2008 Elbrus Cybercast

August 9, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Team Strong calling in for the last time to tell you that we had a wonderful celebration here downtown Moscow. We have explored some of the fine eateries and we are now and only now ready to come home. So please look forward to our imminent arrival back in our homes. We are winging our way as we speak; people are in the air and heading back home to our loved ones for following along and just know that this is a very successful trip, a hundred percent made the top and a hundred percent came back as friends and with all of there body parts. So we are very excited about that and we got a little culture in us as well. So fun was had by all, thanks for joining us, ciao for now.

strong>Note from the office: Cybercasts called in over the weekend will be posted on Monday.
August 8, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Strong, having left the Caucus Region and now safely ensconced in the capitol city of Moscow. It was quite a flight, a long day however the weather has been good and people are in great spirits. We had a great evening dinner over at a small restaurant by our hotel and folks are getting caught up on their sleep so that we can do a tour of Moscow tomorrow. So thank you for following us and just now that we are safe and well and looking forward to exploring Moscow tomorrow. So join us, ciao for now.

August 7, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Strong reporting in from the base of Mount Elbrus. Yes indeed we made it down safely, had glorious celebration party last night with lots shashlik, the local dish. (…transmission break…) enjoying the oxygen down here. We were then able to do a little acclimatization hike down valley to the booming metropolis of Cheget and Terskol. We took a walk through the forest on the way down there and were greeted by many berry pickers and cameras; this seems to be the high season for enjoying the mountains here in Russia. We paid a visit to a little restaurant on a pond and we were able to cast our lines and wet our hooks and Justin was able to pull in a big whopping trout which was immediately tossed on the grill and admired by the rest of us who ate more shashlik. It was a glorious sunny weather and fine mountain views all around everybody enjoyed it immensely and we are looking forward to the new possibility of going to Moscow tomorrow. So join us for the descent all the way down to Mineral Vody and the flight to Moscow and see you there in the capitol city of Russia, ciao for now.

August 6, 2008

Note from the office: The team is down off the mountain and doing well. Some of the team members have already left for Moscow to get a couple of extra days in the city. The rest of the team will head there on Friday.

PS: Special Congratulations to our own Lakpa Rita Sherpa

August 5, 2008

Hello there friends family and loved ones this is Team Strong and they are strong on mountain as well because today was very inclement and we got all things thrown at us; hail, sleet, snow and lots of wind however even in white outs we were not deterred and we were able to forge our way up to the very top of the European high point at 5143 or about 18,300 above sea level. We were able to stand there for a few moments, take a couple of photos and then run away quick because it was very inclement. Once we made it back to the hut were stricken with cold and fatigue and we were only able to satisfy by jumping in our sleeping bags with hot water bottles and lots of hot soup and finally we came around. We really appreciate the fact that you are following us and wanted to tell you that we love you so ciao for now from high on Elbrus. Please follow our progress as descend the mountain tomorrow so ciao and sweet dreams.

August 4, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Strong calling in from the huts at 13,543 feet above sea level and you know what we are having a great time. We came up early, acclimatized, we set up our tents, people are taking naps because we are getting ready to go to the summit tomorrow. We are in early, we did our ecological tour and basically having a great time so stay with us and stay tune to the further adventures of Team Strong, as we go to the summit the top of Europe. Ciao for now.

August 3, 2008

Hey there friends, family and loved ones Team Strong calling in to tell you of the wonderful fine things that we did today. We got up early because we wanted to catch that nice crusty snow conditions that would make our travelling easy and guess what, it was warm. It was so warm that it was mushy all the way up to Pastukov Rocks however the team moves well and once we got there in the brisk wind we put our shells on over our clothes as not to get wind burnt and then we descended through slushvill. We were slushing one side, the other side we did a little sliding but not so much because it was so wet and we wanted to stay dry and even John without his gaiters was able to make it down through slushvill. So now we are back and just had a wonderful Rena cooked dinner and listened to Justin play guitar and he can rock out, knows all the cords. So stay tuned to the further adventures of Team Strong when tomorrow we go to the hut.

