Russia

Mount Elbrus Climb

Level

Challenging

Duration

8 days ( 10 days option also available)

Route

Mineralnye Vody; Terskol ;Barrel camp; Prijut Hut; Pastukhov Rocks;West Summit of Mt. Elbrus;Terskol, Mineralnye Vody

Altitude

5642 m

Time to travel

During June, July, August and September is the climbing season for Mt. Elbrus. July and August are considered best months for this climb

Mt. Elbrus with its two summits (Western Summit – 5642 m, Eastern Summit – 5621 m) is a dormant volcano, located to the north of the Main Caucasian Ridge. The Western summit of Mt. Elbrus is Europe’s highest peak and therefore one of the 7 Summits. Mt. Elbrus is located on the territories of the Karachay-Cherkessian and Kabardino-Balkarian republics of the Russian Federation.

Climbing Mt. Elbrus via the classical route from the south in summer in good weather is technically not difficult, though requires good physical shape and acclimatization.

But due to certain circumstances, the climb can be difficult and dangerous. As on every standing alone mountain the weather can change quickly. Fog, snowfall and thunderstorms are frequently observed even in summer. Due to the features of a stratovolcano, orientation in bad weather can be very difficult. The glaciers on Mt. Elbrus are huge, covering about 145 square km, the thickness of the ice can reach 200 m in certain areas and there are lots of big crevasses.

Even though Mt. Elbrus is ‘only’ a 5000er, it is very important for everybody to acclimatize well and in the right way, even if you are an experienced mountain climber and in great physical shape. Otherwise, as on any high mountain, altitude sickness can be one of the reasons why you would not reach the summit and which can endanger your life.

Facts:

Activity: Trekking, Backpacking, Climbing

PREREQUISITES

  • Climbing Skill Level
    Climbers should have successfully completed one of our climbing school courses or have equivalent skills and experience.  They must have basic knowledge of progression on snow and ice, self arrest, crevasse rescue and glacier travel. Snow and ice slopes to be dealt with are moderate (up to 45 degrees). The requirements are also based on our desire to have similarly skilled team members.  Please note in this trip we have added couple of days to review the above mentioned skills so we will be able to fit beginners in as well.
  • Physical Conditioning
    Elbrus at 18,510’ is an extreme, high altitude climb. You should be comfortable climbing 4-8 hours per day. Summit day is the most demanding portion of the climb, typically involving 8 hours for the ascent and 6-7 hours for the descent. Our expeditions require strength & endurance. Being in sound physical condition is the single most important aspect for climbers to maximize their climbing potential. The better your physical condition, the more likely you are to perform well and have an enjoyable experience. The most frequent comment we have received over the years is that climbers have underestimated the fitness level needed to fully enjoy their trip. Additionally, inadequate fitness will affect the atmosphere, pace, and overall enjoyment of the climb for all participants. We highly recommend checking with your physician before undertaking any strenuous activity.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival at Mineralnye Vody (D)

After your arrival in Mineralnye Vody our driver will meet you at the airport and transfer you via minibus to Terskol. The ride takes about 3-4 hours. You will stay overnight in our hotel in the valley (2100 m)

Day 02: Acclimatization hike to Barrel Camp (B, L, D)

Today we will take the gondola up to the Mir station (3000 m). From here, we will hike up to the barrel camp (3600 m) and a little higher on the glaciers of Elbrus, appr. 800 vertical m, 2 h). You will stay overnight in the hotel (2300 m) again.

Day 03: Hike to Prijut Hut (Diesel Hut) (B, L, D)

After breakfast we will leave the hotel for a few days and take the gondola and chair lift up to the top station Gara-Bashi at 3600 m, where we will stay overnight in a simple mountaineering camp for the next 4 days.

After a light lunch we will hike up to Prijut Hut (4050 m, 450 vm, 2 h) and practice ice techniques.

After a little rest there we will descend to the camp and have lunch and dinner.

Overnight at the camp at 3600 m.

Day 04: Acclimatization hike to Pastukhov Rocks (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we will hike up to the Pastukhov Rocks (4700 m, 1000 vm, 4 hours) and stay overnight at the camp at 3700 m again.

Day 05: Rest Day (B, L, D)

Today we will provide you some technical training: use of crampons, ice-axe, self-arrest, rope techniques. In the afternoon you will have time to relax, which will give you power for an extra push on summit day. We will have an early dinner, as we will have to get up early for the summit.

Overnight at the camp at 3700 m.

Day 06: Summit day (B, L, D)

On a normal summit day, we will have breakfast at 2 a.m. and leave at 3 a.m. It is possible to take the snowcat or skidoo up to Pastukhov Rocks which makes the ascent 3 hours shorter (this is an extra service, which can be booked in advance). Time to the West summit of Mt. Elbrus (5642 m) is normally 8 to 10 hours (1959 vm from the camp, 1150 vm from Pastukhov Rocks), the descent to the camp takes another 4 – 5 hours, bringing us back at 3 to 6 p.m. Overnight at the camp at 3600 m.

Day 07: Reserve day and descent to the valley (B, L, D)

In the morning we descend to Terskol. If today is used as reserve summit day (in case of bad weather on day 6) we will have to go down to Terskol in the evening (with lifts or walking). In the evening we will have a celebration dinner. Overnight in our hotel in the valley (2100 m).

Day 08: Departure (B)

In the morning our driver will bring you to the airport in Mineralnye Vody for your flight back home.

2,766 USD

per person in a group of minimum 5.

Trip Dates

15th July 2017, 16th August 2017

Notes:

  • Full payment should be made 30 days prior the departure.
  • This cost is valid till 15th Dec 2017
  • Based on sharing occupancy. Single hotel supplement applies.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change

This includes:

  • Airport transfer
  • Accommodation as described
  • Meals as described
  • All permits
  • Guiding services

This exclude:

  • International airfare
  • Single Hotel Supplement
  • Domestic airfare
  • Meals not specified
  • Snowcat use
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa expenses
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal gear items
  • Gratuities/tips
  • Cost due to an early descent

Note: The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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