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Entries from Elbrus Southside


Mt. Elbrus: Grom & Team Travel to the Mountain

Zdravstvuyte (hello) from Russia,

Things are good here in Russia. We left Moscow this morning and have traveled via plane and bus to the beautiful Caucus mountains. 
Our flight took us to southern Russia near the Black Sea, or if you remember Sochi from the Olympics, it not too far from there. We flew into Mineralnye Vody. This part of the country is predominately rural and is responsible for much of the agriculture that the larger cities depends on. We were meet by our trustworthy guide Yuri, whom I’ve climbed with many times. Then hopped in our van for the 3hr drive up the Baksan Valley to the base of Mt. Elbrus.

The small town we are in is called Cheget, and it doubles as a ski town in winter and converts to climbing in the summer. We didn’t do a ton of exploring this afternoon due to the rain and the adjustment of the time that we are all still feeling.
However, tomorrow we will do our first acclimatizing hike and do a little exploring.

All is well here and the team is excited to stretch our legs a bit!

RMI Guide Casey Grom and crew

On The Map


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Arrive in Saint Petersburg

Hi everyone!

We are excited that today is over! The team spent the day traveling by car then airplane then car again. We have finally arrived in St. Petersburg and it is so nice to be here. It has been a long day but tomorrow stay tuned for some photos of our city tour and my favorite, the infamous canal tour.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Some climb this time JJ…Good for your leadership and all are safe…Waltero from IN (Aconcagua ‘12)

Posted by: Walter Glover on 7/12/2016 at 4:56 am


Mt. Elbrus: Grom and Team Arrive in Moscow

Hello Everyone, 

All is well here in Moscow. Most of the team arrived yesterday evening after some very long flights. As most of us are still adjusting to the massive time change we keep things simple with a little round of introductions and stepped out for a short walk and a nice dinner. Today we meet with our local tour guide and had an outstanding tour of the nearby Red Square, Kremlin as well as visiting several churches including the iconic St. Basil’s. We took a short break and then headed out once again for dinner and a nice walk. Everyone is doing great and looking forward to heading to the mountains tomorrow.

That’s all for now.

RMI Guide Casey Grom and Crew

Thinking of you all day with love, Thad, on your birthday. Love this blog. Am grateful for the weather and impressed with Casey Grom;s credentials.  May you and Samantha have a lifetime of beautiful memories of this adventure. Warmest love to all, JoMama, aka Grandma Jo

Posted by: Jo Yeik on 7/12/2016 at 1:55 pm

So glad you had good weather so far
Great pics
Your in our thoughts and prayers
Love from south carolina

Posted by: Tracey Golden on 7/12/2016 at 10:29 am


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Hike in the Cheget Countryside

The weather was even worse today on Elbrus. The team spent the day back down in Cheget. We took a beautiful hike to a giant waterfall and then enjoyed lunch at a great spot with fresh trout. Tomorrow we head to St Petersburg!

RMI Guide JJ Justman and Team


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Abort the Summit Bid Due to High Winds

Hi everyone. Today was a tough day. The team departed camp just before 3AM with moderate winds. As we climbed along the traverse above 17,000 feet the wind was getting dangerously strong. As the the team stopped to clip into climbing ropes for safety, another climber NOT on our team slipped, fell and slid down the mountain nearly a thousand feet. I was relieved to see the climber get to their feet but I am still not sure of their condition. I believe and hope they are ok. Her local guide climbed down and assisted and again, I believe all is fine.

I was extremely thankful our team did not get sideswiped as the climber fell. Needless to say, there were a few team members with very shocked expressions. Being roped up for safety we continued to climb higher. As we were approaching the long traverse into the saddle, four hours from the summit at our pace I witnessed another climber get knocked off his feet by the wind. Luckily he slid a hundred feet and stopped.

It was at that point that I needed to quit thinking and just trust my gut. Our team turned at 17,700 feet and we focused on getting back down safely. And we did.

We are all back at camp and we are now making the decision if we give the summit another shot. The forecast is not in our favor. Either way, up or down, we are focused on safety and I am sure a little fun is in store for us one way or another.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Safety first! What a harrowing experience the summit attempt must have been. I glad everyone on the team is safe.

Posted by: Shirley Tharp on 7/9/2016 at 2:11 pm


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Rest Day at Garabashi Hut

Well…if there ever was a day to have a rest day, it would be today. As I laid in my sleeping bag last night watching Caddyshack for the 74th time I could hear the snow falling on the tin roof of the hut. Upon waking it appeared several inches of snow fell and it continued through most of the day.

The team spent the day relaxing and I even gave a mini slideshow on Mount Everest. We are putting the final preparations on packing our summit packs. The forecast is for this weather to push off and clear skies are on the horizon. Knock on wood. If all goes well the team will be on the summit soon!!

Stay tuned.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

Can’t wait to hear how the summit goes- shout out to Jen and Mark Becker and the rest of your crew!

Posted by: Mel Emanuel on 7/8/2016 at 2:34 pm

Following the updates…Hoping for a successful summit! Go team!!

Posted by: Shirley Tharp on 7/8/2016 at 12:39 pm


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

Today was another magnificent Russian day on Mount Elbrus. The team did an acclimatization day to exactly 15,000 feet. Not only did they do it, they rocked it! The stage has now been set. We are back in camp hydrating and recovering with a great lunch. As I told the team, sure, we could summit tomorrow. They are strong! However, there is no need to rush. Tomorrow is calling for a little snow so we are going to have a rest day. That way, come Saturday, if the weather allows, everyone will be feeling even stronger.

RMI Guide JJ Justman


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Tramming and Climbing

Our team has arrived on Mt. Elbrus. It was a beautiful day and every time I ride the tram up to camp I think, “Geez, I wish Mt. Rainier had one of these”! After we arrived the team took an acclimatization hike to 13,680 feet. We got a taste of thin air and then we headed back down to 12,600ft for an incredible lunch. Some of the team are enjoying the cafe just below our camp while others are relaxing. Yes!! This is the life! Tomorrow, stay tuned, our plan is to acclimatize to 15,000 feet give or take.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Acclimatize on Peak Cheget

Last night was full of gigantic fireworks set to the tune of the Star Wars anthem…on YouTube…on my laptop! But heh, it was a great way to spend Fourth of July and with great company.

We spent today finally stretching our legs and getting into the high altitude zone. Our team had a beautiful day trekking up to 12,000’ on Peak Cheget. Don’t take my word for it…check out the video!

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

Way to go Ryan! Keep ‘em climbing!! I’ll be watching the team’s progress, looks like a fantastic trip!

Posted by: Shirley Tharp on 7/5/2016 at 10:08 am


Mt. Elbrus: Justman & Team Travel to the Mountains

We had a successful day traveling by planes, trains and automobiles! After a long day we have arrived in the little ski town of Cheget. It is raining cats and dogs so our evening dinner is inside the warmth of our comfortable hotel. The team is having fun as we slowly ease into the adventure. Tomorrow we will get out and stretch the legs with a good acclimatization hike. Stay tuned for some action packed photos and videos.

RMI Guide JJ Justman

On The Map

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