Entries By pete van deventer
August 7, 2017
Posted by: Pete Van Deventer
It was a rather leisurely day for us here on Elbrus. We slept in until the tents started to approach the right temperature for roasting a Thanksgiving turkey, then dawdled over breakfast. We fixed some blisters, took some naps, and admired our view of the summit above, where plumes of snow spiraled away into the air. Newly made friends of ours pushed for the summit from Camp 1, beginning their push at 12:30 last night, and we felt for them, watching the gusts of wind break over the summit like waves.
At 11:30 it seemed appropriate that we do something before everyone fully embraced the sloth life, so we took our technical gear to the tow of the glacier for a quick climbing skills refresher. The afternoon brought on more napping, a home run derby with a ski pole and rocks, and some playtime with our resident Camp 1 puppy. Our friends came back having successfully reached the easy summit in a long, 14-hour day of climbing. The evening cloud watching had been superb, as large cumulonimbus clouds have blown up in the sky to create fantastical shapes. The evening rain had just started to drum on the tents as I write, but if the pattern we’ve seen means anything, we should wake to clear skies in the morning. We hope to take a trip uphill to Lenz Rocks, putting in a small cache and getting valuable acclimatization time.
All for now,
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer
On The Map
August 6, 2017
With yesterday’s preview of the terrain between Base Camp and Camp 1, today’s move uphill felt significantly easier to everybody. Everyone commented that it felt like we were walking more slowly, but were covering more ground and trimming time. In short, we were the best looking team on the hill today, in fashion and in climbing style.
Once at Camp 1 we found that available tent sites weren’t as plentiful a we had hoped, with a fair number of climbers here since it is high season. We managed a few spots in our outfitter’s camp, before the guides broke out the rock bar to move a couple big boulders to clear one more. Everyone was excited to see the cook hut and celebrated our successful move with some gluvine. We are psyched to be up above the clouds with some great views. Tomorrow, we will take a rest day after two big days in a row. We’ll refresh some climbing skills and enjoy our new home before focusing on moving higher once again.
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer & Team
It was good to hear you all were the best looking team on the hill; since, it is the first rule of mountain climbing, or so I’ve been told. Glad the team is feeling strong. Thanks so much for the updates, the best part of my days! Keep the father/son team in check, they can be a handful. Praying for safety, good health, and great weather.
Posted by: Christy Cunningham on 8/6/2017 at 2:41 pm
August 5, 2017
First, and most importantly, we’d like to wish Kathey Uchal a very happy birthday. We hope it is a great one!
We fell asleep listening to the bass tones of the nearby river last night and woke to sun early. The sun rises at 4:30 or 5:00 up here, and once out there’s not much sense trying to sleep, so we crawled out, fired up coffee and breakfast, and got set for the day.
With packs full of food, fuel, a spare tent and some other odds and ends, as well as our personal gear and food, we headed uphill towards camp one, in a moraine at the base of the glacier around 12,000’. Early on, the sun made its presence felt, instantly heating everyone to a rolling boil. As we climbed higher though, we made it into a nice breeze that kept things pleasant. After many hours of laboring under our loads, we arrived at Camp 1 and stashed all of our stuff. With the bulk of the work done, we turned back downhill. Mt. Elbrus wasn’t done with us yet though. Half an hour into our descent, the first piece of hail fell in the rocks somewhere, probably not that near us. But then the skies opened up and it was like being brutally outmatched in a paintball game. We threw our hard shells on and beat foot downhill, running at times to escape the pelting. The hail finally let up, yielding a rainbow a few hundred yards in front of us, but no matter how hard we looked, we couldn’t find the pot of gold.
Back in camp, folks ducked into tents, eager to snack and recover, but then one of the Russian cooks of our outfitter came looking for Josh, wanting someone to play volleyball with. Mike and Pete couldn’t resist, and joined the match too, and soon we had a decent game going. Now dinner is done, and we’re back in tents eager for the deep sleep that follows a hard day of work. We’ll do it again tomorrow, moving our camp to Camp 1 and continuing forward progress. Wish us luck!
On The Map
Hey Lisa and Robin - The whole gym is routing for you!
Lifting 250 or pushing 300 seems like nothing compared to what you guys are doing - best to you and all your comrades (no pun intended) - enjoy!
Cheers - Liz
Posted by: Liz on 8/8/2017 at 9:06 am
Hope you’re having the time of your life!
Everyone from Seattle says Hi!
Have a great climb!!
Posted by: Mayank on 8/7/2017 at 4:28 pm
August 4, 2017
After the bustle of Moscow and several days of traveling, it’s a bit of a relief to finally be at Mt. Elbrus Base Camp! We had a pretty relaxed departure from Kislovodsk this morning, stopping at our outfitter’ s home to leave some city cloths, before climbing into our driver Alexi’s tricked out four wheel drive sprinter van knockoff and heading for Base Camp. We started putting our tents up as the first drops began to fall. Before long things ramped up and we were in a small thunder squall. Once the rain let up, we headed out for a quick hike to a gorgeous earthen bridge crossing the river, far below. Then dinner and off to bed to get ready for a big effort tomorrow. We’ll carry a load of food and fuel to Camp 1 tomorrow, before returning to Base Camp. We’ll let you know how it goes.
On The Map
August 3, 2017
It takes a bit to navigate the process of Russian airports: checking in, going to a different counter to pay for baggage, back to the first to retrieve boarding passes, and then on to security. That meant an early morning for us in order to catch a 9.40 flight to Mineralnye Vody. Our driver did his best Ricky Bobby impression on the way, which got us there with plenty of time to spare.
