Climb Elbrus Description
This 13 day Mount Elbrus trek is designed to incorporate training in using an ice axe and crampons and to have a good number of acclimatization walks. As with any ascent of Elbrus it is still a tough trip.
As with all our Elbrus trips, it begins with arrival into Mineralnye Vody. We meet you from your flight to transfer to the base hotel in the Baksan Valley. From the hotel we make several trips following beautiful forested valleys, walking through alpine meadows, crossing glaciated mountain passes and climbing some of the easiest summits which provide superb panoramas of the Caucasus Range. These initial trips will be porter supported and will involve camping and backpacking. They will provide us with fitness and acclimatization necessary for the ascent of Elbrus itself. Porters carry all food and group equipment as tents, ropes, cooking equipment and etc. Personal kit must be carried including your sleeping bag and mat. A limited number of porters can be hired at an extra charge to carry personal equipment where necessary.
For the ascent of Elbrus we use a cable car system to take us to the height of about 3800m. We stay in the Garabashi Huts (3800m) or Diesel Hut (4100m). The actual program for the ascent of Elbrus will depend on the weather, group condition and the availability of a snowcat which we will use according to the group’s wish to help us up the lower slopes of the mountain.
Elbrus 13 day Itinerary
- Arrive in Mineralnye Vody where we will meet you for the transfer by private transport to Terskol in the Baksan Valley. Our base for the trip will be Terskol itself, a town near Elbrus. 2100m.
To start our our trip in the beautiful area surrounding Elbrus we will travel a short distance to the Tyrnyauz Gorge for an easy ascent to the Suaryk Pass, 3210 m. We can enjoy the superb scenery en route and as we descend to the Kyrtyk Valley. We will spend the night in a tented camp. Ascent time 3 hours Descent time 3 hours. Height gain and loss 800m .
This next day is longer and harder but spectacular. We trek up to the Syltran lake, 3200 m, and on up to the Syltran Pass, 3430 m. before descending to our next camp where the Kyrtyk & Mkiara valleys meet. Trek time 7 hours. Height gain 1100 m, and loss 900m.
We continue up to the Kyrtykaush Pass, 3230 m, for the breath-taking view into the beautiful Islamchat Gorge and over to the northern slopes of Elbrus. We return back to the camp. Ascent time 4 hours Descent 2 hours
We cross the glaciated Irik Pass, 3750 m, to our next a campsite in the forest lower down in the Irik valley., 2750 m. Ascent time 6 hours Descent, 3 hours. Height gain 1200m and loss 1000m
We ascend to the Irikchat Pass, 3660 m the lava flow on the East slope from the East top of Elbrus, 5621 m. >From the pass, it is possible to see the North slope of Elbrus, and a part of its South slope.4 hours up, 2 hours down.
- In the morning we descend from the Irik Valley, pass the Irik Gorge with a waterfall and sand castles and from the Elbrus village, 1800 m, drive to the hotel in the Baksan Valley. In the afternoon there is free time to relax, have a sauna or walk around in Terskol. Overnight in the hotel.
- 15 min drive to the Azau station. We take the cable car/chair lift system up Elbrus and stay in the Garabashi Huts at 3800 m or the Diesel Hut at 4100 m
- Acclimatization walk to Pastukhova Rocks at 4800m. Return to the hut.
- We begin in the early morning hours to ascend the highest of Elbrus’ twin peaks – the West Summit. You carry your day pack with the day’s requirements. We return to spend the night in Garabashi or camp.
- Spare day to attempt Elbrus if the weather on the previous day was bad (otherwise return to the hotel)
- Return to the hotel. Relax and perhaps enjoy one of the fine walks from the hotel.
- Drive to Mineralnye Vody for the flight home.
Climb Elbrus Prices
COST – €1500 pp – GROUP SIZE 6-15
Included in the cost:
- Russian visa support documents
- all permits and official registration
- accommodation as per the program
- food – full board on mountain and half board in hotel
- English speaking guide throughout the trip (1 guide for 3 clients, assistant guides for larger groups)
- part-portered and fully guided
- land transport as per above program from MRV return
- One summit attempt
Not included in the cost:
- visa issue
- snow cat – if used for Elbrus (optional)
- additional transport, accommodation
- international flights – see above for cost and below for other details
Please note: only one summit attempt on Elbrus is included, if you descend to hotel valley early, the extra hotel night is not included
Further Information about Climb Elbrus
It is customary that each climber makes a contribution towards tips for the mountain staff on completion of the trip. Tips are to be paid locally not in advance to EWP. The following are daily rates the group as a whole is recommended to pay per staff member: Porters €5; Mountain Guide €11; Cook / Assistant Guide €7
RECOMMENDED EQUIPMENT LIST:
The key to dressing in the mountains is to use the removable layer principle; a base layer of wicking material, a mid layer with fleece or duvet and outer waterproof shell. There is, however, no one way to dress when you are in the mountains. You should bring the kit you usually wear when hill-walking at home and bear in mind that the weather can vary from extremely cold, especially on Mt Elbrus, storms, rain and wind to very hot burning sun. You might not need to use all the foul weather protection listed below. However it is of course imperative that you bring it all.