August 2, 2008

Hey there friends family and loved ones this is Team Strong calling in from high on the flanks of Mount Elbrus, the highest point in Europe. We are up at 12,500 ft and we got that way by riding up the lifts, we took the tram to another tram to the chair. We got all the way up here and decided to have a wonderful lunch, Rena our cook fixed us up soup and cookies and sandwiches and then we went exploring. It is nice to get acclimatized so we dropped down on the glacier and walked through two crevasse fields and in the process in the middle where it was nice and safe we did self arrest practice (…transmission break…) A number one, they got the position. So join us tomorrow when we go to Pastukov. Ciao for now.

Note from the office: cybercasts called in over the weekend will be posted on Monday
August 1, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones, Vern Tejas reporting in from Elbrus. We are on a wonderful acclimatization day today; we went all the way down to Cheget and took the (…transmission break…) from there we walked the ridge and got amazing views as the clouds lifted on the lower route on Elbrus and also the valley below and the mountains across. We did orientation studies and we also talked about positive pressure breathing. The team has learned a lot already and are eager for more. So please stay with us as we climb this mountain. We still havent seen Andrews bags yet from KLM so hopefully that will be coming soon and just keep your fingers crossed and best wishes that Andrews equipment catches up to him. In the meantime we are all thinking of you at home and all team members are well, a little but weary from all of our acclimatization hikes but other than that we are ready to go up the mountain so join us tomorrow as we go up on Elbrus, ciao for now.

July 31, 2008

Good evening friends, family and loved ones Team Elbrus calling in, just wanted to report that things are really getting acclimatized today. Another challenging day of rain but we kind of avoided most of it and we were able to do our gear check in the morning and then did our acclimatization hike or course a little later. It was good we actually got to about 11,000 ft on the observatory side of the valley and people were moving well, feeling the altitude but we did several seminars on positive pressure breathing, pace and understanding what the mountain environment is all about. A little bit of orientation and everyone knows exactly where we are and what we are doing and how we to do it. So stick with us as we get we further acclimatized in the Baskan Valley and proceed to prepare for our ascent of Mount Elbrus, ciao for now.

July 31, 2008

Hey there friends, family and loved ones this Alpine Ascents, Team Elbrus, we are working on a name so stand by. We have all gotten to the Baksan Valley now, we had a big day of transport and we were joined by Andrew last night and unfortunately his gear did not join us but he is keeping a stiff upper lip and making due the best he can. We just wanted to report that we got here, we are safe and we appreciate you tuning in. Tomorrow we are going to start acclimatizing to this new elevation and we would love for you to join with us. So ciao for now from Russia with love.
July 29, 2008

Hello friends, family and loved ones.

All team members sans Andrew have arrived safe and sound albeit slightly jet lagged. We expect Andrew to join us tonight after dealing with an unforeseen transportation delay. Our day was spent touring St. Petersburg on the Baltic sea. This Northern Venice is spread over 42 estuary islands and provides for open water port access even in winter. For three hundred years this city was the capital of Russia. Many palaces, cathedrals and even a fort gave us plenty to explore. And of course, there's the world famous Hermitage museum which begs for days of discovery. Our sampling of such wonders have us craving for more. The team looks to be fun loving yet capable so we have a good chance of standing on top of Elbrus the highest mountain in all of Europe. Please join in for the adventure.
Team Members:
Nancy, Karen, John B, Justin, Jamie, John K, Michael, John L, Michele, Andrew, Mats, Zev.

All our best,

Vern Tejas
July 27, 2008

Hello there friends family and loved ones,

Our adventure is complete with a delightful tour the capital city of Moskova(Moscow). We toured the Kremlin, visited Red square and took in the lovely panoramic view from above town. A bit of shopping and dinning fills the bill and we are ready to tuck in early so we can return home to you. The team is healthy and happy to have fulfilled our mission. We have enjoyed a safe and successful(100% summited)climb and gotten to learn a little bit about this intriqueging culture. Russia and her mountains have been good to us and we look forward to more adventures.

