Dream World Adventures, Climb Elbrus
Making your dream adventure holiday a reality
Mount Ebrus Expeditions Dream World Adventure home
Welcome to our Elbrus Blog for our 2012 expedition.

Meet the team

 - Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative) -
- Paul Erskine (
Entrepreneur) -
- Erika Schwaeble (Home executive) -
- Christo Moller (Yacht master) -
- Marisa Caroto (Admin manager) -
- Heidi Marques (Bookkeeper at a law firm) -
- Eldaline Botha (Document manager) -
- Deborah Dragone (Student on sabbatical) -

& all are naturally avid adventurers.......

Follow our Elbrus 2012 blog that will be updated on a daily basis.

Friends and family members are invited to send us messages of encouragement as we will also be posting this on the blog for the group to view when they have a gap.

Just send your message to info@dreamworldadventures.co.za

Thu 09 Aug'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Thu 09 Aug
From Marissa from St Petersburg
We had a loooong day sightseeing in St Pte's.  Walking in the summer Gardens felt more like walking in the Winter Gardens cause it was freezing!!  The Church of the Savoir on Spilled Blood was the highlight of our day with its amazing mosaics, our jaws dropped when we went inside.  All 4 of us tired but very happy (oh and the 8 hour train ride here was veru enjoyable - best sleep we had since arriving in Russia.
Wed 08 Aug'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Wed 08 Aug
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
Waiting at MinVody airport to board our flight to Moscow.  Sad to have left the mountains, but also excited to expereince some more of Moscow.

Hi Elda,Wou net vir oulaas hello sê en groet. Hoop jul reis terug  is net so goed soos die gaan. Kan nie wag om al die stories te hoor nie. Veilig reis en baie liefde!


Tue 07 Aug'12 
Elbrus blog 2012 Tue 07 Aug
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
While you back home are in the last clutches of winter, we were enjoying the beautiful vistas of the Baksan Valley in the warm sunshine.
Whate a lovely walk!

Baie geluk Elda (en die hele team), en dankie vir al die updates, dit was ‘n special belewenis om dit van die kant af mee te maak. Ek is rerig trots op jou! Onthou die klippie ;) en geniet die laaste paar dae.



Hey mommy its Katie I went to the cycling today. I don’t now what place I came but it was fun. I love this blog.but I love u more. I  am missing so much. I am hoping have lot of fun.      LODES OF LOVE KATIE

Hi Deborah

Félicitations je suis contente que vous soyez sur le chemin de re.tour. Figurez-vous qu’il a neigé à  Johannesburg et à Pretoria aujourd’hui! Il fait très froid au Cap.

Bon anniversaire vendredi. J’attends avec impatience la reception le 19 .




Dearest Deborah,

congratulations to your adventure, it does look like a huge achievement, even if the weather did not let you get to the summit.

You were on our thoughts and in our discussions and we miss you.

Bisous et a bientot

Tes meres francaises

Hi there Marissa,  not fair seeing you all in short sleeves.... the entire South Africa is suffering under extreme cold temperatures.  BRRRRRR snow all over ... snowed twice today in jhb.  Passes all over in the Cape closed to traffic.   Have not experienced a cold spell like this in forever.  Maybe it will snow on Mariepskop just for you so that when you get back you wont miss Elbrus too much.  Well dont miss us too much and travel back safely.  Will keep you posted on the weather our end... seems like you may just have the perfect gear when you land at Oliver thambo ... snow boots and all.    Loads of love,  shirls
Mon 06 Aug'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Mon 06 Aug
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
All of us are safely down the mountain.  Sadly the mountain has been closed for any atempt of going higher than 5 000m, so any chance of a possible second attempt of going to the summit has been foiled due to bad weather conditions.
The photo shows our last supper together as Paul has let his homesickness get the better of him!.
Thanks to the team for a wonderful jouney, and to all that send us messages of encouragement.  Tomorrow those who are up for it will take the leisurely stroll nearby and I'll post a pic for you to see.

