Elbrus 2019 – Climb & Punishment Ready to Climb

Comrades, Family & Loved Ones,

No punishment yet for Team Climb & Punishment— the weather (and the team members) continue to be fantastic.

This morning, we did some skills training to prepare for our summit bid. We practiced clipping into and out of the fixed lines that are on our route, self-arrest, and practiced some footwork techniques to use on steeper terrain.

Now, we’re ready to launch our summit bid early tomorrow morning (breakfast will be served at 12:45 am). The weather looks like it’s going to cooperate and the Team is excited to get started.

We’ll keep you posted!



Elbrus 2019 – Team Climb & Punishment At Pastakov Rocks

Comrades, Family & Loved Ones,

What better way to acclimatize on Mount Elbrus than by hiking up to Pastakov Rocks? That’s what we did after breakfast this morning. It took us about 6 hours round trip, from our hut up to over 15,000 feet. The Team looks strong and their climbing technique was very solid.

We took some rest breaks along the way— amazing views all around. We finished the day by continuing our discussion about some exciting ideas for some new products related to… the fitness industry. Can’t disclose too much at this point but perhaps the Team members can fill you in on some of the details once they get home.

Tomorrow, we will review some skills that we will use on our summit bid the following day.

Ciao for now!



Elbrus 2019 – Team Climb & Punishment Moves Up

Comrades, Family & Loved Ones,

The team got high today— We moved from our hotel in the valley in Terskol up to our mountain hut at 12,500 feet. Once here, we went for a walk up to the site of the old Priutt 11 Hut at 13,200 feet. The weather was so nice that we hung out there for awhile and took a nice break before heading back down to our hut for lunch. After lunch, we had time to rig our climbing Ys— the device that we will use to clip into the fixed lines above the saddle on summit day.

Right now, much of the team is engaged in an intense round of cards— the competition is fierce. We’re all doing well and looking forward to hiking up to Pastakov Rocks at over 15,000 feet tomorrow.

Thanks for following!



Elbrus 2019 – Team Climb & Punishment with Another Beautiful Day

Comrades, Family & Loved Ones,

It was another stellar day for an acclimatization hike, so we left our hotel right after breakfast and headed up the hill across the street.

After a short time on a gravel road, we veered off onto a steep trail into the woods. Beautiful wildflowers surrounded us. We took several breaks to admire the views (pictured below). And before we knew it, we had reached the watchtower near the observatory, our highpoint for the day.

We gained a very respectable amount of elevation and felt very lucky to be able to enjoy such wonderful views.

Tomorrow we will head up to our hut on the mountain. Looking forward to it!



Elbrus 2019 – Team “Climb and Punishment” Acclimatizes

Comrades, Family & Loved Ones,

There was no punishment today for Team Climb and Punishment. We had a bluebird day for our first acclimatization hike up Cheget Ridge. Warm, sunny, not a cloud in the sky. We hiked, talked, relaxed in the sun and got some great views of a Elbrus. We sat outside at lunch and feasted on the local specialties: grilled meats and veggies with salad and khichin (a savory pancake filled today with potatoes and cheese).

This afternoon, we did our gear check. Everybody came very well prepared so no issues there.

Hoping for similar weather tomorrow for our hike to the observatory on the other side of the valley.

Thanks for following!


I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on the expedition.

Mount Elbrus double-coned summit. Left summit is the highest at 18,510 feet
Russian Orthodox Cathedrals in the Kremlin, Moscow.
Cultural Museum on Red Square, Moscow.
Climbers on an acclimatization hike, with Elbrus in the background.
Looking outside out hotel window at the Caucasus Range. Lucky 7
View from the new Elbrus Huts.
Relaxing at the top of an acclimatization hike, Elbrus in the background.
Snow Cat used to transport gear to our highest hut.
Sunrise on Elbrus summit day.
The last 400 feet to the summit.
High on summit day with the shadow of Elbrus under the full moon.
Ushba, one of the most famous mountains of the Caucasus.
Celebration party after summiting Elbrus.
Climbers high on summit day.
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts
View of the new Elbrus Huts
Eugene and Nicolai, two of our Russian guides.
Sunflower fields outside Mineral Vody, southern Russia.
St. Isaacs Cathedral, St. Petersburg.
Peter and Pauls Fortress, St. Petersburg
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the greatest mueseum of Russia.
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts


  • Guide Trip Report: Denali Traverse

    by Sam Hennessey Climbing in the Alaska Range in late spring sometimes feels like stepping into another world. The endless daylight, and the sheer contrast of Denali towering over the rest of the state gives it an atmosphere like no other. For the last decade, Michael Gardner and I have stared down from the upper […]

  • Epic Climbs That Might Not Be on Your Radar

    ‘Twas the night before Rainier dates were released, when all through the land Many a climber was stirring, contemplating high altitude plans so grand Their crampons were placed in the gear bin with care In hopes to use them on Rainier in weather so fair My timer was set for the exact release time To […]

  • Dear Alpine Ascents: Backcountry Quilts

    Hey Alpine, I’m headed out to Washington in mid-September for a 6-day course (stoked) and I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about backcountry quilts.  Apparently all the cool-kid alpinists are using them.  Can I bring one on my course? Sincerely, Steve House in Training  Hi Steve House in Training, Thanks for reaching out […]

Partners & Accreditations

Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
© Copyright 2021 All Rights Reserved. Alpine Ascents International