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Entries By billy nugent

Mt. Elbrus: Nugent & Team Acclimate to 15,000’

We woke this morning to sunshine and French toast for breakfast… and coffee of course. Not a bad way to wake up. After our leisurely breakfast we geared up and headed out on another acclimatization hike this time to nearly 15,000’. We were on the trail for around 3 1/2 hours and over the course of the hike the weather gradually deteriorated. We felt a little bit of hail on our way back to camp but nothing terrible. Still, there are signs of the snow forecasted for tonight and tomorrow starting to show up. We won’t mind a little weather on our last training/rest day before heading on our summit push Friday. Friday’s forecast is looking good so we have our fingers crossed that it won’t change. After our hike the gang went down to the cafe at the top of the gondola and hung out a bit… Good times over here in Russia.

Til tomorrow!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Mt. Elbrus: Nugent & Team Camping in the Barrels

We got up this morning, had a nice breakfast, and departed from Cheget to begin our climb. A quick ten or so minute drive brought us up to Azau, which apparently means something along the lines of “end of the road,” where we schlepped all of our gear onto the tram system which eventually brought us up to our home for the next few days. Our camp up here at “The Barrels” is cozy but nice and we’ve been enjoying the great food from our two Russian cooks Masha and Dasha. Even in the midst of today’s shuffle we were able to sneak in a nice hike for a couple hours that brought us up to nearly 14,000’. The weather is looking promising and we’re looking forward to another acclimatization tomorrow that should take us even higher on the mountain.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

On The Map

Way to go, Brian (Parky) and the whole team. Looking happy and strong.

Posted by: Judi Sarafin on 8/9/2016 at 2:50 pm

Hi James,
It has been great to follow daily and see photos of you and team looking good.
Good-luck and safe climbing to the summit! Love, mom & dad

Posted by: Soonja Choo on 8/9/2016 at 12:31 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Billy Nugent & Team Acclimate in Cheget

After a quick chairlift bump up from the valley we went for a great training/acclimatization hike today up to over 11,000’. Last night was full of thunder, lightning, and steady rain and had me worrying in bed that today would be a drencher. But low and behold, the skies eased off and we enjoyed high overcast skies with some beautiful views of the mountains around us and near perfect hiking temps. The team moved well and even handled some light rock scrambling with ease. Cap it off with a nice lunch and I’d chalk it up as a success. Now we’re spending the afternoon handling last minute details before we head up on the mountain tomorrow.

Talk tomorrow,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

Super fond of Don Cash and proud to be his wife!!Good luck to Jeff and Joe as well!  Summit #3! Mo

Posted by: monette on 8/9/2016 at 3:59 am

Beautiful pictures!! We’re following you with amazement Sue!! Have fun & have a great climb!

Posted by: Laura Thompson on 8/8/2016 at 9:20 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Billy Nugent and Team Arrive in Cheget


Long day of traveling today. We assembled at 5:30 am in the hotel lobby and were picked up by our driver who helped us beat the Moscow traffic on our transfer over to the airport. It was a beautiful morning for navigating Aeroflot’s complicated check in process but we were able to get it all done relatively quickly making time to grab some breakfast at an airport cafe before heading through security. Our flight itself was smooth, and our ride from Mineralnye Vody to Cheget went smoothly as well despite hot temps and many cows in the road. The team is relaxing after our dinner and hoping to catch up on a little sleep. Sometimes days where you just sit in on vehicle and then another can be the most tiring.

RMI Guide Billy Nugent & Team

Sue Mamer.  I enjoy the blog to keep up with your trip .Also the the photo. Good Climbing and have fun !!!!!  Dad

Posted by: Dan Griswold on 8/8/2016 at 12:18 pm

Mt. Elbrus: Nugent & Team See the Sites of Moscow

Greetings from Moscow!

Today was our first full day as a team and we spent it touring some of the famous spots in Moscow. The day kicked off with a viewing of Lenin in his tomb. It’s not everyday you get to see a revolutionary embalmed and behind glass… We also visited many churches and buildings in and around Red Square including the Kremlin and the iconic St. Basil’s Cathedral (of Tetris fame). After a while the heat and crowds were getting to us so we made a run for lunch and enjoyed a nice meal at a French bistro. Some of us walked back to the hotel while others Übered but we all got a few hours off before reconvening for a team dinner. Tomorrow it’s off to Mineralnye Vody early in the morning and by evening we should make it to the Caucasus.

Прощай (goodbye), for now,

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Mt. Elbrus: Nugent & Team Gather in Moscow


Our whole team has officially arrived in Russia without a hitch… even all of our bags made it! Most of the the crew was pretty travel weary so we grabbed a quick dinner here in Moscow and headed back to the hotel to crash early. Jet lag is always a bit of a hurdle at the beginning of these trips but we’ll hit our stride soon enough. Excited for a city your tomorrow of Red Square and the Kremlin!

Talk tomorrow,
RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Spend Their Last Day in St. Petersburg

Well we had a really nice last day in Russia yesterday. We began the day meeting with our tour guide, Galina, and headed out on a quick tour of St. Petersburg. We stopped off at St. Nicholas Church, stopped by the grand St. Isaac’s Cathedral and made our way to the famous Heritage Museum. Not having a ton of time to see the thousands of exhibits so we did and express trip to see the highlights, which included a few paintings and sculptures by Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, and other great artist. It was pretty amazing to see so much art in one place and everyone enjoyed the brief visit.
We took a short break before meeting back up with our tour guide for a evening canal tour via boat of this historical city, which was a great way to wrap up a wonderful trip.
That’s all for this trip! The team heads home tomorrow. Thanks for following us.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Arrive in Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg!!!

We traveled all day and have finally arrived in one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. Things went relatively smooth considering we had two van rides and two flights. We checked into the hotel here and then ran out for a quick dinner.

Everyone is very excited to explore and see this city tomorrow.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and team

Hey Team-1!

How is St.Petersburg treating you? Enjoy your last day in Russia and remember that you have a place to stay in Moscow, if you ever decide to visit again. It was a great pleasure to climb with you.


Posted by: Galina on 8/2/2016 at 7:45 am

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Spend a Fun Day in Cheget

After lucking out with weather our team spent the contingency weather day hanging out in Cheget. Rumors from the mountain were that most teams were turned around before the summit this morning due to bad weather finally coming in. The drizzle hardly dampened our spirits after our perfect conditions yesterday and we spent the day walking around town, luncheoning, ATV renting, nearly getting run over by a horse on the loose, drinking coffee, telling lies, and eventually drinking beer. Right now we’re all hanging in the hotel lobby before heading out to a celebratory dinner with the entire team including our Russian staff. Hopefully we’ll survive the vodka associated with a traditional Russian celebration well enough to make tomorrow’s early departure for the airport bearable.

All for now!

RMI Guide Billy Nugent

Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Prepare for Summit Attempt


Things are good here at Garabashi Hut and the team is excited for tonight! We did a little prep for tomorrow by reviewing a few climb techniques and then rested the remainder of the day. Our cook, Dasha, has done a great job of filling our bellies with plenty of good ol’ home cooked Russian food.

Everything is set and if the weather continues to hold we’ll be up at 2:00 a.m. After a quick breakfast, we’ll hop on the snowcat to give us a bump a little further up the mountain. It will shorten our climb a little and increase our chance of reaching the highest point in Europe.

That’s all for now. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map

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