Hi Elda,

Simpel berg piek!! Tsk! Verlang jou baie, sterk staan!!



Hi Heidi

Congratulations from Team 1 on reaching the summit!!!! We miss you dearly…hope you enjoying every second of it! Don’t forget to take lots of pics…enjoy! Go lightly on the vodka’s lol….Miss you stax J

Mich-Line & Leon


Hi Heidi vanni Berge!

Jy het dit gemaak, baie geluk en geniet die res van jou tyd daar in Rusland en nie te haastig van die berg af nie!

Groete, Leon


Hello Christo en die span!

You guys are all amazing! :)

Christo, wel gedaan met die piek wat jy bereik het - dit lyk VREK koud! Hoop jy geniet elke oomblik!!

Groete uit Durban, Suid-Afrika.

Baie sterkte vir almal vir die res!



Hi Debs,


I hope you are still in good spirits and thoroughly enjoying yourself! I hope you manage to summit today. Jet, Storm & Mushi send you lots of purrs and cuddles & Gareth and I think of you every day wondering what you’re to! Sending you lots & lots of love. Take care of yourself, love you lots, Love Nads xxx


Nadya Josephy-Collins


Hallo Mamma ( Eldaline)

Ek is trots op Mamma verlang baie en kan nie wag vir Saterdag nie.

Liefde Tiaan.


Hallo Eldaline

Almal hier is so trots op julle wat dit al sover gemaak het.

Ons bid elke dag en weet dit is ‘n wonderlike ervaring en belewenis.

ABC of life Attitude Believe and Choice.

Geniet elke oomblik.

Niggie Elzie


Hi Heidi

Dit het vandag gesneeu in JHB en is nou 2.6 grade C. 17h12!!


Leon Spies

Sun 05 Aug'12 
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
Sadly our summit bid was plagued by bad weather! High winds, hail and fresh powder snow made going extremely difficult.  Despite this Heidi and Christo made the team proud by reaching the summit with Viktor (Russian Guide).
Myself with Eldaline & Debs in tow were heading up the slope, only to be wildly gestured at by the Rescue Rangers to turn around.  What disappointment. My motto - summits are for the ego,  mountaineering is for the soul - holds true for each member of the team of whom I am immensely proud!!.

Dear Marisa and Erika,   Well done girls.  You may not have made it to the top but your are hero’s in our eye’s even attempting such a gruelling climb and for having got so far -  we salute you!!!!!!!    hope you are still in one piece and able to truly enjoy the rest of the trip.  Rose,  look after our girls and keep posting those group pics on the blog – we really appreciate seeing where they are.  To the rest of the team, well done and enjoy your last days in glorious Russia.  Shirley-Anne.

Sat 04 Aug'12

Today is an acclimatization hike up to Pastukhov Rocks (4 700m).  The slow plod to this higher elevation also aids in getting acquainted with gear, especially crampons, heavy plastic boots and ice axes – foreign objects to many in the group that could be mistaken for weapons. It is amazing how fast one learns crampon technique and the usefulness of an ice axe for self-arrest!


The 360 scenic panoramas of the Caucasus Range are breathtaking in more ways than one! 


Back down at the hut all focus will be on getting well fed, hydrated and having a decent night’s sleep in preparation for tomorrow’s summit bid – weather permitting naturally! Hold thumbs!

Elbrus blog 2012 Sat 04 Aug
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
All the group members in good spirits. We are planning to make our final ascent tomorrow as reports of bad weather coming in later might prevent an atempt later in the week.  Hold thumps as if all goes to plan we will be standing on the summit of Mt. Elbrus by tomorrow!!

