2003 Elbrus Cybercast

7/30/03 11:40pm. The Barrels. Team II.
Hey everyone it is July 30th, Wednesday and today we summited around noon. It was a great day, we had beautiful weather.  We got up above the clouds, and just had a gorgeous summit day, it couldn't get any better on Mount Elbrus.  In the morning we got up early and got a Cat ride up to Pashtukov Rocks in a little bit of fog, and it was looking like it was going to be a little bit questionable, but after a few hours we got above the clouds and into some sun, and it was a beautiful windless summit day.  We were missing two up on the summit, who turned around early, but 11 of us were up there, and we had a great celebration and everyone was feeling incredibly strong.  I don't think I've had that many energized and excited people on the summit of any mountain in a long time.  We took a lot of pictures, we were able to really enjoy the summit because it was so beautiful, kind of like a beach.  Because of the the last couple of days being kind of inclement weather, there must have been a hundred people up there, it was quite a party.  Anyway everybody is feeling great and is tucked in.  Tomorrow we drop down to the Dacha and have a great barbeque celebration in the afternoon and drink some vodka and beer and the next morning we will be off to Moscow.  So we'll give you a call from the Dacha tomorrow night.  And Everyone says hi to everyone out there, bye bye.

7/29/03 9:20pm. Priutt Hut. Team II.
Hey everybody it's Todd, we're still at High Camp we got hit by a big snowstorm last night, so we didn't move out the next morning, but things are looking much better, it's cooled down and the clouds have gotten thinner and it hasn't snowed for a while so it looks like we're going to give it a shot again tomorrow.  Everyone is set to go and the team is feeling strong and Dave's ready to lead them to the top.  We should hopefully be up at about two tomorrow and heading out by four and we'll touch base after that. That's all from here, bye bye.

7/29/03 12:30am. Priutt Hut. Team II.
Hey everybody out there this is Dave Morton with Team II on Mount Elbrus.  It is July 29th and we are just settling in the night before we hope to summit.  We've got a little bit of snow coming down, we've got some clearing skies throughout the day and then some thunderstorms passing through.  We've had some kind of off weather, and it's been that way for the past few days but for the most part it's been pretty good.  So we're hoping tomorrow will be a good day to go for the summit.  Everyone is healthy and feeling really well. We've spent the last couple of nights at The Barrels, sown about a thousand feet below where we are right now.  Now we are up at the Priutt Hut, which is the new, rebuilt Priutt Hut which is a little smaller than the one that burned down a couple of years ago.  Everybody is settled into the Hut.  Todd and I are sitting here outside in the tent just getting organized and ready for tomorrow, but everyone wants to send their best wishes and everybody is feeling great and hopefully we'll be on the summit of Mount Elbrus tomorrow. We will give you a call in the afternoon and let everybody know how it went and again everybody ends their best wishes, and is doing great, we'll talk to you soon, bye bye.

7/27/03 7:30pm. The Barrels. Team II.
Todd called in amidst great interference.  They are at 12,000 ft. at the Barrels.

They hiked to 13,300' and are back in camp now. Everyone is in good shape. The weather is good, and everyone is having a great time. Julie says hi to her Mother.

7/25/03 7:30pm. Terskol. Team II.
Hi everyone this is Dave Morton. Just wanted to do a quick call since we have been able to find a satellite to call from. It took me about 1/2 hour to find one today. Well, everyone is doing well. It is raining a bit but the weather report looks hopeful, the weather forecasts are saying this rain should be leaving soon and the skies should open up hopefully for a good summit day. We should be heading for the barrels tomorrow and start for our summit attempt in the next couple of days. We will call you again from the mountain. Take care. Good bye.  

7/24/03 8:00pm. Terskol. Team II.
All is well from Russia, took the chair lift this morning in the rain and hiked up to 11,000feet as the weather cleared. We are in the town of Terskol under stars and clear skies. Everyone is doing great and we look forward to hiking and further acclimatizing tomorrow before moving up to the Barrels .

