2009 Elbrus Cybercast

August 7, 2009
Note from the office: All cybercasts called in over the weekend will be posted on Monday, August 10th.

August 6, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones, checking in from the base of the highest mountain in Europe. Today was a fun filled day of ice climbing and horseback riding of all things, can you believe that. We topped it all of with a celebratory dinner followed by local inebriants and lots of singing (…transmission garbled…) and old Russian Folks Tunes supplied by Ike (group singing). Good bye and goodnight from Terskol, this is Team Poker Face signing off for the night.

August 5, 2009
Hello friends, family and loved ones,

All slept well after yesterdays ordeal. Poker Face was played continuously as we packed for descent to the valley below. A three lift shuffle of climbers and gear ultimately delivered us to hot showers and good food. We then treked down to the local fishing hole and hooked a few. Leanna lead the charge by landing the first of our four brook trout. They tasted great right off the grill....Yummm!. Tonight we'll celebrate.

To The Summit,

Vern Tejas

August 4, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Poker Face reporting in high on the flanks of Mt. Elbrus. Today we were lucky and we learned the value of positive pressure breathing, we got up quite early, I think that it was around 2:30 this morning and packed our stuff got ready to go had a great breakfast, jumped into our boots and away were out the door and up the hill to Grandmothers house we did go. You couldnt have believed it, it was one of the more ideal climbs; full moon, starry night, sunrise mountain shadow and up we went everyone in good spirits, fun had by all, all the way to the very tippy top, the roof of Europe. It was fabulous, you should have been there, we wished that you had been. Then we came down, had a great meal and then slept all afternoon as is usual for us. Everyone topped out which was wonderful and the nap was actually planned in there from the very beginning so once again proper pre planning prevents poor performance so ciao for now from high on the flanks of Mt. Elbrus from Team Poker Face August 3, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team Poker Face calling in from the Huts, high on the flanks of Mt. Elbrus looking down through the cloudy, rainy sky and hoping that they are going to clear up soon because within about five or six hours we are going to be getting up and shooting for the summit. It has been a very action packed day we have spent a lot of time doing the glacier tour and listening to tunes on the ipod, the most strange thing that we did this afternoon of course was change batteries. Stick with us as we climb to the summit, ciao for now.

Addendum from Vernon for our team!

"Unmentioned were the multiple crevasse fields; three team members had in depth study of glaciology, and put to use their exceptional recently acquired training! We were all sustained by My Little Pony snacks. listened to Poker face on the glacier repeatedly. Patricia wishes her Dad, Tom, Happy 71st Birthday. Ramin says hi to A, F,M. Congratulations to Mikie for his spontaneous engagement to Helen and will now be staying in Russia. Ciao for now "

August 2, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones, this is Team Poker Face calling in from high on the flanks of Mt. Elbrus. Yes we had a lot of changes today, one of those changes was our name, we changed from Zaftra which in Russian means tomorrow to Poker Face which everyone knows what that means, it means Lady Gaga yes indeed she is our patron hero of this climb. So Team Poker Face calling in we had a great day, not only did we change our name but Ronnie decided to change his name to Ramin so that is official we are now Team Poker Face and Ronnie is Ramin. So we have now accomplished quite a bit today we climbed all the way up to Pastukov rocks at 15,143 feet above Sea Level then we did a very rapid descent all the way down to our camp by the barrels and had a great lunch. After lunch we went out and practiced self arrest, everybody knows how to do it upside down and backwards so with that in mind we are preparing ourselves for the up coming ascents of the highest point in Europe so please stay with us and Team Poker Face, ciao for now.

July 31, 2009

Hello friends, family and loved ones,

Team Zaftra had a spectacular day in the high country. We hiked up to the observatory above the village of Terscol in brialliant sunshine. The team feels even better today as we further adapt to our increasing elevation. Spirits soared higher yet when we spotted a large Golden eagle rising in thermal uplift. Upon returning to our lodge we packed equipment for tomorrows foray to snowline and the glaciers beyond. Elbrus beckons us, let's go.

To The Summit,
Vern Tejas

July 30, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Team (transmission garbled) recording from the base of Mt. Elbrus. All day we were threatened by stormy skies yet our luck held and we had a very complete acclimatization hike. We headed down valley to the Ski Hill at Cheget where we found a single track up a flowering ridge with so many colorful blooms all around us it was a most pleasant trek. We took our time and stopped regularly for mini seminars on diverse topics from glaciology and geography to breathing techniques. All were happy to be out in the fresh mountain air gaining a 3,500 meter peak with a view. Fun was had by all and we wish that you were here. To the summit – Vern Tejas.

July 29, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas and the Elbrus Team calling in from Azau down in the Baskan Valley. Yes we spent all day leaving St. Petersburg quite early today, we got on airplane and flew all the way to Mineral Vody. We then jumped on a bus, picked up one of the most famous climbers ever, Nikolai Cherni, he turned 70 years old this year, mountain guide, the team was honored to meet him and he took us down to the Basken Valley. Nikolai will be working with us so we have got some really fine guides and fine climbers. Today we spent taking pictures and getting to know one and other, a lot closer a lot better and catching up on a little of our sleep on the way down here. We had a great meal and are now tucking ourselves into bed, we just want you to know that the team is really jazzed to be here, a little more elevation; it is quite warm in St. Petersburg so it is nicer now with the mountain air. Talk to you soon, ciao for now.

July 28, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is the Elbrus expedition checking in from the fair city of St. Petersburg Russia.  We have done the tour today, Ronnie, Jim, Mark, Mike, Larry, Davis, Everett, Martha, Patricia, Leanna and Barbara and myself, Vern Tejas have seen all the wonderful sites that there are to see here. We started off with tours of the churches, we stopped at St. Isaacs, the third largest cathedral in the world then we went to the Aurora Battleship where the revolution started in 1917 by the communist party in Russia.  We also visited the fortress of St. Peter and Paul where the Tsars are buried a very fascinated place, had a great lunch.  Then we moved on to the Hermitage, world class museum and then topped off the day at the base of the Cathedral (transmission garbled…) and had a great dinner there. Everybody is looking forward to getting close to the mountain tomorrow so stick with us as we fly down to Mineral Vody tomorrow.  Ciao for now.

July 27, 2009
Hello there friends, family and loved ones this is Vern Tejas reporting in from St. Petersburg Russia for Alpine Ascents Mt. Elbrus Expedition.  All team members have arrived and all team members’ bags have arrived as well.  We are a very nice, organized group, we have an age range from 16-60 and it looks like it is going to be a great all star cast, very fascinating folks.  So everybody wants to learn and climb and I am just very encouraged by what I see. So stay tuned tomorrow we will be introducing the group and we are also going to be touring St. Petersburg and enjoying the wonderful sites that this town has to offer.  So stay tuned and ciao for now.

 Return to Top of Page