2005 Elbrus Cybercast

August 7, 2005
Hello friends, family and loved ones, What a full day of touring the all the wonderous sites that Moscow has to offer. It's a marvel that no one sprained their neck craining to see it all. We completed our tour with a gormet meal in a subterranean resturant. Next, shopping occupied our afternoon right up till our last supper, wich was a blast. Some of us opting to stay up till our early morning departure to the airport and home to you. Thank you for joining us, The Vernonators, and following our progress climbing to the "Roof of Europe". To The Summit, Vern Tejas

August 5, 2005
Hey there Cybernauts, We've been hustling all day long. We have crossed the country by bus and plane and didn't even lose anyone, much less a bag. Team was impressed by our drive into Mockba(Moscow)which is truly a vibrant city. The place is alive and blooming in its new found prosperity. We are staying in a hotel that is a vestige of Cold War Soviet Union and eveyone is enjoying it. Dog tired and heading for bed. Sweet dreams, Vern Tejas of the Vernonators, 614.3 feet abive sea level

August 4, 2005
Hello there friends this is the Vernonators talking to you from Terskol, a little city high in the Baksan Valley, below the highest mountain in Europe. Weve had a very pleasant day of trekking and eating, we had a wonderful BBQ this afternoon, everybody is unwinding and thanking our local hosts, guides and cooks for doing such a wonderful job, We are now on our way home to you. Next stop, were heading to Moscow. So stay tuned for the further adventures of the Vernonators in Moscow.

August 3, 2005
Hi there cybernauts, this is the Vernonators checking in from base camp. We were able to summit and descend and take showers all in about 5 hours, if you can believe that? It was very much a get up and get out there day because we had a storm day. We needed to get down and get low so we have enough time to get everyone back to catch the flight to Moscow, so we are down in the valley. Everybody is doing well and are happy. We are all clean and showered, shaved and generally having a great time and eating city food, if you will. It was a very full day and everyone is tired and ready to head for bed. So thanks for checking on us and making sure we got down okay and we certainly did. Ciao for now.

August 3, 2005
Hello there, friends, family and loved ones, this is the Vernonators on top of Europe at 18,514 over sea level and you cant see heck. (Transmission failed) We are in a white out. The team is really happy to be up here and are taking summit photos. Its warm but we are in a white out and we arent going to spend a lot of time here because we want to make sure we get back down. But we thank you for your prayers, thank you for everything and all your good wishes because we are very lucky to get up here today in this kind of violent weather. So thank you so much for your support and the boys say I love you, to all the girls out there!

August 2, 2005
Hey there Cybernauts, this is Team Vernonators, we are at 17,143 ft above sea level. We are in a white out but we are pushing on. (Transmission failed) but were pushing on and everyone is feeling pretty decent, even Trent is with us and he is pushing the charge, Yahoo! We are moving ahead of schedule even though we have deep snow, our Russian guides (transmission failed) have plowed a good trail for us. (Transmission failed) we are in a white out however so we are going by the seat of our pants. So wish us luck and hopefully well see you at the summit. Ciao for now.

August 2, 2005
Hey there cybernauts, this is the Mount Elbrus team, the Vernonators checking in. Its been a long hard day of sleeping, eating, playing guitar, singing Russian folks songs, playing cards and just basically hanging out. Weve been socked in all day long and the weather has been somewhat reasonable. Fortunately, Trent has recovered from his momentary bout with a stomach ailment and seems to be ready and raring to go to the summit with the rest of us. Everybody is psyched and we have all agreed that even if the weather is not pristine we are going to give it a try. So please stay tuned because tonight we are going to try for it at about 1:30, 2:00 in the morning, we are going to head up the hill. And well try to keep you informed and abreast of the situation as things develop, ciao for now from 13,143 feet above sea level.

August 1, 2005
Hello there friends family and loved ones. This is Team Vernonators, high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. And we are looking out at a very different scene than yesterday. A big front has moved in and we have moved up to the huts at 13,143 feet and its been lightning and blowing snow and sleet and rain and hail and grapple, several things that we didnt really want to see. Were in position to go for it tonight if we wake up at 1:00 in the morning and its clear. So please keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best, all the team is excited about this, unfortunately Trent is feeling under the weather, I think he has some kind of flu bug, hopefully hell get over that, his fever broke about an hour ago, so were keeping our fingers crossed that he is going to be able to join us on our summit push. Winds have come up, but we are looking at a small patch of blue in the west and that is where most of the wind comes from here on Elbrus, deep in the Caucus Mountains. So were thinking of you at home and we know youre thinking of us and checking in and seeing how were doing. So ciao for now from all of the team of Vernonators.

