August 26 Boudreaux and Thibodeaux on the Glacier at 15,000 Feet

Ok, I am calling you now on the 26th of August. The members of this group are from Michigan, Colorado, Cayman Islands, Texas, Washington, New York and also South Louisiana. I’d note that the South Louisiana people are transplanted from places like Ontario, Alberta and North Dakota - but this group of guys from Oceaneering, who are involved with engineering projects offshore and underwater around the world, have been in South Louisiana as well as Brazil and other places in recent years.

We talk a lot about South Louisiana culture, in particular, these two characters from South Louisiana folklore who I’ve heard all my life: Boudreaux and Thibodeaux. We have heard a lot of stories about these guys, which they take in their adventures around the world.

Today we started up from the Barrels, just over 12,000 feet for the Refuge. The group split up as the pace was not very even and we got all spread out. At the Refuge Boudreaux and Thibodeaux (that would be Norb Gorman and Wally Berg), took over the pace setting. The rest of the way up the glacier we kept a slow even pace, the justification being that back home in the swamp the alligator would get somebody in the group who wouldn’t stick together and that’s what we are doing here today.

We are up at the base of Pastukhov Rocks - virtually at 15,000 feet. It is cold and pretty windy and I can’t say that we can see too much of the twin summits of Elbrus today. But we are getting acclimatization with this walk and we’ll return now back to the Refuge where Nadia is going to have some food waiting for us. We’ll sit around this afternoon and see how we feel. Sometime in the next 48 hours, Boudreaux and Thibodeaux and the entire group are going to start up the glacier and are going to try to go all the way to the summit of Mount Elbrus.

Above: Comet Hale-Bopp over Mt. Elbrus from Pik Terskol, Caucasus, April '97. ©"Observers",