Posts for Elbrus Northside

Mt. Elbrus: Team Waiting Out the Wind

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, JJ Justman | August 30, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,500'

What to do when the wind is blowing 70 mph at Camp 1 on Mt. Elbrus? That is the question. And the answer is tough filled with so many choices. Read my book? Nope, forgot it at base camp. Read Seth’s Harper magazine? Done. Drink hot drinks? Check!

The team was productive today at Camp 1. We secured our tents for the heavy winds and during a lull we went down and retrieved our cache at 11,500 feet. We now are sitting on a stockpile of food and fuel so Bring it On wind!

Everyone is feeling great at 12,500 feet. And a little adversity does a body good. I just hope my iTunes movie hasn’t expired on my iPhone!

RMI Guide J.J. Justman

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Mt. Elbrus: Team Moves to Camp One

Posted by: JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall | August 29, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,300'

Hello from Mt. Elbrus,

It wouldn’t be an expedition without a little bad weather. Today we awoke to rain and thunder showers. However, it wasn’t really that bad so we packed our bags and hit the road for Camp One.

The team did great carrying heavy packs that only got heavier with all the rain. We made it into camp mid afternoon, got our camp set up and just finished a hot gourmet meal by yours truly.

Tomorrow we are going to wake up late, enjoy some Starbucks coffee at 12,500 feet and then head down to 11,500 feet to grab the rest of our gear. We hope everyone is enjoying our blog. Take care and we will touch base again soon.

RMI Guide J.J. Justman

Looking up toward Mt. Elbrus summit en route to Camp One. Photo: Jeff Martin

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Mt. Elbrus: Team Carries Gear Above Base Camp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall | August 28, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 8,500'

Hi everyone,
This is the Mt. Elbrus North-side Expedition checking in from our Base Camp.  Today we carried a big chunk of our gear up to about 11,500’ before returning to 8,500’.  The summit was socked in today but the lower slopes had mostly sunny skies which was perfect for us.  Our group is 100% healthy and strong and everyone is having fun.  We’re going to spend the afternoon relaxing and prepping for our move up to Camp 1 tomorrow.

RMI Guide J.J. Justman

View of the Caucasus Mountains.  Photo: RMI Collection Mt. Elbrus - East and West Summits.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: Team Arrives North Side Base Camp

Posted by: JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall | August 27, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 8,300'

We have put the adventure back in adventure travel! Today our team made the arduous and breathtaking seat of your pants four wheel drive ride into Base Camp on the North side of Mount Elbrus.

It really was smooth sailing but the road demands full attention. It’s a rally car racers dream. We have set up camp in this beautiful Russian valley. We took an afternoon stroll to the mineral springs that bubble out of the ground (Perrier and San Pelligrino eat your heart out)! However no one had the guts to take a dip in the enclosed mineral pool. The water is a balmy 40 degrees!

The team has packed the packs with group gear consisting of dinners and breakfasts for up high: ropes, pickets, fuel and personal clothing. Tomorrow we will carry to Camp 1 and return to base.

I have to get going, tonight Seth and I rock/paper/scissored for who gets to make chow…I lost. Get ready for chili cheese hot dogs with southern quesadillas!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

View of Mt. Elbrus on the approach to North side Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection Base Camp in the lush valley on approach to the North side of Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: The Northside Team Bound for Mineralnye Vody

Posted by: JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall | August 26, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside

Hello everyone, it’s JJ and Seth along with the 2012 Mount Elbrus Northside Team! We packed our bags and headed out early this morning to catch our flight to Mineralnye Vody.

It was then a full day of grocery shopping, sorting gear and packing all our expedition gear. We will have a long, adventurous drive to base camp on the north side of Elbrus. We will let you know how beautiful the drive is tomorrow.

RMI Guides JJ Justman and Seth Waterfall

On the road to Elbrus Northside Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Mt. Elbrus: The Northside Team Begins Their Adventure in Moscow

Posted by: JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall | August 25, 2012
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside

RMI Guides JJ Justman, Seth Waterfall and the Elbrus Northside team begin their journey in Moscow with a city tour before leaving for the mountains tomorrow.

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Elbrus Northside Team Visits St. Petersburg

Posted by: | September 10, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: St. Petersburg, Russia

Our northerly latitude was evidenced by the long evenings last night, even at this time of year. Dawn broke early but we were in no rush to greet it, enjoying the opportunity to sleep in a bit. After breakfast we walked down the canal outside of the hotel to St. Isaac’s Cathedral, the 4th largest cathedral in the world, where we climbed its winding staircase to the colonnade that offers expansive views of the St. Petersburg skyline. Afterwards we made our way across the historic center to the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood, a stunning classical Russian Church built upon the cobblestones where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated. Finally, we ended at the Hermitage Museum, an expansive collection of artwork spreading out over five buildings of St. Peter’s palaces. With only 5% of it’s collection displayed, it would still take days to fully explore the museum, much less appreciate the thousands upon thousands of pieces of art.

After several hours of sightseeing we had some time in the afternoon to relax and explore the city on our own. After dinner, with the evening sun spreading across the sky, we boarded a boat and took a tour of St. Petersburg’s canals, watching the city go from evening to night from the water.