July 31, 2005
Hello there cybernauts, this is Vernon and the Vernonators high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus. Today we had a wonderful day hiking up to Pastukov Rocks at 15,143 feet above seas level, we could see all the Caucuses. It was a beautiful clear day and everybody was ecstatic. Everybody was in good health and feeling good. I think we are acclimatizing well and looking forward to the next day when we actually move up high to the hut on the ridge. So stay tuned and follow along with us as we climb the highest mountain in Europe. Ciao for now from the whole team, thinking of you.

July 30, 2005
Hello there cybernauts, this is Vern Tejas, with the Vernonators, high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus. Hey we woke up today, we loaded all of our gear and we took the trams up the hill and we are now located at about 12, 143 feet above sea level. All the team is very happy to be here and we even took our acclimatization walk, we put on our crampons and the ropes and walked out on the glacier and I was reading and stepped into a crevasse, it was quite interesting, fortunately I was able to pull myself out and then we continued on our way. One of the things that took place this afternoon was a great card game of hearts and a little bit of snowboarding and just recently, right after dinner, we had a concert of Russian folk songs, it was quite wonderful to hear the beautiful chords being played by these gentlemen. Its a fantastic experience. The weather is clear right now, however we understand that there is a storm headed our way, so please keep your fingers crossed and pray for good weather. Thats all for now, ciao.

July 29, 2005
Hello Cyberviewers, Blessed again by good weather, the "Vernonaters" tromped up to a nearby observatory to get a good view of things. Perched at 10,143 ft., we had a commanding vista of the whole Baksan Valley. Our bodies are getting used to the thin air so tomorrow we will push up to our first camp. Discussion today focused on how to breathe correctly and who had the coolest tunes. So, you see how challenging this mountaineering can be. Stay tuned. Sound of music, Vern Tejas 23

July 28, 2005
Hey Cyberfolks, High on the hill we hiked today as part of our acclimatization process. We hopped a ride on the Cheget chair lift to get above treeline on this near perfect day. We were cheered to see so many flowers blooming across the alpine tundra. The team is strong so we made good time up to our mini summit at 11,143ft. Here we had lunch and sunbathed while taking in the gorgeous view of Mt. Elbrus on the other side of the valley. A few snowballs were thrown but it was all in fun To Life, Vern

July 27, 2005
Hello friends, family and loved ones, Big day for the "Vernonators" as we crossed the the longitudinal span of Russia, from the Baltic to the Caspian Seas. At five our groggy crew left for the airport and by mid-morning we were in Mineral Vody. We grabbed a bite to eat and then loaded a southbound for the Caucasus. The team has show a fondness for ice cream especially in the southern heat. We were relived as our bus climbed up to the higher altitude (7,143ft)of the Baksan Valley. The team is bonding well over cards and the telling of our life stories. It's a great group of folks. Cody, Lauren and Bob are all from Alaska so I'm feeling right at home. Adam and Paul give us a sense of back East sophistication. David has got the Latin thing going strong while Trent, Roy and Tom all representative of West Coast relaxed. Everyone is comfortable and ready for adventure. And we hope you are too, so stay tuned for the further adventures of the "Vernonators". Cheers, Vern Tejas

July 26, 2005
Hello Cybernauts, The Vernonators toured the most beautiful city in Russia today. We soaked up its ambiance at all of its historical sites, taking in the fortress of Peter and Paul and the marvelous Church of the Spilt Blood. This cathedral rivals the ornate beauty of St. Basil's in Moscow. We were stuffed with culture when we emerged from the Hermitage, perhaps the most complete art museum in the world. Another great feast of Russian food capped off our day early so we can make our sunrise get away tomorrow. Cheers, Vern Tejas 143

July 25, 2005
Hey there friends family and loved ones, this is Vern Tejas checking in for Alpine Ascents' second trip to Mount Elbrus. Everybody has made it in and most of our luggage has, so we;re feeling really good about that. We're currently trying to get over some jet lag and getting to bed early because we have a full day of touring in the beautiful city of St. Petersburg. We've discussed this around the table and we;ve decided that our team name is going to be the Vernonators. Sort of like Terminators, but with a slight twist in it, and honest, I didn't come up with this name. So please stand by for the further adventures of the Verninators on Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in all of Europe, ciao for now and stay tuned.

