Posts for Elbrus Northside

Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Tries for the Summit

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | September 01, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,300'

Hey there, this is Seth checking in from Camp 1 on the northside of Mount Elbrus. We tried to go to the summit tonight, last night, but that was not to be for us. The wind is out of control, you might be able to here my tent flapping in the breeze. Although calm when we woke up, the snow had stopped about a foot to two feet, where it had drifted in. Pete Van Deventer and I broke trail for a few thousand feet towards the summit. The winds just steadily grew and grew as we climbed. And just became to where we couldn’t really see too far in front of our faces anymore due to ground blizzard conditions and decided it just wasn’t safe.  The winds have been decreasing on our descent and back down here at high camp, we are all hunkered in all safe and sound. Tomorrow brings a new day and we’ll check in then. Ciao.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall


RMI Guide Seth Waterfall checks in after the Mt. Elbrus summit attempt.

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Mt. Elbrus: Waterfall & Team One Last Shot for the Summit

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | September 01, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,300'

It’s just another day in the tents here on Mt. Elbrus.  We’ve been getting snow since about 3am last night.  Fortunately we have not had much wind so that has kept our sanity mostly intact.

We are nearing the end of our trip now.  With only a couple more days left before we need to be back in basecamp, we’re trying to come up with a plan that could still put us on top without risking us missing our flights to St. Petersburg.  What we’re thinking of right now is a single push from Camp 1 to the summit and back tonight.  That will allow us to descend to basecamp the following day.  Barring that we may have to return home safe and sound but without the summit.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Mt. Elbrus from the northside route. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: Waterfall & Team Hit by a Weather Storm

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 31, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 11,200'

Well hello again from Camp 1.  We’re still waiting for some good weather. Last night was a wet, windy and wild one.  At about 10pm the side of my tent hit me in the face and woke me up.  The next several hours were very blustery.  At around 1am the wind died completely and the thunder and lightning started.  As the flashes got closer and closer the wind picked up and blew the thunderhead out.  Then it started to snow.

By the time we started breakfast everything at our elevation had chilled out.  It was a hilarious discussion as we related our tent experiences from the night.  There was a large cap on Mt. Elbrus but everyone was still game to go for an acclimatization climb.  We had to wait for one more snow squall to move through but we made it to 14,420’ a new altitude record for some folks.

Once we got back to camp it was almost dinner time.  We’re all done with dinner now and Pete and I have cleaned up the pots and put the stoves away for the night.  We’re anxiously awaiting tomorrow as there is another storm forecasted but we’re hoping it passes us by.  We want to climb!

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

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Mt. Elbrus: Waterfall & Team Halted by Weather, Retreated to Camp 1

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 30, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,300'

Hello from Camp 1.  Today we made a bid to get to high camp but we had to turn around due to thunder storms.

We had planned on moving directly up to high camp today and foregoing our scheduled acclimatization day in order to get in front of a storm that is suppose to hit the mountain soon.  That wasn’t to be however.

The team made a great effort and had camp packed up and ready to go before 9am.  There was a cloud cap on the mountain and as we started the climb toward Lentz Rocks, the cap dropped and big thunderheads moved in.

We made the conservative call to retreat.  After rebuilding our camp the thunder picked up and we had some hail and rain.  Right now the wind has picked up but the sky has cleared.  Even with the lull we’re committed to staying in camp for the rest of the day.

We have plenty of food and fuel and we’ll just see what the weather brings in the next few days.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

An RMI team approaching Lentz Rocks. Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: North Side Teams Takes Rest at Camp 1

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 29, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,500'

We’re tucked in and doing great at Camp 1 on Mt. Elbrus.  Today was a rest day for the team but we still had to pick up some gear from our cache.  That got taken care of first thing in the morning and in the afternoon we did a little bit of training out on the glacier.

Tomorrow we’re planning on putting another food cache in at high camp.  Once that is done we just need a couple of days of good weather for a summit bid.  Wish us luck!

