Entries From Elbrus Southside 7-5-13

Mt. Elbrus: Casey Grom & Team Arrive in Moscow

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 06, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

The adventure starts today!

All team members have safely arrived in Moscow without a glimpse of Edward Snowden.

After our long flights here we keep things pretty laid-back tonight with a light meet and greet, then headed out for a quick dinner. Not far from our hotel is a great little place that serves up some wonderful beef stroganoff, so that’s where we went. We took a short walk to stretch the legs and get a little dessert and have now retired to our hotel to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Stay tuned!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew


Larry I hope you and the team have a great trip and climb!! I look forward to following your progress and seeing and hearing about this adventure!

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Posted by: Paul Kinneberg on 7/7/2013 at 6:44 am

Looking good Larry in the pic…Sage / younger at same time…Ready to notch another…Go go go and Godspeed Walter…Tell the peak “hey”

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Posted by: walter glover on 7/7/2013 at 6:08 am

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Explore Moscow

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 07, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside

After a good night of sleep and a belly full of fresh fruit, bread and an assortment of meats and cheeses we headed out to explore the city a bit. Our hotel is perfectly located in central Moscow with the Kremlin and Red Square just a short walk away, so that’s where we headed first. We payed a brief visit to the Red Square then watched the changing of the guard at Russia’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier before spending a little more than 2 hours inside the beautiful Kremlin. Once back outside we opted for a tour of the famous Moscow subway which sits hundreds of feet underground and is incredibly efficient and meticulously decorated. Apparently it was built so deep it could double as a bomb shelter during the Cold War years. It was amazing and a little overwhelming too.

The team then took a break for lunch and so members took naps and others explored a bit on their own. We have wrapped up the evening with a great meal and a nice little walk. Everyone is still feeling the jet-lag, but doing great otherwise.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow.  Photo: Linden Mallory The Mt. Elbrus team seeing the sites of Moscow.  Photo: Casey Grom

Hope you are all well and looking forwards to taking part in rest of your adventure. best of times will be following you

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Posted by: Usha on 7/7/2013 at 8:17 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Fly to Mineralnye Vody

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 08, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 11,000'

Today the team left Moscow and caught a flight to Mineralnye Vody, which is a medium size city here in southern Russian known for its abundant mineral springs. The flight over Russia’s inland reminded me of the rural Midwest back home. We quickly hopped on our waiting bus and headed further south into the Baksan Valley where Elbrus sits on the border between Russia and Georgia. The area is mostly farmland with a few small towns that are predominately Islamic via its Turkish roots. We arrived in Cheget which sits at the base of Elbrus and is our launching point for our climb. We are currently getting ready for bed in our hotel after a wonderful authentic Russian meal.

It was another long day of travel and the team is doing great.  Everyone is looking forward to stretching their legs tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map


Glad everyone and every thing is doing great.  Success to all.  The blog is wonderful.  Almost feel like I am there!!  Mom

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Posted by: Gerri Seaton on 7/10/2013 at 11:20 am

Larry: You are looking great, sage and youthful. All the best for another of the Seven. Godspeed, Walter Tell the peak “hey” from Lori and I, June 2010.

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Posted by: walter glover on 7/9/2013 at 4:51 am

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Enjoy View of Mt. Elbrus

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 09, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 10,000'

It was a beautiful day in Cheget today and we made the most of it. We started the day with a nice breakfast of porridge, eggs and fresh juice, then headed out to stretch our legs a bit. Being that this is a ski town in the winter, we took advantage of the chairlifts and rode them up to about 10,000ft to start our hike. The team hiked for a little over an hour to reach a sub-summit of Cheget Peak. The team did great on our first acclimatization hike and spent about 20 minutes on top to enjoy the view (our first of Mt. Elbrus). Again the team did great descending down the mountain side all the way back to town where we stopped in at a local cafe for lunch. Shortly after lunch we headed over to the gear shop for a few last minute items and have settled in back in our cosy hotel.