7/23/03 6:50pm. Mineral Vody. Team II
Hello everybody, this is Dave Morton with the second Elbrus Team, it's Wednesday the 23rd of July.  We've just touched down in Mineral Vody.  The whole team is doing great and we actually got all of our baggage this time, so far it's been a great success.  We took the night train to Moscow from St Petersburg, arrived in Moscow at about 6:30 this morning, after a ride that filled with hot temperatures and very cold temperatures.  The AC didn't seem to be working very well on the train.

We've made it here and we're just waiting for our baggage to arrive and then we're going to take off on the bus, about a three and a half hour drive to Chegetz where we will check into a lodge that we will be staying at for the next few nights where we will be doing some acclimatization hikes.  Just getting to see Elbrus for the first time as we pull up to the lodge.  It's pretty cloudy and windy today, we've got a little bit of wind and grey skies.  So far everybody had had a great time.  We visited the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and did the city tour yesterday and had some great Russian food over the last couple of evenings.  Everybody's feeling great and doing great, everybody arrived safely and we will be getting in touch with you tomorrow and let you know about our plans for tomorrow.  Right now we are a bit tired from the night train and the flight from the states and the flight from Mineral Vody today so we'll get our showers tonight and some good rest and then we'll be speaking with you again tomorrow.  This is Dave Morton with the second Elbrus team and we'll talk to you soon, bye bye.

7/22/03 10:20pm. St. Petersburg. Team II
All team members have arrived safely in Russia with all of their baggage.  They are partaking in a tour of Saint Petersburg today and are going to board to night train to Moscow this evening.  The team will call in tomorrow to give an update.

7/18/03 11:20pm. Moscow. Team I
Hey everybody it's Todd, we're in Moscow right now, we just flew in and had some dinner, we're sitting outside of the Ukraine Hotel, it's a beautiful hotel of Stalinesque architecture, which has about, there's about 2,000 rooms in it, it is a beautiful building.  We had a n amazing day after we got off the mountain, we weren't able to cybercast yesterday because down in the valley, it's so narrow that the satellite phone won't work, but last night we were at the Dacha, and the President of the Province and it was quite interesting, we had the military and the whole bit around, and he came in and entertained us, And it turns out Phil, he is the man, he is very connected with the police here in Moscow and they knew him, so we had a drink to the cooperations of our countries and peace.  It was amazing experience, we sat up most of the night drinking vodka and a variety of other things.

Now we are back in Moscow, we will have a tour tomorrow and go to the Kremlin and look around, do a city tour, do some shopping and people will be getting ready to leave.  The rest of the guys are going out for a night on the town.  That's it from here, hope all is well.

7/15/03 8:30pm.  Summit Day. Team I
Hey everybody out there this is Dave Morton, with the first Elbrus Expedition of 2003.  It's July 15th and today was summit day.  We had a beautiful morning setting out and it turned into actually  pretty interesting weather.  We had some high winds up on top and 12 out of 14 people started out this morning made it up as well as our Russian guides.  Everybody had a great time.  Everybody is in great health.  We experienced some pretty good winds up at the top so that made it interesting for everyone. The snow conditions were great, there were a few other people up on the mountain and we had a beautiful sunrise with the shadow of the mountain projecting into the valley.  And then as soon as we got up towards the summit we got socked in so we had a beautiful morning and we had great views and then had some interesting weather. 

So everybody is feeling great and we are looking forward to moving down to the Dacha tomorrow and having a great bbq tomorrow night and a great day of R and R the following day.  And then the morning after that we will be going back to Moscow and spending a couple nights there.  Everyone says hi to their loved ones and we are having a great time here and again, everyone is feeling great and having a good time.  So we will talk to you tomorrow.  Bye-bye.