Hi El~ So you are keeping everyone laughing???  Good for you..and them!  :-)  Hope the storms hold off until your team makes the summit!  Take care..Janice

To Heidi -

hi you Brave Girl,

By the time you read this you and the team will have summited.   Congratulations!!!!!!!!!.   Thanks for keeping in touch via smses.  just sorry we could not reply directly, do not have roaming!!!   We will be thinking about you all at 9am  when you summit tomorrow.  Trust that the weather holds for you all and that you enjoy and cherish the moment!!!!   Have a fantastic time sightseeing and bring back just great memories of a short time that has gone too fast when u get home and realise its gone but then remember there are many good times ahead to be had by such a dynamic and goalistic minded gal as we know you are!!!!!!! Oliver also knows u are coming home, u know how clever he is!!   so for now my girl and the team enjoy your much deserved holiday after all your hard work!! you deserve it, just hope you have not all had too much borsche and blinys!!!   what the hell when you work that hard you can have anything thats good for de mouth and de body!! or what???? enough nonsense now enjoy all u guys can!!!   lotsa love SD & your ol ma xxxxxxxxxxx

To Erika - Hi mommy its Katie. I don’t even know what to say I’m so sad. I want u to come home now and right this minute because I am tooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Sad. I luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuv u so much. Lots of love Kate.


To Misa - Ek hoop jy is nog op die berg jy beter wees vasbyt amper daar. Johnny


HI Rosie,keep that heart and lungs pumping cant wait for next update with pics R


To Marisa Caroto - Hello aunty! Hope u walking lekker! We kuiering on ouma se stoep ...

The uncle manny clan, the nel clan, oumi and ur two boys. Strongs! We proud of you! Luv u! Sissi and Rhinoceros

Fri 03 Aug'12
 Elbrus blog 2012 Fri 03 Aug

Elbrus blog 2012 Fri 03 Aug

After breakfast they will retrace their steps of yesterday, except this time hiking past Priyut of 11 slightly further us the slope to the Blue Hut (4 080m), base camp for the climb.  Taking it easy in the hut, with a possible afternoon stroll, the team must rest as best possible and look forward to a good dinner and night’s sleep.
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
Had a lovely lunch at Blue Hut & now settling in - this will be home for several days.  A little later we'll have a lesson in ice ax usage!

To Erika - Hi mom I miss u lodes and love u lodes. U cant even believe how much I’m missing u because your to far away. I wish I was with u right now. I can not wait till next week Saturday because u will be home and I just cant wait. U are the best mother ive had and seen and been with.


Hi El,

Thinking of you and the team, me and the boys miss you badly. Everybody  is sending regards (Too many to mention) Enjoy the mountain and REMEMBER: Self Arrest doesn’t mean you turn yourself into the police station!!! Love Ya!


Chris Botha (M.D.)


Hi Mamma

Lief jou baie.

Mis jou, kan nie wag dat jy terugkom met al die foto’s nie.

Geniet dit. Dankie vir al die geskenkies en boodskappe.

Liefde. Ma is die beste ma!!!!



Dear Erika,

Wishing you all the very best for the next few days as you and the group take on the next step of this expedition. Although there is Olympic fever here in London it certainly takes second place to your challenge in conquering the magnificent Mount Elbrus. It appears from the comments that that you are quite the entertainer and doing more sliding than walking. That’s my girl !!! Well keep them laughing and be of good cheer. Do your best to keep focused and persevere when you start the climb. Have a lovely time and savour the moment and remember that I’m very proud of you. When I get back to Hoedies I’ll get Justin and Kate to send you another message. Good luck………..

Take care and be safe,

Love Georg


Hi Deb and all the team

Well Done!!!!!! What I can see in that pic are VERY BIG SMILES! Yay!  You are all looking so revved and ready to go!

All the very best for the rest of the journey and keep  those smiles and spirits up when they feel a bit wobbly


Us 3



To Marissa - Hi there my precious friend,

Thinking of you as you start the final ascent to the peak of Elbrus.  It is the most wonderful weather at the moment – cool evenings and hot days.  Hopefully only just over 2 days left for you before you can start coming down to enjoy the last few days out of the snow.  Hang in there girl and make sure you eat your carbs --  dont want miss out of the view from the top!!!  Chat again soon.  Loads of love from the little dorp.



