Entries From Elbrus Southside 7-1-13

Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Experience the St. Petersburg Sights

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

New team member! We now have a second man on the team. Carter is his name and is husband of Lucy. We put him right to the test by climbing the 218 steps up to the colonnade at St. Isaac’s Cathedral. No crampons, nor ice axe needed, but we did put on at least another six miles touring around and he handled it no problem. Super nice guy and loads of fun to be with, guess I need to make him a summit certificate. So much to see, what a great job they do here to make it user friendly. The rich history and the sights we visit, accompanied by a local guide, are overwhelming to say the least. Can’t forget the multitude of food options with the group making some great choices. Definitely not cheap to get some calories on board, but if you do a little research the taste buds are well rewarded. I have been on the Borscht taste testing program when possible, this kind of beet-type soup can take on many identities. So far the smoked pear version has been the most far out in flavor.  Being at the end of the Bay of Finland and part of the Baltic Sea,they say that they get about fifty sunny days here a year.  The usual maritime climate prevails. We have been fortunate with the glorious days we have been so lucky to experience. Better get here quick before the nice days are gone for this year. That said, could not of had a nicer evening boat cruise to top off such a wonderful day.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Top of St. Isaac's Cathedral, St. Petersburg, Russia. Photo: Mark Tucker Church on the Savior of Spilled Blood. Photo: Mark Tucker The Team on the St. Petersburg Canal tour. Photo: Mark Tucker

Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Leave the Mountains for St. Petersburg

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 11, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

It is tough to leave the Baksan Valley, what a gorgeous range of mountains. After another wholesome breakfast we loaded up the van and made the three-hour drive to Mineralnye Vody. Once there we said good bye to Jonny, our local guide, who shared the adventure on the mountain with us. He will be going back up the mountain very soon and we wish him all the best.

We arrived in St. Petersburg with all our bags and a van ready to take us to the center of town. We are all pretty good at packing and unpacking,so a quick stop at the hotel and we were off to start exploring this city of so many sights. After another very nice meal, we enjoyed wandering around the neighborhood. Since we are so far north, at this time of year we had a beautiful sunset over St. Isaac’s Cathedral at around 10 PM. This is a town surrounded by water with many canals running through it. There were many people taking boat rides late into the night. Tomorrow we will explore some of the historical sights topped off with an evening canal boat ride.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Canals throughout the city of St. Petersburg. Photo: Linden Mallory Night view of the Church on the Savior of the Spilled Blood. Photo: RMI Collection

Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Enjoy Time in Cheget

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 7,500'

The team checked in from the Baksan Valley today.  They are taking a well-deserved rest day after their successful summit climb of Mt. Elbrus yesterday.  We hope they enjoy their time in Cheget shopping and site-seeing.
They will spend their final night in Cheget this evening.  Tomorrow they will transfer to Mineralnye Vody and take a flight to St. Petersburg, the final stop on their tour of Russia and one of the highlights of the trip.

The sun setting on the hills above Cheget, near Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: RMI Collection

On The Map


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Summit Mt. Elbrus!

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 09, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 18,510'

Yeehaw!  We did it!
The team took full advantage of perfect weather and great route conditions on Mt. Elbrus today. We could not help but stand on top this morning.

We returned to the Garabashi Hut, our home for the last few nights, packed our gear and continued our descent.  We are back down in the Baksan valley at the base of Mt. Elbrus. Let the celebration begin!

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

An RMI Team en route to the summit of Mt. Elbrus (18,510ft).  Photo: Linden Mallory On top of Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft), the highest peak in Russia and one of the Seven Summits.  Photo: Dana Marie Buchanan The RMI July 1st Team on the summit of Mt. Elbrus, July 9, 2013.  Photo: Dana Marie Buchanan

On The Map

5

Hi Dr.Raj, following your journey. Enjoy your expedition. Take care. Liz

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Posted by: Liz on 7/9/2013 at 7:02 pm

Hi,  Mama Z here.  So exciting to ride and hike the mountain with you.  I am exhausted.  Good luck with tomorrow and the bathroom situation.  I heard about that.  Can’t… read more

Posted by: patricia Blitz on 7/9/2013 at 1:57 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Prepare for Summit Climb

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 08, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Mount McKinley
Elevation: 12,000'

The mountain might as well surrender right now. It has no chance against this intrepid group of climbers. Ok, kind of kidding. But we are summit bound early tomorrow morning.

We topped off our preparation for our summit climb of Mt. Elbrus with a bit of training early this morning. Focus was on the use of the mountain climbers best friend, the ice axe, used primarily while ascending steep snow covered slopes. The team practiced with care and enthusiasm ,confidence in this arena will help immensely when confronted with some challenging terrain. And yes, that is what the near future holds for us.

Honestly we go at this climb like all climbs, humble and hopeful. If this beautiful hunk of Mother Earth allows us to stand on the summit, we will be grateful and thrilled. Nature is the boss and we will give it the utmost respect.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

The Garabashi Hut (12,000') on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Linden Mallory

On The Map

3

Will be thinking of all of you today.  Be safe and have a great time. Looks like good conditions and you are all READY! May the force be with you!

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Posted by: Kathryn on 7/9/2013 at 4:07 am

Have a safe but fun summit climb. Will look forward to your tales when you return. Love from Richmond.

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Posted by: Elsie on 7/9/2013 at 3:59 am


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Train on Mt. Elbrus

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 15,000'

Our night’s stay in the Garabashi Hut (12,000’) on Mt. Elbrus went well. We were up early for a quick breakfast and then headed out onto the mountain with our crampons and ice axes to do some training and review while the snow was still firm.  The team did well and we climbed up 15,000’ which also helped with our acclimatization. Around noon we started our descent and after a few hours arrived back to our camp.  We enjoyed soft snow on our way down and perfect weather.