7/14/03 8:00pm. 14,000 feet on Elbrus. Team I
Hi everybody it's Todd, we're at at around 14,00 feet.  It's beautiful right now, we just had dinner, it's about 8pm, we're settling in for the night, It was just a beautiful beautiful day today, several people did summit today and it looks like our good weather will hold.  You can see a great distance across the Caucasus and it's still sunny.  We've got a full moon coming on, we had a near full-moon last night so we'll be able to use the moon tonight to climb by.  I'll get everybody up at about 1:30, we'll have water boiled and we'll hopefully be on our way by 3am.  Looks like everybody is fit and ready to go.  Looks like it will be an exciting climb, conditions look good, and the mountain stands right above me and it's beautiful.  Everything is great up here, we hope to be able to report a successful summit to you tomorrow.  That's all form here, bye bye.

7/13/03 9:32pm. The Barrels, 12,000 feet. Team I
Hi everybody it's Todd, we're at 12,000 feet at The Barrels.  Everybody had a wonderful day. It was a little stormy today, winds blew hard.   Last night we had a big storm, lot of hail, lightning, thunder, but it is beautiful right now.  Everybody hiked up to 15,000, up at Pastukov Rocks, it took about 7 hours round trip.  We just finished dinner and we're standing outside enjoying the evening, it's starting to get cold and clear tonight, so we're going to head to bed in just a minute.  We've got Brian Strange right now hiking up all the way up by himself up to the top of a rope tow, it's not running; he just borrowed a snowboard, so we're about to observe his snowboarding skills.  He seems to be doing very well and fit.  All said things are going well here.  We will take a snow cat to haul our luggage up to high camp and then everybody else will hike up and we'll go from there.  We wish everybody a good night and we'll talk to you guys later, bye bye.

7/12/03 9:20pm. The Barrels, 12,000 feet. Team I
Hi everybody this is Todd we're at 12,000 feet.  We just had dinner. We had a beautiful day, rode the tram. It was good weather, clouds now though, looks like a little weather just moved in.  Everybody's doing great.  We got up moved into our barrels which are about 20 feet long and 10 feet tall, round barrels that are tied down with doors, five beds each, it's a great place.  We just had a beautiful dinner of borscht, meat and macaroni, it was a good good meal.  We hiked up about 1,000 feet above camp just for an acclimatization hike. Tomorrow in the morning we're going to hike up to Pastukov Rocks.  Which is at about 15,000 feet and then hike back down to the barrels.  We'll do some cramponing work, it;s a little icy up high so we'll do some more cramponing.  All else is cush here, everyone is in good health and happy and doing well.  Best wishes to everyone, bye.

7/11/03 12:22pm. Team I. 
Hi everybody it's Todd and we are hiking in the hills today, it's about midnight your time and about noon our time.  We are having a great day, everyone is doing well.  The weather has been magnificent for the last two days and things are going very, very well.  We had an amazing hike through some meadows this morning and we've been having great meals, life is wonderful up here. 

Tomorrow we are going to get up early and move up to the barrels up at 11,000 ft. and we are still sleeping in the valley.  Everybody is having a great time and the sun is out and right now we are laying  up in the meadow having lunch.  So we are taking lots of photographs and show them all when we get back.  Things are brilliant and the acclimatizing is going well.  We will talk to you soon. 

7/10/03 1:04pm. 11,400 feet. Team I
Hey everybody this is Todd, we're at 11,400ft. roughly.  We just did our first acclimatization hike, it's been amazing we've got beautiful views today and we are looking at Elbrus.  We took a ski lift up to about 9,000 and hiked the last two and half thousand feet up.  Everybody is doing great, it's sunny and we are looking at beautiful mountains all around us and big rocky peaks.  Six or seven varieties of wonderful mountains and looking at the twin summits of Elbrus right now.  It's gorgeous. A big lambergandor just flew right over our heads, a kind of condor.  It's beautiful, the food down here has been great, everyone is on top of the world, it's beautiful.  That's it for now and we wish everyone a good day.  Bye.

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