Posts for Elbrus Southside

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Enjoy Hike in the Baksan Valley

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 23, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 10,000'

It’s nice to be back in the mountains!
Today the team awoke to cloudy skies and a little rain here in the Baksan Valley at the base of Mt. Elbrus. We started our day with a nice breakfast with fresh juice, porridge, and fried eggs. We had a bit of a rain delay so we walked over to the local gear shop and picked up a few last minute things for the climb then headed out on our first acclimatization hike. We made use of the ski lifts here to access the better hiking terrain and help us gain a little more altitude. Certainly not the norm elsewhere, but luckily for us it is in Russia. We hiked a little over an hour and reached our high point which was just over 10,000. Everyone did great and enjoyed the views even though they were a bit limited with the cloud cover. After descending back to town we had quick lunch and spent the remainder of the day exploring town, getting packed for tomorrow and a few of us even managed a cat nap too.
The team is in good spirits and excited about moving uphill tomorrow!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 19th Team at 10,000 ft after acclimatization hike near Cheget, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 19th Team on an acclimatization hike.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 19th Team in Cheget, Russia.  Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Travel to Cheget Via Mineralnye Vody

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 22, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello again everyone.

Today the team left behind the busy streets of Moscow and made our way south to Mt. Elbrus. It was mostly a travel day with a flight over the middle of Russia, which is predominately rural. It’s very much like our own Midwest in that its mostly agriculturally-based terrain. We landed in Mineralnye Vody, which translates to mineral water in Russian, and is obviously known for its abundant natural springs. 

From there we rode in our local outfitters van for about three and a half hours to Cheget, a small ski town in the winter that sits at the base of this big mountain. Along the way we passed endless sunflower fields and many Mosques. The area around Elbrus is predominately Muslim from its original Turkish roots. We finished the day with a wonderful traditional meal cooked by a few kind older ladies that live here. Everyone is doing great and ready to stretch their legs tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Set Out to Explore Moscow

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 21, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

The team had a wonderful day here in Moscow. After a night of much needed sleep, the team set out and explored the city on foot. Not far from our hotel is the famous Red Square, Kremlin and GUM (sort of a super mall for the elite). Most team members did a little adventuring on their own in the morning, then met up later for a guided tour of the Kremlin. We spent a little over four hours visiting the beautiful grounds, and many churches that exist within the compound.

It was a really enjoyable day for all even though there was a bit of rain here today. We finished the day off with another great meal at a local cafe where we communicated with lots of finger pointing at the menu and plenty of smiles.

Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

7/21/13 - Casey Grom's Elbrus Team in Moscow. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom and Team arrive in Moscow

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 20, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Hello everyone,

Teams all here! Excited and I’m sure a little tired after such long flights and the big change in time zones. We kept things pretty simple with just a brief round of introductions and dinner. Tomorrow we’ll stretch our legs and explore the city.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

The July 19th Elbrus Team - Photo: Casey Grom
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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Wrap Up Their Trip in St. Petersburg

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 16, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

What a day, what a day!

We started the day off with a nice walking tour of this majestic city with our kind Russian guide Natasha. She led us around St. Petersburg stopping by the major highlights this city is know for and educated us to its deep history. We visited the Church of the Savior of Spilled Blood, St. Peter’s Square, and St. Isaac’s Cathedral along with many other beautiful sites. We took a brief break for lunch and explored a little on our own. Most of the team visited the Hermitage know for its incredible art collection, while others sought out their own adventure.

We reconvened around 8 and Natasha took us on a spectacular boat tour on the many canals that intertwine this city. The day was very rewarding for everyone and I’m pretty sure everyone would love to stay longer.

It has been a wonderful adventure the last two weeks with a great team! In a way it’s sad that we’ve reached the end of this trip. Good times were had and good friends were made!

Missing all of our families and most of our friends.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

7/16/13 - Team Grom in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom St. Peters Square. Photo: Casey Grom Team Grom enjoys one last meal together in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom

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

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 15, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

It was another long day here in Russia, but the team has finally arrived in beautiful St. Petersburg. We spent most of the day traveling and have just finished the day with a wonderful Indian meal and a nice stroll to stretch the legs.

Everyone is doing great and we are looking forward to taking in the sights tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Rooftops of St. Petersburg. Photo: Linden Mallory

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Post-Climb Celebration

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 14, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

Success feels good, and we soaked it up by relaxing around our hotel today. The team spent most of the day close to the hotel on our iPhones and visiting the local market for a few trinkets.

We wrapped up the day with our post climb celebration dinner at a nearby cafe. We had a Russian BBQ with wonderful soup and a potato salad. The team received summit certificates from our outfitter and from RMI, and made a few toast with a little vodka too.

Everyone is doing great and are looking forward to seeing St. Petersburg in the upcoming days.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Casey Grom and team celebrating post-climb. Photo: Casey Grom

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Summit Highest Point in Europe!

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 13, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 18,510'

We did it!

The whole team managed to stand on the highest point in Europe this morning. Everyone did a fantastic job of taking care of themselves and pushed hard in the thin air. It was a beautiful day for sure, in fact it was the nicest summit on Elbrus I’ve had. Not too cold and just the slightest breeze.

We spent about a half hour on top then quickly descended all the way back to the Barrels. After a quick lunch, we packed up and made our way back down to Cheget to our hotel where everyone ran for the first shower in days.

The team is doing great and are looking forward to some much earned sleep.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and the summiteers

July 13, 2013 - Casey Grom and the July 5th Elbrus summit team!

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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

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Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Enjoy Rest Day on the Mountain

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 12, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 12,000'

Today was our rest day, and that’s exactly what we did!
We started the day off with a brief review of how to use our ice axes and crampons just a few feet from our camp at 12,000’ on Mt. Elbrus (there’s plenty of snow very near). And quickly transitioned into another delicious breakfast with plenty of coffee. Once our bellies were full everyone returned to our bunk space and relaxed till lunch. It is vacation after all! We had lunch and then discussed tomorrows climbing plan so that we could do a little prep work before settling in tonight. If all goes well our plan is to have breakfast at 1am then catch a snow cat ride up to about 15,000ft and begin our climb from where we left off yesterday. I’m expecting the climb to take about 6-8 hours up and about 3-4 ours back down. So, if all goes according to plan we should be on top around 9 a.m. our time!

Everyone is excited for tomorrow.

Wish us luck!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

The East and West summits of Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft).  Photo: Linden Mallory

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Recent Images From Elbrus Southside

  • 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
  • At the Moscow Subway prior to heading into the Caucasus Mountains. Photo: Linden Mallory
  • St. Petersburg Canal tour. Photo: RMI Collection
  • Casey Grom & team enjoying their last night together in St. Petersburg. Photo: Casey Grom