July 24, 2005
Hey Cybernauts, This is the Mountain Mob saying thanks for following our adventures. We have lots to be grateful for yet I think most importantly we come back safe and have made new friends. This is success in my book. As you read, team members are winging their way back home to you. I hope to see you all in the mountains. "To The Summit" Vern Tejas 143

July 23, 2005
Hello There friends, family and loved ones, We last left the Mountain Mob peacefully snoozing in a really cool Stalinesque hotel on the banks of the Moskova(Moscow)river. Yet their guide had no intention of letting them sleep when there was a whole capital to be explored. So, it was up early and off to tour the fair city. We took in the Kremlin, the largest cathedral in Russia, Red Square, St Basil's, The war memorial and so many statues we couldn't remember them all. After a sumptuous meal we were off shopping on the walking mall of Old Arbat street and we close out the day with our celabration dinner at the lagest Hard Rock Cafe in Europe. Food was had by all. Cheers, Vern 143 Tejas

July 22, 2005
Hey there Cybercats, The "Montain Mob" mad a big step toward home today. We were up early to get a jump on a day of bus and plane travel. Tweleve hours and a steam bath later we drove into the shining city of Moscova as it is known here. The team was stoked to get a great dinner and head to bed before a day of exploration. Cheers, Vern 143 Tejas

July 21, 2005
Hello Friends, Stellar weather and high spirits filled our day as we hiked up the Skelda valley. The mountains here rival anything that the Alps have to offer with almost no people enjoying them. We took a million photos and did a little sunbathing and bouldering. Mid-day we were teated to a sumptious repast of Shasliek (Shishkabob) and watermelon. We thanked our local guides and cook without whom this would have indeed been a very difficult undertaking. All team members recieved a summit rock and a diploma for their efforts. And fun was had by all. To discovery, Vern '143' Tejas

July 20, 2005
Hello Cyberoids, The MOB got down. A spectacular sunrise got us up and out of bed. And a long leisurely breakfast got us motivated to descend from the roof of Europe. Lot's of photos throughout our descent fully document our joyous feelings of accomplishment and gratefulness at being allowed to scale this beautiful mountain. Then it was time for showers. We all soaked for hours, luxuriating in cleanliness. Then real food and drink occupied our evening...disco music permeating all. To The Showers, Vern Tejas 143

July 19, 2005
Hello there cybernauts, this is the mountain mobsters checking in from the hut. We are back down here at 14,143 feet after a very successful day on the mountain. All of us are in and we are eating and sleeping, which we will be doing for a little while. We just want to tell you that we are safe and sound and we do really appreciate your prayers and best wishes, they seem to have all paid off in spades for us. Stay tuned for the further adventures of the Mountain Mobsters.

July 19, 2005
Hey there friends family and loved ones, this is the Mountain Mobsters checking in from high on the top of Europe! We had some great success today, we couldn't call you from the summit becasue it is so windy but all team members did make it to the top and are fairly stoked about it. So we're just getting ready to put on our diapers and slide down to our high hut. The big challenge now is to make sure we all get down in on piece. Keep your fingers crossed, don't give up on us quite yet, and we'll see you later on this evening. Ciao for now from the Mountain Mobsters!

July 18, 2005
Hello there cybernauts, this is the Mountain Mob checking in and telling you that we really appreciate your prayers and good wishes for good weather. It seems to be working out. We woke up this morning to crisp and blue skies and the sun has been shining all day, we also moved up from the Barrels to our high mountain hut at 13, 143 feet above sea level. We're able to look up and see the twin peaks above us and we're excited about the option of going up there in clear weather. Today was pretty fun, we were able to practice our self-arrest and everybody looks really pretty in gigantic Depends, which is what the plastic bags look like when we put them on our bodies. The snow here is very wet and very warm, so we have to protect ourselves when we art sliding down with these giant plastic bags and stick a leg through each side and well, they look like giant diapers, anyway you get the understanding of the message of that.