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

Looking up toward the summit of Mt. Elbrus from below Camp 1.  Photo: Jeff Martin

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Mt. Elbrus: North Side Teams Moves to Camp 1

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 28, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 12,500'

The progress continues on Mt. Elbrus!

We followed up yesterday’s successful carry with a move to Camp 1 on today at 12,500’. Last night’s rain cleared out, and this morning was beautiful when we woke. Having already seen most of the terrain seems to make things easier, and the group did great on our first move today. We are settled in to camp, and all the hatches are battened down just in case we see some more rain. I don’t think anybody is bummed to not have to share our camp area with any bovine friends. The plan tomorrow is to head a short way back to our cache site to retrieve everything, and then brush up on our cramponing and rope travel skills just outside camp. We’ll be in touch!

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Seth Waterfall and team

The view from Camp 1(12,500ft) on Mt. Elbrus, Russia.  Photo: RMI Collection

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Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Arrives Base Camp

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Seth Waterfall | August 27, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside
Elevation: 8,300'

If success is defined by waking up, having a good breakfast, climbing to a new height on Mt. Elbrus, getting our cache gear on place, and most importantly, getting down before the rain started, then we had a spectacularly successful day. It was a beautiful climb up to our cache site 11,500’, with plenty of great photo opportunities, and everyone got a chance to stretch their lungs out after the last several days of traveling by planes and automobiles. The rain was kind enough to hold off until we got back, and with any luck, it will clear out tonight, setting us up for a move to camp1 tomorrow. We’ll let you know how it goes!

Best from Russia,

RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Seth Waterfall, and team

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

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Mt. Elbrus: Waterfall & Team in Kislovodsk

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 25, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside

We’re in Kislovodsk!  Today we made it one step closer to the mountain.  We had an early start in Moscow and then caught a 2 hour and 15 minute flight to Mineralnye Vody.  From there it was just an hour drive to the city of Kislovodsk where our hotel is.  Once we checked into the hotel, everyone sorted their gear while Pete and I went to a supermarket.  We picked up some fresh food for basecamp.  We’ll be getting an early start tomorrow for the 4x4 road to camp.

Here’s a shot from the awesome pizza place we went to for dinner.

RMI Guide Seth Waterfall

The Elbrus team enjoying some pizza in Kisklovodsk. Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Mt. Elbrus: Seth and Team Tour Moscow

Posted by: Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer | August 24, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a fun, if slightly soggy, day in Moscow.  The day started with thunder and lightning at sunrise but as we all met up over breakfast the light show subsided.  After breakfast we took a nice walk around Red Square and met up with a local tour guide.  She took us into the Kremlin and showed us all around the old cathedrals inside.  While we were in the Kremlin the skies opened up and it started to rain.  We gave everyone the option to bail out and return to the hotel but this crew is tough and all of the stuck it out.

After touring the Kremlin some folks wanted to do their own thing for a bit so we split into 3 groups for lunch time.  After that we met back in the hotel and reviewed the gear necessary for the climb.  Pete and I split up after that and checked out everyone’s gears individually.  Everyone seems very well prepared with top-notch gear and plenty of mountain food.

Everything is lining up nicely for our departure for Mineralnye Vody and Kisklovodsk tomorrow.

RMI Guides Seth Waterfall, Pete Van Deventer and Team

The Team Touring Moscow  Photo: Seth Waterfall

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Mt. Elbrus: Northside Team Arrives in Moscow

Posted by: Pete Van Deventer, Seth Waterfall | August 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Northside

Hello from Moscow. 

The RMI Mt. Elbrus Northside team has all arrived and the trip is officially under way.  We met up this evening for a meet-and-greet and then went out to dinner.  The team seems very well aligned as far as goals and expectations for the trip.  It was a short night for us as many folks have just arrived in Moscow and, it’s raining with thunder and lightning all around the downtown area.

Tomorrow we’re scheduled to take a tour of the Kremlin and the other sights around Red Square.  I’ll take some photos and send them on in the afternoon.

RMI Guides Seth Waterfall & Pete Van Deventer

Mt. Elbrus as seen on approach to Northside Base Camp.  Photo: RMI Collection

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