We have divided our equipment list into two categories, essential and optional. If you are coming with a companion, some of the list below can be shared between you. If you have considerable experience of mountain walking or backpacking you will probably have your own list and will make additions or deletions to this one. The list is of what you will need to bring for walking. It does not include the smarter clothes you will need when not in the mountains.
Being suitably equipped is perhaps the most important ingredient contributing towards your safety, comfort and enjoyment of the trek. Reflect carefully as to what you will need. Taking too much gear just in case is not recommended, but neither is taking too little. If you have any hesitation, questions, or need advice, please ask.
- Entrance visa
- Medical insurance
- Good waterproofs, (cagoule & trousers) not heavyweight
- Strong mountain boots + walking boots
- Thin shirt (long sleeved)
- Thick shirt (long sleeved)
- Trousers/track suit bottoms + Long Johns
- Fleece or Duvet Jacket
- 1 thick sweater
- Heavy socks
- Cotton socks
- Pair of shorts
- Sun hat
- Something to wear in bed – accommodation is shared
- Sleeping bag (3 season) and sleeping mat
- Eating and drinking utensils for camping
- Sheet liner (warm)
- Water Bottle and small unbreakable thermos flask
- Toilet paper/tissues
- Wash kit
- Binoculars (Lightweight)
- Writing material/notebook
- Torch batteries
- Personal first aid/sewing kit
- Camera and film
- Swiss army knife
- Universal plug for wash basins
- Trekking poles
- Ice-Axe and walking crampons
- A lightweight harness or sling + one karabiner are essential items to take in case of bad weather/emergencies.
- Assorted plasters
- Sun protection cream
- Lip salve
- Antiseptic cream
- Adhesive tape
- Throat lozenges
A more detailed equipment information will be sent to you once you have booked.
A full passport and visa are required when visiting Russia. We provide the official tourist visa support documents from Russia which you will need when you apply for your visa. We cannot apply for your visa and Russian Consulates as different countries have different procedures for obtaining the visa. Further details will be sent to you at the time of booking.
A trek can be physically demanding at times, and some days on the trail can be exacting. The route in general is within the capabilities of any normally healthy and fit individual used to hill walking. However, it is best to get in shape before you go: jogging in the park, using stairs not lifts, swimming, games and exercises that expand the lungs and toughens the feet and legs. The best exercise for trekking is hill walking, starting with short easy walks.
You should be familiar and at ease with the use of crampons and ice axe. Although the route is non- technical you will need to be competent on Mt Elbrus with putting them on and walking in them. You will use them during the camping sections.
No vaccinations are required to visit Eastern Europe. You should consult your GP for further advice on recommended vaccinations. There are some recommended vaccinations but these vary from time to time; tetanus at least should be updated.
Mountaineering above 5000m requires good physical fitness and health. It is advisable to consult your doctor prior to making your booking if you have any doubts. Do NOT climb higher than 9000ft (2700m) if you have: a respiratory infection, sore throat, cold, cough, high temperature, nose bleed.
Terrorism and your Security
The Caucasus have recently been on some countries’ Office of Foreign Affairs “not recommended to travel to lists” (eg UK).Many countries have no restrictions and the area remains a popular international tourist destination. The Elbrus area has so far been hardly affected by terrorist activities and at present we expect to continue running trips here as we have done for the last fifteen years. We do monitor the situation and do appreciate insurance complications may arise if you are travelling to the area details . After making your booking, should the situation in the area deteriorate to the extent that we have to cancel, alter or curtail the trip at short notice, we will refund all monies paid other than those associated with non-refundable expenses such as flight deposits or payments.
UK citizens, and others, may wish to discuss insurance implications and solutions with us.
SAFETY: Our guides will provide the necessary level of safety and you must follow the his safety instructions at all times. The guide is equipped with a radio, GPS, mobile telephone, all necessary group equipment. There will be sections when the group will be roped together when crossing some of the iced areas. Should your guide make a decision to stop the program due to weather conditions being dangerous and a threat to your safety, we request that you respect this decision. All clients should have medical insurance which can cover medical and other expenses in any emergency incidents.
Please note: We retail maps for Mt Elbrus (main map and routes to summit on one side, information of the area, terrain, climate, vegetation, etc on the reverse). Please visit our BUY MAPS webpage for more details and costs.