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What’s in Adrian’s Closet?

 

“Frostbite is Failure” Interview with Adrian Ballinger: A run-through of every climbing shoe and mountain boot in his arsenal.

Mountain guides may be the most shoe-obsessed people on the planet. From rock shoes to 8,000m boots, every shoe has an ultra-specific purpose. In this interview, Adrian walks us through his favorite La Sportiva footwear for each climbing discipline. Have you ever wanted to take a peek inside Adrian’s closet? This is your chance!

Tahoe Via Ferrata TX4 Approach Shoe

“There are two reasons I really like this shoe for the 

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Summit on Elbrus

Summit of Elbrus at 5:30am local time

Successful summit for Jim on Elbrus! 

We’re a little behind on posting this blog, because the guys moved so fast! Gaspar and Jim took advantage of a small weather window on Friday morning and decided to make a bid for the summit. They took off in the dark and working together as a team they made the summit at 5:30am in time to catch an incredible sunrise. Gaspar said they had no wind and clear sky’s, making for a great climb.

Homeward Bound

The guys made quick work of their descent and in…

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From Russia with Love

We have a special team in Russia this season with just one guide and one very strong client. Gaspar Navarrete is leading the charge with Jim Walker right behind him. The target is Elbrus, and the guys are making great progress already.

Before they even arrived…

Jim and Gaspar

For his final training push, the week before leaving for Russia Jim climbed a 14’er in Colorado to get prepped for the fast expedition. This is a fantastic way to get the body ready for higher altitudes and something we always recommend to our climbers. If you can fit it…

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Successful Summit of Mount Elbrus

Our expedition team summited Mount Elbrus (18,510′ / 5642m) yesterday morning. Elbrus is one of the seven summits and it is the highest point in Europe. Despite the lack of a view from the summit, the team still had a lot to celebrate! CHEERS to a strong team and a successful summit!

On summit day the team woke around 3 AM for a quick breakfast and hot drink. A snow-cat took them to their previous highpoint at Pastukhov Rocks (15,000′ / 4572m). From there it was almost 4,000 vertical feet (1,220 meters) to the summit of Elbrus, primarily on open moderately angled glaciers. They…

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Update from Barrels Camp on Elbrus

Today the team begins their actual climb of Mt. Elbrus. Through a combination of ski lifts and hiking they arrived at The Barrels, cozy mountain huts at 12,300′ / 3750m on Elbrus. To ensure they stay well fed and healthy, they have a Russian cook with them at the huts preparing mountain food and making the stay more comfortable.

Lead guide, Zeb, reported that the food continues to be awesome. After their hike they had BBQ chicken kebabs, fresh tomato and cucumber salad, homemade bread and the local specialty: ice cold 5642 beer (the summit of Elbrus in meters). Also the team continues to enjoy good(but hot) weather. Tomorrow they will…

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Getting to Mount Elbrus

Photos: Zeb Blais

Day 3: The team took a short flight to Mineral Voldy and traveled by bus to Terskol in the Baksan Valley. This short flight should gave them excellent views of the Caucasus Mountains and their first peek of Mount Elbrus. The bus ride was 3-4 hours but passed quickly with the stunning views. The hotel in Terskol is next to the ski lifts, and has excellent local and international food. All is good so far!

Day 4: The team did an acclimatization hike up Cheget today, one of many before the they climb Mount Elbrus (18,510′ / 5642m) next…

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Successful SUMMIT on Mount Elbrus!

Photos: Ben Mitchell
Successful SUMMIT for our Elbrus expedition team!! Everything went smooth for the climb and everyone summited. The team is psyched and safely back down at the hotel, showered and relaxing. CHEERS to a strong team!

Mount Elbrus is a dormant double-coned volcano, rises to 18,510′ / 5642m. Its double peaks tower over the stunning western Caucasus Region of Russia, near the border of Georgia. Elbrus is the highest point in all of Europe (& Russia), making this climb one of the renowned ‘Seven Summits’.

 

For more information on our…

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Elbrus Summit Push Is Happening!

Text & Photos: Ben Mitchell

“Day 9: Had a good day today. Weather was clear, a bit windy at our high point. A fair number of climbers on the route today. High winds up high kept the summit numbers around 50%. The team climbed to 4800 meters at the top of Pushnakov rocks. Everyone felt good on the hike and moved well. We are taking a full rest day tomorrow and planning to climb the following morning!

 

 

 

 

Day 10: Great rest day. We took the gondola down and went to the sauna for a quick soak…

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Elbrus Expedition Update From Barrels Camp

Text & Photos: Ben Mitchell
“Day 5: Good hike today. We went up Cheget. Rode two chairlifts and hiked to 3400 meters to acclimatize. Then we had lunch at the mid station and the clouds cleared. We got our first views of Elbrus. Beautiful hike and awesome valleys. Everyone did great.

Day 6: Went on a great acclimatization hike to 4340 m. We are moved into the Barrels Camp here at 3840 meters. The weather is socking in here and moderate to strong winds and snow. Planning a rest and training day tomorrow and possibly moving summit day up…

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Updates From Moscow

Text & Photos: Ben Mitchell

“Day 2: Fun day here. Went on a tour of the city this morning. Focused on the Kremlin and Red Square then drove around looking at greater Moscow. This city is amazing for the history, excellent infrastructure, and beautiful modern section as well. We have been blown away at every turn by what Moscow has to offer.

 

 

 

 

 

We sampled the metro by traveling across town in an effort to get tickets to the confederations cup soccer match, only to end up watching in a local bar. However, I…

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