Hi Heidi,

The blog is great and we are enjoying the progress reports and pics that we are getting.   We wish you and the team all the best weather and look forward to hearing all the stories of a great summit.   Take lots of pics.   We are very proud of you and admire your spirit and dedication towards your goals.

 Love you Lots,


Enjoy with your team.

Ma and SD XXXXX 


Hi Paul - Thinking of you guys tomorrow as you do your final climb , pray all goes well . Everyone (Nelia ) is fine at Spa baths enjoying themselves




To Marisa - Van ma Drien hallo moepsie ons mis jou en hoop dat jy dit geniet en kom veilig terug liefde pa en ma.

Thu 02 Aug'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Thu 02 Aug Elbrus blog 2012 Thu 02 Aug

Today is that 2nd additional day alluded to above which will be put to good use as an acclimatization push.  They will drive to the Azau Glade at the base of Mt. Elbrus and ascend by the Elbrus Cableway , a series of gondolas and a ski-lift, to the Garabashi Station (3 750m) and location of the infamous Barrel Huts. From here they hike further up to the ruins of Priyut (Refuge) of 11 at 4 050m, named after the 11 scientists who used the site as their base.  Originally built in 1929 and later in 1932 enlarged to house 120 people, the hut was raised to the ground in 1998 when climbers preparing a meal accidentally doused a gas stove with fuel, thinking it was water!  While only the cement walls remain, a new ungainly silver-domed hut known as Diesel Hut has been built on the site.

A quick descent via the cableway sees the team back down for lunch.

From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative). 
We came slip-sliding away down the snow slope to the Barrels.  Served for some good laughs all round!!
Turned back just in time before a thunderstorm hit.
Everyone in great spirit! (Thanks Erika &  Eldaline for aiding in that!)

Hi Heidi,

Hope you are enjoying yourself up there in the mountains while we are like couch potatoes watching the Olympics, however we are enjoying them.

We are thinking about you and hope you are progressing and acclimatising for the assent,   Enjoy your bed for the next two nights.  You will be in our thoughts all the time.

Love Ma and SD xxx


Hi Misa

Thinking of you a lot! Ruben is doing fine but doesnt want to admit how much he misses you although he asked me to save all the photos for him on your berry profile updates! Enjoy every moment and stay strong.

Lovies. Tharesa xx AND Ruben!!



Hi Erika,

Just to let you know we are all thinking about you. Missing you stax…. We enjoy the pics that are on the blog - looks like everyone is having a great time.

Hope you are feeling strong after summiting Mount Chegrus.

Have fun and enjoy what is still ahead.

Lots of love Georg and the kids xxxx



The pictures are so beautiful..and you are just getting started! Thinking of you and your climbing buddies..and hope the weather holds perfect for your climb!

Janice A Allison


To my dear Marisa & Erika,

Wishing you all the best for the summit – thinking of you both!

Also - I am very proud to know you ladies – wow – you are truly inspiring.

Kind regards,



Hello Erika

Good luck with this amazing feat. I'll be following your progress and rooting for you.

Lots of Love, Juergen.


Hey Debs,

I hope that all is going well and that you are feeling fit and strong. The photos look incredible.

Just to keep you up to date with your other high-acheiving countrymen - South Africa just got another medal, so that's 3 golds now :)

Thanks for the great bog - lovely to see what you are up to each day. 

Love Em


Babe!! (Ek bedoel Elda!!)

Mis jou vandag baie. Ek stoei ook met jou berg vandag, daai Simpel-Berg-wat-ek-weet-jy-moet-klim-oor-jy-nie-lekker-is-nie, maar-anyway-doen-en-dis-okay.  Maar is net oorlat ek verlang, ignoreer dit maar net.  Wees net veilig, en weet dit is minner lekker met jou so ver weg.




