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Elbrus Region


Winter Skiing The ski season is from mid-December to mid-April. Rates for the ski lift and cable car (1996-97): $2 per section, a skipass is $14 per day, $70 per week. Lifts operate from 9.00 to 16.00. Two sections of the cable car from Azau to Mir station and one section of the chairlift on Cheget work all year round. Summer working hours are from 11.00 to 15.00.

Summer skiing is only possible on the slopes of Elbrus using the cable car to Mir station then the chairlift (if in working order) to Garabashi at 3800m. From here it is possible to ski down to Mir station till the end of June (depending on snow conditions). Above Garabashi skiing is possible throughout summer; snow cats will take skiers up to 4600m and the price depends on the numbers involved. Note that from Pastukhova Rocks up to 5000m slopes are wind blown and icy from winter till mid-spring making them dangerous for skiing.

Ski-touring It is possible to ski-tour all winter but the weather is really cold and stormy. The best season is from mid-February to mid-April. Spring touring is more pleasant (warm, good snow condition) but tends to be limited to north-facing slopes where snow lasts longer.

Heli skiing is possible from January to the beginning of April. The best time is March. Helicopters are hired at Nalchik airport. Because of a lack of hut systems more remote ski-routes are best tackled with the assistance of a helicopter.

Facilities Ski-shops do not exist and ski-hire is extremely limited. Only very basic repairs can be carried out in the valley bases. It is important to be self-sufficient and the area is not suitable for beginners.

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Comments and updates are most gratefully received. Please email us using email link above.
© Andrew Wielochowski 13/04/02. From the "Map & guide to Elbrus and the Upper Baksan"