Tomorrow we all head home, ending our journeys in Russia. It is difficult to imagine a better group of people to share the challenge, excitement, and adventure of Elbrus’ North Side with. It has been a fantastic trip and we are sad to see it end.


Elbrus Northside Team heads to St. Petersburg

Posted by: | September 09, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: St. Petersburg, Russia

We left Kislovodsk early this morning, making the 45 minute drive north out of the foothills and into the farmland to the Mineralnye Vody airport. Getting checked in was a smooth affair and before long we were airborne, heading northward to St. Petersburg.

We touched down in the early afternoon and navigated the mayhem of the Pulkovo domestic terminal to retrieve our baggage and drive into town. The difference between St. Petersburg and the Caucasus as well as Moscow is striking. Built by Peter the Great and modeled after European cities, wide boulevards are neatly aligned through rows of classically built buildings, painted in shades of pastel colors. Constructed on swamp land, miles of canals help drain the city and water is everywhere with bridges and waterways weaving throughout, giving the city the reputation as the “Venice of the North”.

Our hotel sits right on the banks of the Moikya Canal, a few minutes stroll from the historic center of St. Petersburg. We arrived early enough to have some time to explore the city on our own before our tour tomorrow. It was another long day of traveling and after an excellent dinner we are turning in for the evening.


Elbrus Northside Team Relaxes in Kislovodsk

Posted by: | September 08, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: Kislovodsk, Russia

With fresh sheets and comfortable beds we slept soundly last night, enjoying the luxuries of town after being in the mountains for so long. After breakfast we headed out to explore Kislovodsk, walking through its broad pedestrian area and wandering in the large parks that cover town. Kislovodsk is known throughout Russia for its many mineral baths and is experiencing a rebirth in domestic tourism. The grand old buildings are being renovated and small touristy shops built of shiny glass and decorated with all sorts of neon lights line the streets of downtown. The parks and plazas were busy with sightseers, browsing the stalls of goods or getting their photo taken with eagles and owls now domesticated by enterprising locals. The contrast of Russia’s past and present continues to show itself in this town and is a fascinating occurrence to be watching unfold.

We were all much in need of a mellow day to rest a bit after Elbrus and most of us took advantage of the rainy afternoon to sort our gear and sneak in a nap. Tomorrow morning we head back to Mineralnye Vody to catch our flight to St. Petersburg to visit the city before ending our adventures in Russia. We will check in tomorrow evening from the banks of the Neva River.


Elbrus Northside Team leaves Base Camp

Posted by: | September 07, 2010
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: Kislovodsk, Russia

The thick air of Elbrus Base Camp, the same air that felt so thin a mere 8 days ago, put us into a deep slumber. With a casual breakfast in the morning we gradually packed all of our gear in preparation for the van rides out of the mountains. By midmorning we were snuggly sitting in the back of our vehicle - a Russian interpretation of a ‘60s VW van with 4 wheel drive. Although lacking in certain onboard amenities (cup holders, anyone?), the vehicle performed its task of getting us out of the Caucasus admirably.

We returned to Kislovodsk around 4 in the afternoon and immediately jumped into the hot showers. Emerging clean and sporting a new change of clothes, we headed to dinner at a nearby cafe, mystifying the waitress with multiple orders of appetizers and entrees per person. But she rose to the challenge and brought a fantastic meal to the table, all the more enjoyable due to the 8 days on the mountain.

Tomorrow we will remain in Kislovodsk, exploring the city and relaxing a bit. We are hoping to visit some of its renowned mineral baths in the afternoon before repacking all of our gear for Thursday’s flight to St. Petersburg.


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Recent Images From Elbrus Northside

  • Throne Room in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • St. Petersburg Canal Tour. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • St. Issac Cathedral in St. Petersburg, Russia.  Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • Final stretch back to Mt. Elbrus Basecamp. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Mt. Elbrus from the northside route. Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI team approaching Lentz Rocks. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Looking up toward the summit of Mt. Elbrus from below Camp 1.  Photo: Jeff Martin
  • The view from Camp 1(12,500ft) on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • An RMI Team en route to the North Side Base Camp on Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Mt. Elbrus has two large summit domes and the Saddle separates the East Summit from the West Summit. Photo: RMI Collection
  • The Elbrus team enjoying some pizza in Kisklovodsk. Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • The Team Touring Moscow  Photo: Seth Waterfall
  • Mt. Elbrus as seen on approach to Northside Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • RMI Guide J.J. Justman enjoys dessert in Kislovodsk, Russia after climbing Mt. Elbrus.
  • Sun lighting the path to the Mt. Elbrus summit.
  • Spectacular views on summit day.
  • RMI Guides Seth Waterfall & JJ Justman with our local Russian Guide on the summit of Mt. Elbrus.
  • Approaching Lenz Rock (High Camp).
  • View from High Camp.
  • The view from Elbrus Northside Camp 1.
  • Looking up toward Mt. Elbrus summit en route to Camp One. Photo: Jeff Martin
  • View of the Caucasus Mountains.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Mt. Elbrus - East and West Summits.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • View of Mt. Elbrus on the approach to North side Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • Base Camp in the lush valley on approach to the North side of Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: RMI Collection
  • On the road to Elbrus Northside Basecamp. Photo: Linden Mallory