Thank you for joining us for our expedition and we hope to climb with you soon.

All our best,

Vern Tejas

July 25, 2008

Hey there friends family and loved ones this Team Elbrus deep in the heart of Moscow. We are back to civilization, we took a long, long flight from Mineral Vody up to the big city of Moscow quite enjoyable to be here with hot water and good food and interesting night life. So we have been enjoying the sights and the sounds of the big city and tomorrow we are going to be going on tour of the city and find some of the highlights of the big city of Moscow. So please join us and enjoy with us. Ciao for now, hope that everybody is doing good.
July 24, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Team Elbrus calling in from Azau right at the base of the mountain. We had a day of de acclimatization and we decided to hiking an ice climbing. The ice was good and all members who went ended up climbing to the top; we did multiple pitches and then ate a lunch, got a picnic out by the roaring river coming out of the end of the glacier then moseyed back to town. We took a little nap and prepared ourselves for a big celebratory dinner of shashlik. Shashlik is a local traditional food here it is very similar to shish kabob either lamb or chicken and we just ate it all so we had a great time. We finished off the evening with music and laughter and a few rounds of singing and dancing so thanks joining us for this part of the climb. Now tomorrow we are going to head to the big city of Moscow so join us there, ciao for now.

July 23, 2008

Hey there friends, family and loved ones we are calling in from Azau at the base of Mt. Elbrus. We have made it down, we have taken our showers and we are in great spirits. We spent the afternoon fishing and it has been quite lovely. Tonight some of the climbers have gone out and our enjoying the wonders of the town and then we are going to get to bed and then hopefully do a little ice climbing tomorrow. So join us tomorrow and ciao for now.

July 22, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Elbrus reporting back at the hut. We just spent the whole day and part of the early morning hours ascending Mt. Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. It was a lovely day, full moon up above and beautiful sunrise. We started at night and it wasnt very cold as a matter of fact it was one of the warmest ascents that I have ever made. People were enjoying it and they thought that I was crazy that I had them bring their down coats but quickly they tossed them and we were able to move on up, took lots of breaks, enjoyed ourselves and every member in the team actually summitted. We must of spent 30 minutes at the summit taking photos of each other. So we wish that you could have been there, it was great and now diving into the tent and taking a nap to make up for all that sleep that we were deprived last night when we got up at 2:30 in the morning. Stand by for the further adventures as we descend the highest mountain in Europe. Ciao for now.

July 21, 2008

Hey there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Elbrus and we just want to say that we have been able to move up to our high camp outside the Pruitt Hut. We are having an excellent acclimatization day; we have now explored the old plaque rock which is where a lot of monuments have been left for fallen climbers. We have also dropped down and taken a look at the new Pruitt Hut, they are in the process of rebuilding the ancient one that burned down about nine years ago. It is going to be interesting to see how that changes climbing here. All of the climbers are felling much more acclimatized than they have for the last couple of days, everyone slept really well. We are looking forward to going to bed early tonight and taking off real early the following morning. Everyone is in great spirits and looking forward to the climb, so please stay tuned and see what happens tomorrow when Team Elbrus attempts Elbrus. So ciao for now and see you soon.

July 20, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this Team Elbrus reporting in on our progress that we have made. We are now camping at the barrels at about 12,500 ft and we have acclimatizing, today we went up to the Pastukov Rocks about 15,000 feet above sea level. We got a good work out the weather has been wonderful, the team has been wonderful and everything seems to be wonderful so we are W-cubed up here on Mt. Elbrus. We are planning tomorrow to head up to the Pruitt Hut and get further acclimatized so please tune in and stay tuned to this station right on your dial at www.alpineascents.com. Ciao for now.

