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Home  >  Russia. Caucasus. Elbrus Region (Prielbrusye)  >  Trekking on the Elbrus northern slopes

Programms » Trekking on the Elbrus northern slopes

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Programm managers

Viktor Yanchenko
Viktor Yanchenko
Telephone: +7(495) 229-50-70 l.105
E-mail: director@elbrus-team.ru
Skype: director.elbrus-team.ru
Mobile: 8 (928) 225-4623

Marina Migurskaya
Marina Migurskaya
Telephone: +7 (495)229-50-70 (.106)
E-mail: chief@elbrus-team.ru
Skype: migur071
Mobile: +7(928) 651-47-48

Victoria Voroshilova
Victoria Voroshilova
Telephone: +7 (495) 229-50-70
E-mail: general@elbrus-team.ru
Skype: agent1.elbrus-team.ru
Mobile: +7(928)7167420


Programm guides

Daniil Timofeev
Sergey Fursov
Viktor Yanchenko
Rating: 
Marks: 1;   Reviews: 0
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Tourism types: Trekking
Region: Russia » Caucasus » Elbrus Region (Prielbrusye)
Length of Tour: 9 days, 8 nights


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 Northern slopes of the Elbrus mountain are a fantastic land of mystery and a place to discover the conquest of the Elbrus history. It may even inspire the guests to follow into the steps of the Elbrus pioneers. The first Elbrus expedition leaded by a Russian Army General G.A. Emmanuel took place in 1829. While approaching the Caucasus, General Emmanuel met two Caucasian leaders, the Karachay and Balkar princes by the names of Islam Krymshaukhalov and Myrzakul Urusbiyev. They provided the General with 5 guides, the strongest local mountain hunters. The names of only two of the five are known to history: of Killar Khashirov and of Akhiy Sottaev. Besides those five, a party of five scientists also set out to ascend the peak. That party was leaded by Adolf Kupper, a Member of the Academy. Among the scientists the 25 year old Emiliy Lentz looked the fittest, he had just returned from a round- the-world sea voyage. The party also included some Cossacks (20, at the start of the expedition). But despite the fact that General Emmanuel announced a contest with good money prizes (first ever speed ascend of the Elbrus), only one “racer” -Killar Khashirov -reached the Elbrus peak. 

Itinerary (show)
Day 1.
Arrival in Mineralnye Vody, check in at a hotel in Pyatigorsk. Renting and adjustment of missing personal equipment, free time. City walk along its Tzvetnik park area to the Proval site. Cable railway ascent of the Mashuk mountain (933m). Several trekking trails are laid out on its slopes, each 10km long. The Mashuk mountain is a recreation and Extremal sports site, a keeper of various thermal and mineral springs and a home to several rare and endangered plants. The city of Pyatigorsk is a multi profile spa resort; it is located on the left bank of the Podkumok river at the foot of the Mashuk and Goryachaya mountains 510-630m above the sea level. The Beshtau Mountain (translated as Five Mountains) gave its name to the city.

Day 2.
Acclimatization trip to the Beshtau Mountain (1402m). In the morning, after breakfast the party takes a bus transfer to Rosa Luxemburg village and this is where the trekking part of the itinerary begins. The trail goes through thick forest till it reaches an elevation point of approx 1200m, then it follows the southern grass and stone ridge and eventually reaches the Beshtau Mountain main peak. The peak offers a good view of the nearest lokkalits (failed volcanoes) of the Pyatigorsk Volcano area, and in good weather, also of the majestic Main Caucasus Range and the Elbrus mountain towering above it.