The wave of heat that hit as we disembarked was impressive. Kislovodsk is hot, and everyone, including our local guide, is anxious to escape to the relative comfort of the mountain. We got a bit of food shopping done this afternoon, double checked our gear, and are ready for the 4wd trip to base camp tomorrow morning. Our next contact should be from the mountain as we really get this climb underway!
RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer and Mike Uchal
Best expedition ever Pete + crew…Safety and Summit amid fav weather…Waltero…Godspeed…Great book on Amazon “Mount Elbrus and Mount Kosciuszko” by me of course!
Posted by: Walter Glover on 8/4/2017 at 5:54 am
Praying for great weather, safety, and fun! “Tamp it to the max!”
Posted by: Chase on 8/3/2017 at 9:45 pm
August 2, 2017
Though we haven’t been in Moscow for long, we did our best to see everything we could today. We matched the fast pace of our tour guide (she looked at us and said “you are supposed to be sportsmen”), and checked out sites that seem hard to believe for anyone who was alive during the Cold War. We wandered through Red Square, silently filed through Lenin’s Tomb, where Russia spends $200,000 a year to keep his body in perfect condition, and crossed through the front gate of the Kremlin to get a tour inside and see several of the cathedrals that exist within. Each had a dedicated purpose and patron, the Cathedral of the Assumption being used for Coronations and things involving the Russian Czars, while Archangel Michael’s Cathedral was used as a burial place for Czars and Czarinnas, including the family of Ivan the Terrible.
Unfortunately, St. Basil’s Cathedral was closed today due to a national holiday commemorating paratroopers in WWII, but we strolled through the GUM, the former Soviet State Department Store, and now a high end shopping mall, stopping to ease the heat with ice cream, before a delicious lunch at a Ukrainian Restaurant around the corner. We had the afternoon free to explore or take naps, before we headed to a nice rooftop restaurant overlooking the Moscow River for dinner. Tomorrow starts early, 5.30 am, as we head back to the airport to fly to the Caucasus and refocus on our climbing objective. Tomorrow will be a travel day, but before we know it, we’ll be at base camp, staring up at the twin summits of Mt. Elbrus and beginning our climb. We’ll check in soon.
RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer
Hi Kelly and Josh, hope you’re having a great time! Each day we pray for the safety of you and your team members! Take care and enjoy yourselves!
Darcy and Jon
Posted by: Darcy and Jon Schwanke on 8/6/2017 at 12:01 pm
Wish the team good luck. We pray for good weather and safe return of all team members!
Posted by: Smriti on 8/3/2017 at 8:48 am
Good morning from Moscow! The whole team trickled in over the course of yesterday, showing up a bit bleary eyed and time-confused by last night. We didn’t stray far from the hotel to find dinner, catch up a bit with old friends who are part of the team, and meet new ones. Everyone made a pretty quick exit once our plates were cleaned to crawl into bed and start the process of re- calibrating our clocks. This morning, everyone is already looking refreshed and renewed, ready for our tour of the sites of Moscow: St. Basil’s Cathedral, Red Square, Lenin’s Tomb, and the Kremlin are all ahead of us. We’ll enjoy the day of sights before we turn our attention to the mountain and the real reason that we’ve come! We’ve got a great team, and everyone is excited to get to climbing so stay tuned as our expedition gets underway!
Crush it Sonam…
Posted by: Josh on 8/2/2017 at 1:31 pm
Wishing Robin n Lisa and all the rest of the team my very best
Posted by: Rich on 8/2/2017 at 10:13 am
July 23, 2017
The Four Day Summit Climb July 20 - 23 led by RMI Guides Pete Van Deventer, Megan Budge and Alex Halliday reached the summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. The team reported good climbing conditions and moderate temperatures and a beautiful morning on the mountain.
Congratulations to today’s Summit Climb team!
July 17, 2017
Posted by: Pete Van Deventer
The Four Day Summit Climb led by RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer Reached the Summit of Mt. Rainier early this morning. Pete reported a clear skies and light winds. The team has started their descent and are en route to Camp Muir.
Congratulations to today’s team!
Congratulations Cory and Tim. So happy for you guys.
Love, Tina, Dan, and kids.
Posted by: Tina on 7/18/2017 at 8:27 am
July 11, 2017
Posted by: Pete Van Deventer
The Expedition Skills Seminar - Emmons team, led by Pete Van Deventer, is currently on the Mt. Rainier summit! After a 5-1/2 hour ascent from Camp Schurman to the top, the team is basking in the sun and enjoying their time taking in the views. They will begin their descent back to Camp Schurman shortly. We look forward to congratulating them tomorrow when the team will descend off the mountain and make their way back to Rainier Basecamp.
Josh hope your staying warm and enjoying your summit climb . Love you and thinking of you. Hope you didn’t get any altitude issues! Dad Mom and Caleb and Bailey.
Posted by: Sandy Calcanis on 7/12/2017 at 5:18 pm
Happy to hear the weather permitted the team to summit safely! Thinking about and missing my husband Kyle who is climbing with his buddy Pete. So proud of you guys and thankful for the awareness it drives to Summit4Angelman. Can’t wait to reunite the family on Thursday in Phoenix! Love, Shawna, Madden, Declan & Conrad
Posted by: Shawna Rooney on 7/12/2017 at 2:39 am