July 19, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Elbrus reporting in from the barrels, located about 12,000 feet on the side of Mt. Elbrus. We were able to move all of our supplies and all of climbing gear and all of our camping gear up by using the tram that goes up by the ski resort. We moved it right into what usually is used for the Russian Olympic Ski team dormitories, a place we call the barrels. We moved in and then when out for an acclimatization hike; we used ropes, crampons, ice axes and we were able to drop down and go through a crevasse field just below the barrels. We then headed up a slope that allowed us to practice our self arrest technique, everyone progressed quite rapidly, I think because the of buoyant spirits and wanting to know how to stop themselves should they have an accidently slip on the mountain and best motivated they were able to learn the techniques quite quickly. Teams spirits are high and Georgina is very happy that it the word is getting out to her family that things are going great with the climb. We have had crystal clear weather today and sun burn is actually one of our biggest concerns and we can see from above us looming high in the northern sky both the east and the west summit, the west is the highest in Europe. So we are on location and getting the techniques under our belt and getting acclimatized. So with good weather hopefully on the way we should got shot at this thing. So please keep your fingers crossed and stay tuned to the further reports of our Mt. Elbrus Team.

Note from the Office: Cybercasts called in over the weekend will be posted on Monday.
July 18, 2008

Hey there friends, family and loved ones, Team Elbrus calling in from a day of acclimatization and (…transmission garbled…). Yes indeed it started raining last night after I cybercasted and it continued throughout most of the day today. The time pulled together and we were still able to get our acclimatization hike up to the observatory and we got our mandatory altitude so everybody is ready to go up on the mountain on the mountain which we should do tomorrow. So please stand by and tune in for that. I just want to say that throughout the group we see a lot of encouragement, they are very strong, eager, well trained and believe it or not in the rain today, even on our way down when the spirits would normally be low they were strong and happy and buoyant so I am really impressed with this team. So join us tomorrow when we actually go up on Mt. Elbrus, ciao for now. Good night.

July 17, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones, Team Elbrus reporting in from Azau at the base of Mt. Elbrus. (…transmission break…) and we were able to go for an acclimatization hike down in Cheget. We actually walked through the forest down there along the riverside, it was quite nice listening to the birds sing and seeing all of the lovely flowers that tend to bloom this time of year. We took the chairlift the up to the café, jumped out there and walked up to the rest of the mountain ridge that over looks the Terskol Valley. We had a great time, people are in good spirits, we got good acclimatization hiking up there, a little weary in the feet but everybody is in great spirits and we are looking forward to more acclimatization before we actually move up on to the mountain. So stand by and stay tuned for the adventures of Team Elbrus. Ciao for now.

July 16, 2008

Hello there friends, family and loved ones, Vern Tejas reporting for our Elbrus climb. I just want to update everyone, we have now just left the fair city of St. Petersburg and gone to the airport and flown for three hours to the wonderful agricultural town of Mineral Vody. (…transmission break…) took a bus and drove several hours to the south into the Caucus Mountains. We are now on location at the base of Mt. Elbrus in a small town called Azau. (…transmission break…) that ultimately in a few days will take us up the mountain. Tomorrow we have got plans for an acclimatization hike so I want you to join us for that. Just know that all the team members here are excited to be here, enjoying our new hotel, eating well and staying hydrated. Please join us (…transmission break…) here on Mt. Elbrus.

July 15, 2008
Hello there friend, family and loved ones, Welcome to the Mount Elbrus cybercast.

All of our team and equipment have arrived in the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg, Russia. Our expedition is comprised of Bill, Joe, Michael, Stuart, Mohamad, Chris, Georgina, Jeff, Pam, Jason and Joe. All are strong and rearing to go.

We spent the day taking in the sights this historical "Venice of the North". The Orthodox cathedrals are truly overwhelming and along with the fort filled our morning with wonder. A fine lunch put us in the mood for museums and "The Hermitage", one of the most respectable, was enjoyed by all. Please enjoy our adventure to the highest point in Europe by checking in on us frequently right here.

To the Summit, Vern Tejas

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