Day 3.
Early morning departure to the foot of the Elbrus (the Emmanuel Glade, 2650m). Half of the way is an asphalt road, the other half, a dirt road. Duration, 5-6 hours. Next to the base camp located in the south- eastern part of the Iralhityuz plateau there is an amazing spring of crystal clear water which the locals call The Silver Spring. They say that its water contains ions of silver which accounts for its name. The spring appears by the end of June and disappears in Autumn, its water fills small rock hollows and its temperature never goes above 5-6C. Its good for a refreshing dip in hot weather.
Trekking to a kidney-and-liver mineral spring (2300m) and to Kara-Kaya (2300) and Sultan (2350m) waterfalls located on the right bank of the Malka river, and then upstream to thermal water baths. Tour of the Castle Valley, return to base camp after 4-5 hours trekking.
The Irakhirtsyrt Plateau is squeezed in between the foot of the Elbrus and the Tashlysyrt Range, in the east it goes down to the Irakhityuz Plateau which in its turn comes to its end by a lava flow which once dammed the Kysylkol river valley which resulted in a lake formation. The plateau closed location accounts for its totally unique climate. In summer it always rains here at approximately 2-4 AM, and the warm rain water contributes to the fast growth of local vegetation. Eventually the river washed out a passage under the lava flow, the rock collapsed to form a scenic bridge not of human making (Kalinov most) which curves amazingly above the mighty 40m Sultan waterfall. Across the Kalinov most protected by the rocky cliffs we go down to the Jilysu terrain located at the cross point of several deep gorges. Thats where the Malka river takes its start. It collects its water from all the ice streams of the Elbrus northern slope and it breaks its way through the Tashlysyrt and the Kyrtyk ranges forming a very deep canyon. From the foot of the rock walls numerous mineral springs jet out. Their water has various temperatures and it is rich in carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and radon. The Jilysu Springs have been long since famous for their medicinal properties.
Night spent in tents in the base camp.

Day 4.
Ascent of the Mushroom Glade site located in a pretty green area at the height of 3200m through the Airdrome site. Ascent duration: 2-3 hours. On the Elbrus northern slope at the height of approximately 3000m in the Byrdgal terrain there is a small (approx 250m by 100m) even and slightly sloping site with its unique rock formations which cant be seen anywhere else in the Caucasus. Nature the Magician created over 20 sculptures of local sparsely cemented tuff sandstone which the locals call, the Mushrooms.

Feel free to call each formation as you like, depending on your own fantasy. Some of the Mushrooms have holes and hollows. Such megalithic stones are called cup stones, they were used as sacrificial or gratitude altars. Apart from such stones, there are other stones found in the Elbrus area, with a sculptured face looking into the sky. Several of such faces have been found here.

But its not only the intricate shapes of the Mushrooms that attract numerous tourists. Locals believe that this site has a supernatural healing power.

The Cross rock is the most powerful healer. All you have to do is to lie on its top with your arms stretched out, and all your sicknesses and ailments will leave your body.

Not far to the east, across a moraine there is a thermal lake with life thriving in its water. Numerous water striders rush around on its surface, water-tigers drag air bubbles into their underwater nests, but its most amazing inhabitants are small crayfish which look very much like shrimps. Such water reservoirs located at the height of over 3000m usually freeze to the ground in winter, but this one stays alive. Night spent in tents in base camp.

Day 5.
A tour of the Sun Sanctuary.
When you approach the Tuzluk mountain from the north, it looks like a bow with its bowstring loose, but when you come closer to it, you see that the sting is really taut.
The locals still believe in old legend saying that there is an underground tunnel connecting the Malka canyon to the Tuzluk area which has been lost by now. Next to the Karakaya mountain foot there is a lonely stone pillar with a knights face looking straight to the east. Behind this pillar one can see a hill shaped like a bell. This is the Tuzluk mountain (meaning, the Sanctuary of the Sun or, as the other translation says, a salt cellar, which is derived from a Turkish word tuz meaning salt). At the top of the Tuzluk mountain there are the ancient ruins of the Sun Sanctuary.
Night spent in tents in the base camp.

Day 6.
A radial trek to the Kalitzky Peak area (duration: 8-10 hours).
On the eastern slope of the Elbrus there is a unique natural formation, the Jikaulgenkyoz ice lake (literal translation, A Genies dead eye). In the middle of the lake there is a rock 3581m above the sea level. Its mighty pyramid rises for over 200m above the glacier level. The rock is formed of light granites and diabase, totally different from other rocks forming the mountain ranges surrounding the lake. In 1930s the peak was named after Kalitzky, a geologist who worked in the Caucasus area. There exists an assumption that previously the peak was called Kali of the Caucasus (Kali is the name of a local goddess). The Kalitzky peak creates an impression of a stone island castle with a pointed tower which came to the surface of this amazing lake, the residence of the divine Kali.
This ice lake is a real lake, not a glacier like the other similar ice formations in the Elbrus area and in the most parts of the Caucasus.