Sterkte met more tot sondag se klim ons dink aan jou en onthou jy moet summit hoor love very much!!!


Wed 01 Aug'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Wed 01 Aug

Elbrus blog 2012 Wed 01 Aug

This year the itinerary has been extended by a couple of days, which was a contingency measure just in case the route from the South was closed like it was last year, to allow for a change of route in the event of any sudden closure.  All has been calm on that front since the area opened for the summer, so today Team Elbrus will hike in the Baksan Valley, stretching their legs and breathing the clean mountain air…enjoying nature’s show.
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
Not-so leisurely walk today up to Maiden's Tresses Waterfall and Observastory!.
Good to get heart and lungs pumping.  All doing well.
Thanks for all the coments, really a nice encouragement!

Hallo Misa ons mis jou by die huis en werk ,ek wens jou alles van die beste toe en dat jy jou doelwit sal oortref,pas jou self mooi op en luister na jou liggaam?..JFC EN RU

Johnny Caroto



Hope it is going well! We miss you. Candice and Cathy were back today and it went really well.

Keep on the move!

Lots of love

Michelle Persson


Hi Debs,

I hope all is going well and you are having a whale of a time! Thinking of you and wishing you & your team all the best on this wonderful adventure. Oh and by the way…we are all mad enough to go running into the River Fourth :-)

Gareth & I send you lots of love and think of you on a daily basis. All the best Sweetheart!! Take care of yourself and love you lots xxx Love Nads


Nadya Josephy-Collins


Goodmorning  to you all.

Yay,  a photo of the team in action – thankyou Rose and Dawie – keep it up.!!!  Nice hat marissaJ

It is just the most perfect weather today – definitely one to be outdoors and not stuck behind a computer doing the final touches to monthend.  Spring is on the way with a lovely crisp feel to the air, perfect blue skies and every bird singing its own chorus (marissa just make sure you only hum – dont want to create enemies in the group so early on in the hike), .  We missed you at upperdeck lastnight but will have to make a plan to get together when you are back home. I ended up eating for the both of us – not good at all as I have not been on my bike for some time now.  Well enjoy your climb into the mountains.   Loads of love from the R of SA.  Shirley-Anne


Hi mommy it’s Katie I love and miss u lots. I am happy for u and good luck. And by the way u have already started the walk so u are soon coming back. Every night and morning I pray to keep u well and safe. U are the best mom I have ever had. Lots of love Katie.


Hey mom it’s Justin I just wanted to say I miss u and I love u hope u having fun BYE!!!

Love from Justin and Kate


Hi Deb

I'm lovin' the blog!

MMMmmm how's the cuisine?

How are those temperatures?????

Keep them in mind when u r picking your way up through the ice! 

Hope all well with you and the team 

Wishing you all the best  


US 3



Hi Heidi (of the mountains) & team,

VDM has a couple of questions regarding petty-cash, maybe you can come down that mountain and sort it out for us?  J

Climb safe & enjoy the views, it sounds absolutely amazing!

All the best,



Hallo Debs!

I wish you and your dream team all the good luck, good weather and all the healthy strong legs and lungs you will certainly need. Now is the time when all that hard training pays off. :-) I'm with you there in spirit all the way and am eagerly looking forward to hear of your progress! And if you see a yeti and he's of the friendly kind, say hi from me.

<3 Jacobus


Hi Erika,

Hope you having a great time and enjoying this incredible adventure. Justin and Kate miss you profusely. Had quite a bit trouble getting onto this blog due to  your “bad” handwriting. Glad I managed to work it out. Have fun, enjoy the challenge and I’ll get the kids to send you a message when they get back from school. And yes, contrary to common belief, I AM looking after and feeding the kids. House “spick and span”. I’m leaving for London tomorrow. Will blog you from there. Send our best wishes to Merisa too. Love you lots and be safe. Love Georg xxx


Hello there you two.  Time to rise and climb!!!!!!!!!!  Look forward to following you on your daily ascent  - good luck.  Wish I were at your side (with no Cape Town incidents).  Now Maris,  no Kilimanjaro antics this time round.  Enjoy Enjoy Enjoy.  Will hold the fort back home and make sure Hoedspruit remains civilized and stable in your absence.