Once back at the hut we gathered for a nice lunch. We have spent the afternoon resting and drying out our gear.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

An RMI Team training on the slopes of Mt. Elbrus. Photo: RMI Collection The Garabashi Hut (12,000 ft) on Mt. Elbrus.  Also know as The Barrels.  Photo: Linden Mallory

On The Map

3

Looks like an awesome trip; can’t wait to hear more next month.  Rigorous art book training is paying off!

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Posted by: Mary Leslie on 7/8/2013 at 7:09 am

Looks like you guys are fitting in well with the Cossacks up there! Gosh, RMI really went all out and organized a mega-group climb for you all—a “barrel” of fun! … read more

Posted by: Renee on 7/8/2013 at 6:19 am


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Check Into the Garabashi Hut

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Well we are moving right along. Team is doing well after a couple of trams and a chair lift. Here we are at 12000’, the Garabashi luxury dorm-type living. We are sticking with the normal program that has worked so well in the past. We did a nice three-hour hike, acclimatization is going well. Was under nice weather. We are just resting, hydrating, and nesting in our lovely barrel. We’re waiting our turn in the dining area. There’s a few other groups that are sharing our support crew up here and we’re all getting along just fine. Although there is just one guy up here. I think he goes by JJ.  You know there always has to be one of those in the bunch. So psyched the team is doing well. Should be another good night to catch up a little more on that jet lag.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Garabashi Hut at sunset. Photo: RMI Collection


RMI Guide Mark Tucker calls in from the Garabashi Hut.

On The Map

1

What am amazing sunset. How’s the vodka up there?

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Posted by: Kathryn LeBey on 7/7/2013 at 4:10 am


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Hike in the Cheget Ski Area

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 05, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

Nice to be in the mountains, especially the Caucasus. What a nice range of peaks it is. A bit of sun, a little cloudy at times, and some wind made for a nice variety during our day of hiking.  We used the chair lifts to put us into thin air and then climbed to around 11,000’. Had a momentary glimpse of the Mt. Elbrus’ upper mountain but saving the prolonged clear for summit day and time we will spend high on the flanks of the tallest peak in Europe. Good planning indeed.

Ran across a number of guide friends today and played a good trick on one of them. The team got into character and did not break till we totally fooled my pal. They met him on the trail and immediately surrounded him saying how great to see you again, giving him hugs and the whole enchilada, while I kept just off stage watching his reaction. He was pretty cool, trying to remember what trip or where he knew them from, being old friends and all to this group of five ladies, acting as if yes, I might just remember you. We all had a good laugh after I showed myself. I better keep an eye out for he will definitely try to get me back.

The team did great today on the hike. We are all well and having a fun time.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Mark Tucker's Elbrus Team hiking in the Cheget Ski Area. Photo: Mark Tucker Chair lift ride in the Cheget Ski Area. Photo: Mark Tucker Descending views in the Cheget Ski Area. Photo: Mark Tucker

On The Map

2

Chair lift? Now that’s the way to “climb” a mountain! Like to see the dismount from said lift with pack. Does my heart good to see Lucy’s hair still perfect… read more

Posted by: Kathryn LeBey on 7/6/2013 at 3:58 am

ambushed by five attractive ladies, not a bad joke

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Posted by: John on 7/5/2013 at 12:34 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Arrive in the Baksan Valley

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 04, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 5,500'

We had a smooth departure from Moscow.  We took a short flight which lands us in the district of Mineralnye Vody, well known for it’s abundance of mineral springs, sorry team no spa time just yet.

Situated far right of the picture is our local mountain guide Johnny who will be assisting me throughout or adventure. We are here in the Baksan Valley at 5,500 ft. this begins our adjustment period to altitude before the summit push. We are staying in a nice chalet, used for skiers in the winter, now a very comfortable Basecamp for climbers from here and abroad. A few clouds around but not bad in the weather department.

Tomorrow we will ride a couple chairlifts to gain altitude then take a nice hike up to around 11,000 ft. Then we will return to our chalet for a second night. It is very nice to be here and out of the big city.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

Sunset on the hills above Cheget.  Photo: Linden Mallory

On The Map

1

Did you have any fireworks yesterday?  Tell Putin and Snowden hello for me.  Ski chalet and chair lifts, I thought this was going to be hard?  Enjoy the beet stew.

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Posted by: John on 7/5/2013 at 5:53 am


Mt. Elbrus: Tucker & Team Explore Moscow

Posted by: Mark Tucker | July 03, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

The team and all luggage are out of the transit area of the Moscow International airport. We will head right back there tomorrow for our flight to the soaring peaks of the range of mountains called the Caucasus. But, today we explored Moscow and Red Square. We will take vivid memories of the Walls of the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, the Jewels of the Armory Museum just to name a few.

A bit of the jet lag still with us but not slowing down this intrepid team of travelers.

RMI Guide Mark Tucker

RMI Guide Mark Tucker (far right) and team visit the sites of Moscow. The wall around the Kremlin, Moscow, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection St. Basils Cathedral near Moscow's Red Square as seen on our Moscow City Tour.  Photo: RMI Collection
4

Good Luck on the climb. The questions is, Lucy are you leaving Corell at the summit?

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Posted by: Morgan on 7/5/2013 at 5:48 am

Welcome to Russia- although you experience started in the States!! You guys are well trained so enjoy the adventure! Correll- you look marvelous in 2 D. Have fun!

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Posted by: Elsie on 7/4/2013 at 5:58 am


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