Day 7.
Descent to the base camp. Free day with swimming in the Jilysu Springs.
Night spend in tents in the base camp.

Day 8.
Trekking to the Buruntash mountain pass (3072m) which is located on the northern spur of the Elbrus, to the south of the Kyzylkaya mountain. It connects the Kyzylkol (Malka river) and the Chuchkhur (Khudes river) valleys. Along its right bank terraces the party reaches the road that goes up to the Irakhitsyrt plateau. Everywhere around there are cattle grazing on the alpine grasslands. The plateau offers a good view of the Elbrus northern spurs and to the west, the of the Buruntash grass covered mountain pass. To the left, on the border line between the Elbrus ice slope and its scree northern spur there lies the Buruntash pass. An old road leads from the plateau to the Kyzylsu river, below the saddle of the Buruntash mountain pass. The way there will take 5-6 hours. The river can be crossed by the rocks or forded, but if its water stays high, it is advisable to stay the night on its right bank camp sites and cross it in early morning. From there the ascent of the grass covered slopes of the Buruntash pass starts. It only takes half an hour to trek its gentle grass covered slopes to reach its saddle. A mountain pass tour of the large rock located right in the middle of the saddle. Return to the base camp. Night spent in tents in the base camp.

Day 9.
Breakfast. Departure to Pyatigorsk. Check in at a hotel. Dinner party at the Kavkazsky Dvorik café, handing out the certificates.
Price includes (show)
All transfers as provided by the itinerary
Pickup from and transfer to Mineralnye Vody Airport.
Accommodation at a hotel in Pyatigorsk, 2 nights
Accommodation in base camp (tents), 6 nights
Rent and use of collective equipment (tents) and kitchen gear.
Meals: HB in base and other camps plus lunch boxes when going on treks
Experienced guide throughout the trip
Ascent permit and national park license
Safety measures: registration with Emergency service, radio communication system, first aid kit.
Price does not include (show)
Mountaineering insurance
Flight to and from Mineralnye Vody
Rent of personal mountaineering equipment
Extra food and alcohol
Excursions and entertainment in Pyatigorsk
Extra transfers
Extra night hotel accommodation (in case of an early descent)
SGL accommodation
Safety (show)
Your guides will see to your safety provided that you comply with all the safety and accident prevention rules. Your guide will carry a radio set, a GPS set, a mobile phone and all the collective gear you may need. It lies within the sole authority of the guide attending the group to make a decision to terminate the ascent under any conditions threatening the partys safety. Such decision made by the guide is not subject to any debates. The guide is responsible for taking measures ensuring the partys safety in all types of mountain terrain.
Additional information (show)
Extremal sports life and personal accident insurance is obligatory for every party member
Communication (show)
On every trek the guide always carry a radio set and a satellite phone which enables him to make any necessary connection, any time and any place. Mobile lines do not cover areas past the Tuzluk mountain. Guests have an opportunity to use a satellite line, for extra fee. All hotels provide wireless internet connection.
Board (show)
BB, in Pyatigorsk or Kislovodsk.
In the base camp, a cook will prepare your meals (provided that the party is 2+ persons). For acclimatization day trips, lunch boxes are provided (containing a sandwich, a fruit, some biscuits, chocolate and juice). All kitchen gear provided.
In case you have any diet particulars or restrictions (e.g., a vegetarian), you are kindly requested to inform us in advance. Well do our best to make your trip most comfortable.
Medical service (show)
The guide has a first aid kit. In case of emergency, he will be able to contact, any time and any place, an Emergency Service rescue team. Guests are requested to have all their specific or individual drugs.


You got question? Call us +7(495) 229-50-70 (Moscow)


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Home  >  Russia. Caucasus. Elbrus Region (Prielbrusye)  >  Trekking on the Elbrus northern slopes

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