Much love,  Shirley-Anne.  South Africa.


Hello all,  time to celebrate across the globe.  Our boy Chad Le Clos just won gold at the Olympics for the 200m butterfly.   Go South Africa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That gives us a gold in the breath stroke and butterfly meaning we stand a good chance for a place with the relay medley. 

Shirley-Anne Beretta,  Hoedspruit, Limpopo Province, South Africa.


Hi Debs


Praying for you and the team that all be well and that the weather will be fantastic, that there will be lots of great moments and no injuries.


In Stellenbosch it is still dead winter with snow and ice rain, but the first signs of spring is showing with my mom's magnificent mauve magnolia tree exhibiting the first blooms.


Lots of love, the van der Merwe's

Tue 31 Jul'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Tue 31 Jul Elbrus blog 2012 Tue 31 Jul

Today, to the mountains they go!  After breakfast, the team will take a leisurely stroll to the Cheget Glade and for their first acclimatization push.  They will elevate via the Cheget Cableway (ski lift) to the upper station at 3 050m and hike further up along the ridge or to the top of Mt. Cheget

(3 410m) before descending again to the Glade for lunch.  Good weather will allow for spectacular views of neighboring peaks and the glaciated upper slopes of Mt. Elbrus itself.  In the winter, Mt. Cheget turns into a hive of skiing activity, but for now the grassy knolls and vividly coloured flowers are a cheerful alternative.

From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
Fab weathe! Group on Cheget overlooking Elbrus.  All doing well and having fun!

Hi Elda, I wish you (and the rest of the group) a very good day in the cold and may your Borch and Bliny be nothing less than divine tonight! ;)


Kind regards

Linda Vorster


Hi Rose

All the best with this adventure, enjoy, be safe, will follow your trip daily!

Love Zelda

Mon 30 Jul'12

A hearty breakfast this morning will stand the team in good stead for the day’s plan of action. With a 10am flight to Mineralnye-Vody, the dreaded traffic will be inescapable - darn! 

 Mineralnye-Vody, literally translated to Mineral Waters is the gateway to Caucasus and although the airport has been recently refurbished, the wait around the crowded baggage carousel is traditionally an uncomfortably hot wait, being untouched by any air-conditioning in 30°C heat with high humidity levels.

 The team will board their van that will transport them 180km further south, to the small village of Terskol in the Baksan River Valley, heart of the Caucasus.  In this quaint village nestled amongst the mountains is the Wolfram Hotel, headquarters for the team’s climbing efforts of the coming days.

 They are likely to have borsch (soup) and bliny (pancakes), delicious local cuisine, served for dinner…

Elbrus blog 2012 Mon 30 Jul
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
we left the hotel at 06h45 as we didn't want to hit Monday morning traffic. Now having coffee and snacks before we are off to Minvody.

Chère Deborah

Je pense à vopus- vous avez beaucoup de courage! J’espère que tout se passera bien. Nerci pour l’invitation au “ thé” ( on dit, ou on disait” un five o’clock”)

 Vous nous manquerez mardi.




Hi Eldaline~ I marked the calendar so I would remember that you were starting your climb!  Hope & pray that everything is going well with the group!







Us 3 ( me and your 2 furry kids) are rooting for you and holding all fingers, toes, and thumbs for you cos yours will be too cold to hold!!!


I am thinking of you all the way everyday and looking forward to all the exciting news  and all the stories to tell!


You are such an inspiration - a truly amazing woman - go girl go! If I had half your awesome craziness and spunk and motivation to reach your goals and dreams `i'd be blessed!





