Entries From Elbrus 7-11-14

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team See the Sights and Bid Farewell to Russia

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 22, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Our final night in St. Petersburg!

The team had a great last day here in Russia, with a visit to several beautiful churches full of mosaics. We then visited the very famous Hermitage Museum, where we saw paintings and sculptures by many well-known artists including Picasso, Rembrandt, and even Da Vinci. We took a small break and wrapped up the day with a fantastic evening boat cruise to see this amazing city by water.

It’s been a wonderful adventure here in Russia, but it’s time to say our goodbyes and return to family and loved ones.

Thanks for following,
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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
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Congratulations to all! It sounds like it was a great adventure. And thanks, Casey, for getting them up and down safely!

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Posted by: Susan on 7/22/2014 at 2:00 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Arrive in St. Petersburg

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 21, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello everyone!

Today was our travel day from the mountain to St. Petersburg. It was a pretty long day with the four-hour bus ride to the airport and then a three-hour flight. It was a pretty uneventful day, but the team is doing very well. Everyone is happy to be here in this beautiful city and looking forward to our city tour tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Rooftops of St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Linden Mallory
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Enjoy that beautiful city! From underground in the subways to the glories of the Hermitage amid memories of the long siege—it is a glorious city. So glad you are having… read more

Posted by: MaryAnn on 7/22/2014 at 7:32 am

Down off the mountain and now you get to visit a city that many of my friends and relatives want to visit or have visited and think it is great.… read more

Posted by: Cornelia Granny on 7/22/2014 at 5:47 am


Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Celebrate In Cheget

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

We did it! We successfully climbed to the highest point in Europe. It wasn’t easy, in fact it was far from it.

We started our climb in pretty windy conditions and battled our way for several hours before the weather finally eased off. I have to admit I wasn’t sure it was going to happen for us, but a big thanks to our local guides for working hard and to the crew for doing a great job of taking care of themselves. We had our heads down most of the climb due to the blowing wind and surface snow that continuously made it difficult. The team worked extra hard today to make it happen, wearing parkas and goggles nearly the entire day.

We have finally descended all the way back to Cheget and just finished another wonderful meal, washed down with endless vodka in Russian style!

Everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to taking in the sites and relaxing in beautiful St. Petersburg.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Team

The RMI July 11th team enjoying a celebration dinner in Cheget, Russia. Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

4

That is an impressive accomplishment. Congratulations!
Have a safe trip to St. Petersburg.

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Posted by: Tamara on 7/20/2014 at 5:22 pm

You did it and I see smiles all over the place. I am very proud of all of you. Love and prayers Mom and Granny

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Posted by: Cornelia on 7/20/2014 at 2:37 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Reach Summit!

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 20, 2014
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 18,510'

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the RMI Mt. Elbrus July 11th team reached the summit of Mt.Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak on July 20th.  The team had a great day and will check in again when they are back at camp.

Congratulations to the team!

The RMI July 11th team on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, Russia, 18,510 ft.  Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

2

Yayyyyyy!

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Posted by: Tamara on 7/20/2014 at 5:21 pm

Congratulations Bill! Looking forward to hearing your stories about this latest adventure. Love, Gerry & Sharon

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Posted by: Gerald Hill on 7/20/2014 at 7:48 am


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

On The Map

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It is 10 am Seattle time so by now you have reached the top and come back down with lots of stories and good thoughts. Kevin are you keeping a… read more

Posted by: Cornelia Granny on 7/20/2014 at 8:49 am

By now you must be climbing, or maybe already there. So glad the weather broke for you, and looking forward to many good pictures. Be safe—MA

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Posted by: Mary Ann on 7/19/2014 at 12:21 pm


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

On The Map

1

Am sure you are anxious to start the climb but glad you can wait a day to get better weather. Prayers and good thoughts for you all Love Mom and… read more

Posted by: Cornelia on 7/19/2014 at 6:12 am


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

On The Map

4

Looking good Thanks for the e-mail about the plane. Keep warm and enjoy the sites. Love Mom and Granny Kevin what a story to write about for sure.

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Posted by: Cornelia on 7/18/2014 at 6:23 am

Good luck Miller boys!

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Posted by: Sean on 7/18/2014 at 4:52 am


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

On The Map

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So happy to hear everything is going well. Baby Patrick and I love you and miss you guys so much!

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Posted by: Chelsea Miller on 7/17/2014 at 6:01 am

What a ride and scenery you must have had.  How does the container feel to sleep in rather than tents? Take care Love Mom and Granny

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Posted by: Cornelia on 7/16/2014 at 3:15 pm


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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Casey,

You do get around!

Good luck and stay safe.

Art Muir

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Posted by: Art Muir on 7/15/2014 at 7:38 pm


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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