We were also treated to a wonderful concert this evening, I was playing my guitar, when one of the Russians strolled by and he happened to play guitar even a lot better than I do, so I handed it over to him and he started cranking out tunes and before you knew it we had about five or seven Russians in their dining hall singing Russian folk songs and exciting the crowd. So the team had a real Russian evening and we're just getting ready to go to bed right now after a great dinner, we'll be getting up quite early, we're tucking it in and we're hoping for an early launch at 3:00 in the morning. So keep your fingers crossed, send your prayers this way for Team Mountain Mobsters heading for the summit, ciao for now.

July 17, 2005
Hello there friends family and loved ones, this is the Mob checking in high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus, the summit and roof of Europe. It was a storm day today, storm, storm, storm, but that didn't keep us from going on our little acclimatization hike, we went all the way up to 14,143 feet before lightning and sleet and hail and snow and all those things that keep the postman going, turned us back. So we came back down and had a great lunch, bailed into bed and napped this afternoon, read books, played games, talked about things amongst ourselves and generally had a great time. We're hoping that the storm blows through because it is giving us fits and is going to make it very difficult for a summit attempt, if it doesn't start clearing off. So keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned tomorrow when the Mob ascends Mount Elbrus, ciao for now.

July 16, 2005
Hello there cybernauts, this is the Mob, reporting in from 12,000 feet, high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus. We're at a place called the Barrels, which just a collection of large fuel drums, big enough that we can actually live inside them. So we're sleeping inside very round-type trailers at 12,143 feet above sea level and we're looking at really reasonable weather, we can see the Caucuses here and it's a downright beautiful, beautiful mountain range. Everybody is starting to feel the altitude a little bit, so we went out on an acclimatization hike today and a couple members decided to take a deeper look into what the glacier is made out of, but for the most part it was very good for our acclimatization, people are coming along with their breathing, their footwork and good techniques that we're trying to instill within them. Tomorrow, another day of acclimatization, we're going to push up high on the mountain to a place called Pastukov Rocks, so please stay tuned for the further adventures of the Mountain Mob, ciao for now.

July 15, 2005
Hello Cybersurfers, The "mob"was at it again. We spent our day acclimatizing by trekking up to an observatory at 10,143ft. The views were awesome with lots of sun and eagles soaring all around us. Team members are adapting well and remain in good spirits despite my bad jokes. Everyone is anxious to start up the mountain which is our mission for tomorrow. Stay tuned. "To The Summit" Vern Tejas

July 13, 2005
Hey Cybercats, The Mountain Mob hit the trail early today. By 5:00am we were on the way to the airport with a truckload of gear. There we hopped a fast plane to Mineral Vody, The Gateway to the Caucasus, in the South of Russia. Loaded a big bus and we proceeded into the very heart of this spectacular range. We taken up residency in a private hotel on the outskirts of the the Cheget ski resort. This will be our base of operations for the next few days. The team is happy to start our acclimatization process this early as we are living at 7,143ft above see level. Adapting now is our main focus. A big hello to the great Midwest from Lisa and team. Ciao for now! Vern Tejas

July 12, 2005
Hey there cybernauts, The "Mountain Mob" was on tour today. St. Petersburg delighted the team with stellar weather so we could see her finest sights at there best. We were treated to a real Russian orthodox mass at the chapel of Peter and Paul fortress. This only happens a few times a year so we were indeed fortunate. A visit to St. Issac's Cathedral (4th largest in the world), the Church of the spilt blood and the battle ship Aurora filled our morning. After a sumptious lunch we explored The Hermitage, home of the world most extensive art collection. This city truly does have a lot to offer. Mike had his passport returned to him after it was AWOL for 36 hours so that was a real relief. And at dinner we discovered that Rich was quite a talented traditional Russian folk dancer when the singer at our resturant ask him to get up and dance....nice legs Rich. Cheers Vern 143 Tejas

July 11, 2005
Hello there friends, family and loved ones, This is Vern Tejas reporting live from St. Petersburg Russia for our first Mt Elbrus expedition of the season. We are the "Mountain Mob"and we are ready to rock. All members, and better still, all of luggage have arrived in good shape. We just had a great welcome meal where we got to know one another. Several of our group are here representing the Fred Hutch Cancer team. It's a well rounded team with ages and interests spanning the the spectrum yet they are integrating quite well as we share the common goal of wanting to have a fine adventure. So, stay tuned as we blast off for the great unknown. To Adventure, Vern 143 Tejas

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