 And to all your team we behind you all the way

Sun 29 July'12
Elbrus blog 2012 Sun 29 Jul 2012

With late afternoon arrivals at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, the team hopes not to get caught up in the capital’s rush-hour traffic as this will result in a very long ride to their hotel!  This city’s traffic can be gridlocked and this is definitely not a thought they will prefer to entertain with any enthusiasm after being in the air for 13 hours, so they’ll do their best to be quick exiting the airport and on the way. 


Thankfully, summer means that the sun bows its head late at night and they’ll be sure to find a good meal, with the team finally whole, a short metro ride away. Red Square at night is a sight to behold! They had better not be out too late however because tomorrow is another long travel day to the mountains!

Elbrus blog 2012 Sun 29 Jul
From Rose Gardner (Dream World Adventures representative).
The crew, incl Debs, in the hotel. All safe and stoked and ready to get on the way to the mountain.

Hi Heidie,

By the time you read this you will be on your adventure.   Your Mom and I wish you all the best and hope you have a once in a life time experience that you will always remember.   We are looking forward to hearing about all your experiences on your return and visit to us.   Your Mum says where to next or is it too soon?   We are proud of you’ go for it and return to us.  Go meisiekind.


Love Mom and SD xxxxx

To Rose and all the team members, go enjoy Russia and the great adventure on Elbrus!

Dawie Cronje
Sat 28 July'12

Ready, set…GO!!!!  Or at least so most in the team have muttered and concurred, though packing worries always remain until the dying minutes before each of us leaves home, duffel bag bulging and plastics boots strung around the neck to save on any excess baggage costs.


The time has finally arrived and the team is rearing to get going…to head of to the land of the Tsars and the twin ‘snow-cones’ of Mt. Elbrus. We are praying for better weather than has been experienced on the mountain in the past month, so please all do the same? 


Team Elbrus 2012 departs in two stages tonight, some via Abu Dhabi and the others via Dubai.  Deborah, having had commitments in the Amsterdam, will have arrived yesterday and will have already had some time to stretch her legs and acclimate to Moscow’s summer temperatures.

Elbrus blog 2012 Sat 28 Jul 2012

Just wanted to wish you all good luck with this new adventure. I pray and trust God be with you all during this expedition. Just a special word of support to my friend Eldaline Botha. “You know I love you right, but that does not change the fact that I think you are insane!!!” (just had to run that by you again) “ Now go get that damn summit Babe!”

Linda  (aka Straightjacket Barbie)


Rose Gardner Rose Gardner

Descended from 1820 Settler stock, I guess adventure ran through my veins before I even knew it… In 2006 when I climbed Kilimanjaro, the mountain bug truly sank its teeth in deeply and now mountains have become a drug like any other – only (& I hope you will agree), a ‘healthy’ addiction! Usually office bound at Dream World Adventures, dedicated to arranging memorable holidays for my clients, I get the chance to lead a team of adventurers and share my passion for the hills with them by journeying to Europe’s highest peak. See you there!

Paul Erskine

As an entrepreneur, I’ve worked and travelled all over the world. As an adventurer, I live my life one bucket list adventure at a time. As a humanitarian, everything that I do is in aid of Durban North charity, Indlela, and their Fairhavens Babies Home.

It’s not work that gets me out of bed – it’s the adventure…

What got me started in adventure was my belief that there had to be more to life. If you don’t set yourself a goal, you don’t end up doing what you want to do in life. I had set my goals – and achieved them. I never want to be complacent though – and so I went looking for more.

Visit Pauls website at


Paul Erskine
Erika Schwaeble Erika Schwaeble

I am a 46 year old mother of 4 and need a yearly adventure to keep me sane! I am easy going, like to laugh and explore but hate steps!!! I think life is what you make of it and I want to make the most of mine while I’m still capable and fit enough. Have a long bucket list but am slowly working my way through it.

