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July 30, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Finish Their Trip in Russia

It was a great day here in St. Pete’s!

We started the day with a walking tour of this beautiful city led by our wonderful local guide Natasha. She took us to the major sites and enlightened us to the 300 years of this city’s history. We took a short break where some folks did a little exploring on there own, and others headed to the famous Hermitage where we learned that if someone spent one minute at every piece of art, it would take 8 years to view it all! Needless to say, we saw only a fraction of it.

Later in the evening the team headed out on a final tour of this majestic city by boat. We spent an hour touring the city from its many canals, which was a great way to wrap up our trip.

It’s been a wonderful adventure with a great team. We are all thankful for the great weather we’ve had, but are looking forward to getting back home.

Missing all of our families and most of our friends.

See ya soon!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

July 29, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team | Last Stop, St. Petersburg

Well the team has arrived in beautiful St. Petersburg. It was a long day of travel: three-hour bus ride followed by a three-hour flight. It’s warm here and the sun doesn’t set until nearly 11pm. We went on a short walk to stretch the legs and had a wonderful dinner at a great little cafe nearby.

Everyone is doing well and looking forward to exploring the city tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Fatima, enjoy the rest after the long trek. You all look great in the RMI pics. Safe trip home, love peter

Posted by: Peter on 7/30/2013 at 3:02 am

July 28, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Relaxing in Cheget

Hello everyone:

It was a pretty mellow day here in Cheget. The team spent the day resting after our big climb. We mostly just relaxed around town doing a little shopping and catching up on some emails at the hotel. Everyone is packed up and ready for our trip to St. Petersburg tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

July 27, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Summit!

Update 10:30 a.m. PST:
It was a wonderful albeit tiring day for all. We started our climb with a 1:00 a.m. wake up call and hit the trail by 3:00. It was a beautifully clear and calm night for climbing. The team did an amazing job at taking care of themselves and pushing hard to reach the highest point in Europe. It took about seven hours to reach the summit and less than half that to descend back to camp. We had a quick lunch and headed downhill for showers and a great celebration dinner with our local support.

Everyone is extremely happy and tired!
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Casey Grom and team reached the top of Mt. Elbrus this morning!  After spending some time on top to enjoy the views and take some photos, the team began their descent.  At 3:00 a.m. PST and back at the Garabashi Hut, Casey sent the photo below showing the team on the summit!

On The Map

Congrats Greg and fellow team mates.  Happy that you all made summit but happier that you all did it safely.  Way to go.  Mom and dad.

Posted by: Mom on 7/28/2013 at 12:14 am

Go, G!  You inspire!
Nice work team - a summit and everyone is back safely!

Posted by: The Pit Crew on 7/27/2013 at 8:59 pm

July 26, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Ready for Summit Bid

Hello everyone:

Today is our rest day before we make our summit attempt. We got up a little early for a little crampon practice while the snow was still firm and familiarized ourselves with our ice axes. We had breakfast and then spent a little time playing cribbage. After lunch we had our summit talk to prepare ourselves for tonight’s climb. Everyone is ready and all we need now is a little good weather!

Keep your fingers crossed for us.
RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

Good Luck Mr. Barber & Team!

Posted by: The Pages on 7/27/2013 at 8:31 am

Now this is the fun part of the trip! Hope you all have a great climb. Peter

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 7/27/2013 at 7:12 am

July 25, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Acclimatize to the Higher Elevation

Hey everybody this is Del, one of the Elbrus team members, reporting from about 12,000 feet on the southside of Elbrus. Today we did an acclimatization hike to 15,000 feet and everybody did well. We’ve got a strong team and a great group of people with diverse backgrounds. Greg, another team member, fabricated a set of horseshoes from some steel he scavenged and a lot of people have been playing on the mountain. Besides that, we’ve been napping, reading and socializing to pass the time. Our cook, Albina, has been feeding us well and the food has been tasty. The weather has been pretty good from this Hawaii boy’s perspective and we’re all looking forward to making our summit attempt tomorrow night. We’re doing well and our spirits are high!

Del and the RMI Elbrus Gang

So close to the summit! Kudos you guys, I can’t wait to hear that you made it! Shout out to Debbi LaPrevotte: we miss you! Have fun and be safe.
~Alex and Robert.

Posted by: Alex on 7/26/2013 at 9:16 am

Fatima, Looks like you are all having lots of fun! Wishing you and your team well on your push up to the summit tonight. love Peter

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 7/26/2013 at 5:15 am

July 24, 2013

Elbrus South Side

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team are Officially on the Mountain

Today the team moved uphill and we are officially on Mt. Elbrus. We made use of two cable cars and one last chairlift to reach what is called the barrels. The barrels sit at just over 12,000’ and look like grain silos laying on their side. They are sparsely furnished and comfortably sleep six climbers each. It’s home for the next few days for us and others climbers from all over the world, which is just one of the things that make this South Side trip so special. It feels like an international climbing hub with peaceful climbers sharing stories from all over the world.
Shortly after arriving and getting settled in to camp the team set out on another acclimatization hike and reached an altitude of about 13,500’. We then descended back to camp and are currently enjoying the view and working on international relations. 
Everyone is doing great!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

Thinking about you, Casey! We are all in Virginia having margaritas for you!

Posted by: HollyJosefRyanKC on 7/24/2013 at 5:52 pm

July 23, 2013

Elbrus South Side

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

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

On The Map

Greg: looking strong and happy :).  Have fun,  sending you energy n strength.  Blah blah, think I’ll have a glass of wine while I read the rmi blog. Do it!!!

Posted by: Barb on 7/24/2013 at 9:03 am

Great to see the team made it to the mountains. Scenery looks pretty and you all look like you’re enjoying the hike! Love to fatima.

Posted by: Peter Williamson on 7/24/2013 at 6:31 am

July 22, 2013

Elbrus South Side

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

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

On The Map


Just wanted to check on you. Reply us back through Casey. Good luck


Posted by: Vilas Lonakadi on 7/23/2013 at 10:07 am

July 21, 2013

Elbrus South Side

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

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

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