Things look good on the mountain and we’re even heard that climbing conditions are great too. Two of RMI’s great guides Mark Tucker and Jeff Justman aka JJ are also in town after two successful climbs. It was a pleasure to see them and hear about their climbs too.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Utilizing the chair lifts in the Baksan Valley to assist in acclimatization.  Photo: Casey Grom The RMI Mt. Elbrus July 5th team gathered for a meal in Cheget at the base of Mt. Elbrus.  Photo: Casey Grom

On The Map

Mt.Elbrus: Grom & Team Are on the Mountain

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 10, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 13,500'

The team had a leisurely start to the day with breakfast at 8 as everyone is still getting their internal clocks set. After getting packed up last night and checking out of the hotel today we made our way over to the big gondola. We rode two gondolas and one small chairlift up the mountain to our new home here at 12,000’, where there are several huts including one for dining. The Garabashi Hut is also call the “barrels” because of the round shape of the huts. They are a little worn, but warm and dry nonetheless.
It was a pretty easy transition for the team and once everyone was settled we headed out the door on another acclimatization hike. We hiked for about 2 hours which took us up to about 13,500’. We then descended back to camp and had a great lunch of Bortch, a variety of fruits, salami, and cheese.
Everyone is doing great and are enjoying the beautiful weather and amazing views of the Caucasus mountain range.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map


The team is making great progress.  You’ll be at the top before you know it!!  Praying for continued safe travels.  From James’Madre

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Posted by: Dolores Graham on 7/10/2013 at 3:24 pm

you all look great!  ask Chris to point out where I would have stopped, Im sure u will all make it to the top.  its great to be able to… read more

Posted by: Ryan Wolf on 7/10/2013 at 1:16 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Reach 15,000’ on Acclimatization Hike

Posted by: Casey Grom | July 11, 2013
Categories: *Expedition Dispatches *Elbrus Southside
Elevation: 15,000'

Hello again from Russia!
We woke to clear skies and cool temps which made for nearly perfect hiking conditions on Mt. Elbrus. After a wonderful breakfast of porridge and mini pancakes prepared by our friendly Russian cook, we set out on another acclimatization hike. The team did great and reached an altitude of just over 15,000’ in a little under 4 hours. On our descent the clouds came in and almost like clockwork began sprinkling on us right as we pulled back into camp. Lucky us!

We had another delicious lunch and some of us played a little cribbage, while others retired for a nice siesta.
Everyone is in good spirits and looking forward to having a rest day before our upcoming climb.

RMI Guide Casey and crew

On The Map


Casey, I’d recognize that jacket anywhere. Larry, the beard is looking great. Hope you are having a blast. Missing you and all the gang. Looks chilly there. It’s 98 degrees… read more

Posted by: Cindy Calder on 7/12/2013 at 6:43 am

Hey Casey and Larry!!!! You guys look great!!! We will be following y’all all the way to the top.

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Posted by: Holley Harris and Cindy Calder on 7/11/2013 at 7:47 pm

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

On The Map


Congratulations to the whole team.  What a wonderful view from the top and a great achievement.  You all look happy and healthy.  And best of all you have arrived safely… read more

Posted by: patricia Blitz on 7/13/2013 at 1:06 pm


Well done, once again!


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Posted by: Howard Norman on 7/13/2013 at 9:58 am

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

On The Map


Congrats guys, Reading about your climb was amazing. I can’t wait to start climbing those higher peaks. And Casey, I’m excited to meet up with you and Syd. Congrats again… read more

Posted by: Jay on 7/18/2013 at 8:53 pm

Congrats Larry and team!! Great job and the summit pic is awesome as well. Here’s hoping your already down safely.

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Posted by: Paul Kinneberg on 7/14/2013 at 10:56 am

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



Congratulations on successfully summitting Elbrus.  Your persistent hard work is paying off beautifully.  You have a lot to celebrate!!!


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Posted by: Fred Klingbeil on 7/15/2013 at 6:41 am

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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