Christo Moller

I am originally from an agricultural background, finishing high school at an agricultural high school in Marlow in the Karoo. Since then I have been a traveler - always seeking out special places and things to do off the beaten track. The last five years I have been living mostly on the water as a yacht master on different kinds of yachts in locations across the globe, including South Africa, America, the Mediterranean and Caribbean - combining the ocean life with inland and mountain trips every now and then. I’ve also sailed across the Atlantic five times in different directions. 

 My passion is living, loving and enjoying life! My hobbies are nature, surfing, scuba diving, mountaineering and photography.

Christo Moller
Marisa Caroto Marisa Caroto

I am 42 years old and love adventure and a good challenge! Want to do the 6 summits (won’t try Everest) before I’m a 100!!! I try and do one big challenge per year and a few smaller ones just for fun. My husband and son think I am completely insane but do support me all the way. I am easy going and try and see the funny side in every situation and I am good at encouraging others. My motto in life: If you are going to go through the trouble of getting up in the morning you might as well make the most of the day!!

Very excited about our trip to Russia, looking forward to meeting everybody.

Heidi Marques

I have people saying that my name goes with climbing – Heidi of the mountains.

I am at such a wonderful stage in my life where I can decide what I want and where I want to go.  But sometimes I still let life dictate to me and I am inclined to put the needs of others before mine.  Now, once a year I do something for me and me only.  Some say I am crazy, but I am not doing it for them.  I like the challenge; yes it’s hard but is worth it. I could’ve decided to take a couple of weeks’ holiday on some exotic island, but what would I bring back, any major accomplishment?  I am now classified as a veteran and that is the challenge…. to do things that were easy 20 years ago and to do them by myself as the people in my life have chosen different challenges. For now, we only have one life and it’s this life.

Heidi Marques
Eldaline Botha Eldaline Botha

My path crossed with Dream World Adventures way back in 2008, when I decided Kilimanjaro was a challenge and I love challenges! Once Kilimanjaro was done & dusted, Rose warned me about that mountain bug, but I took no notice, only to jump with excitement when I received an invitation to their inaugural Elbrus expedition in 2009.  Although I wasn’t able to go along then, I did venture forth with the team last year and frustratingly was thwarted high up by the onset of a bout of asthma. So, my goal not attained, I have a feeling 2012 will be my year! 

I asked Rose once – “When are you planning to do Aconcagua, because my “financial planner” (read husband), may need some info?  I do the climbing, he does the paying.  Nice arrangement.  It works for me.”   You will see I have an insane sense of humour – something of great value when the going gets tough on the mountain!  (now when thinking about that statement maybe that that’s not quite true – I feel sane most of the time – I just see things a bit differently).  Oh, and I can sing.. Not well, but I do a great rendition of Happy Birthday.  I am willing to practice that on anybody, because my family are no longer taking calls from me on their birthday.  Not sure why that is. 

The men in my life, husband Chris and sons Marshand & Tiaan keep me young and as manager of Allscan – a document management company, mountains are my way of getting away from it all!

Deborah Dragone

Hi my name is Deborah and I'm from Cape Town.

I am passionate about animal rescue and the outdoors.

If you ever can't reach me it's because I'm on a mountain somewhere!

My magic is climbing mountains with my furry kids!

Looking forward to meeting you all!

Debs x

Deborah Dragone

More about Paul Erskine – Adventurer & Humanitarian

"What got me started in adventure was my belief that there had to be more to life. If you don’t set yourself a goal, you don’t end up doing what you want to do in life. I had set my goals – and achieved them. I never want to be complacent though – and so I went looking for more.

Indlela runs Fairhavens Babies Home – a safe haven for vulnerable children and orphaned babies, and with all of my adventures, I work towards raising funds for the home and the amazing things that they’re doing – changing children’s lives.

If you would like to offer your support, please visit my website at"



Dream World Adventures
: info@dreamworldadventures.co.za
Skype name : dreamworldadventures
+27 12 331 6730 (South Africa)
Fax : + 27 86 500 4293 (South Africa)

© 2005 - 2012. Dream World Adventures. All rights reserved.