huts on Mt. Elbrus, 12,000 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The July 11th Mt. Elbrus team on an acclimatization hike to 15,000 ft on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team takes a break during their acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • An acclimatization hike on Mt. Elbrus by the July 11th team.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The RMI July 11th team loading the gondola to reach Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom
  • The canals of St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Ski Lift in Cheget. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Flight To Mineralnye Vody, Russia Photo: Casey Grom
  • Traditional Ushankas. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI Guide Casey Grom and team on their Moscow, Russia city tour. Photo: Casey Grom
  • RMI Guide Casey Grom and team enjoy dinner together in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom
  • Red Square in Moscow, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • Climbers en route to the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Sunrise on summit day on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • RMI Guide JJ Justman ascending Mt. Elbrus, Russia yesterday. Photo: JJ Justman
  • Climbers en route to the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: Linden Mallory
  • RMI Guide JJ Justman and the RMI July 4th Team on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: John Hughes
  • The Pastukhova Rocks at 15,100' on Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection
  • New container huts at Garabashi, Mt. Elbrus. Photo: JJ Justman
  • JJ Justman and team inside the Gondola, Baksan Valley, Russia. Photo: Christian Espinosa