Tourism types: Mountaineering, climbing|
Region: Russia » Caucasus » Elbrus Region (Prielbrusye)
Level of Proficiency: good physical training, mountaineering preparation is desirable (you will obtain necessary mountaineering knowledge and habits during the acclimatizing outputs)
Length of Tour: 8 days, 7 nights
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The Elbrus is the highest peak of the Great Caucasus. Simultaneously it's considered to be the highest top both of Europe and Russia. The Elbrus is located in system of the Lateral ridge, completely in the territory of our country. It represents a cone of the extinct volcano on a high socle with granites and crystal slates. The western top of the Elbrus (altitude 5642m) and the eastern top (5621m) are divided by a deep saddle (5325). The Elbrus is covered by a cap of firn and ice from which 54 glaciers go down to different sites.
Our guides perfectly know all features of the route. They know how to prepare for the ascent better as they have passed it successfully hundreds of times. The Elbrus is not difficult for climbing technically, but can be rather strenuous because of the altitude and bad weather conditions which can change for the worse very fast. The ascent without skilled instructors can be very dangerous in winter conditions.
You will be met by our representative at the airport Mineralnie Vody and you will come to the hotel by minibus.
In the next four days you will get an optimal acclimatization for a forthcoming ascent to the Elbrus. The program of preparation (acclimatization) includes outings to the slopes of the mountain of Cheget (3452ì), from where in good weather conditions you can see beautiful views of Mt. Elbrus, Donguz-Orun, Nakra and many others, most beautiful tops of area, the way of ascent to 4050ì up to a former Shelter 11 and the way to the Pastukhov’s rocks (4600ì). On the 6th-7th day it is the time for an ascent which usually takes 9-14 hours together with descent.
FIT's rates in DBL/TWIN in Euro per pax:
The description of the route of an ascent Mt. Elbrus Western 2a category of complexity.
1. Barrels (3780m) to Shelter (4050m) route takes 1.5 hours. Move along the snow-and-ice fields. There can be cracks in the area of the plateau before the ascent to Shelter 11. Be careful!
2. Shelter (4050m) to Pastukhov Rocks (4600m) route takes about 2 to 3 hours. The rise trails between two rocky ridges (4300m), further it's a snow-and-ice rise (15 to 20 degrees, 50 m) with an exit to the plateau under Pastukhov rocks. The climb to the "Pastukhov Rocks" is along the closed glacier (20°). There are no cracks here. There exists an approach along the plateau under the bottom stones of Pastukhov Rocks (5 degrees, a rock-fall is not ruled out in a summer afternoon). Then climb to the top of Pastukhov rocks through the snow-and-ice slope of 15 to 20° steep.
3. Pastukhov Rocks (4600m) to Slanting Shelf (5000m) route takes about 1 to 1.5 hours. The snow-and-ice rise of 500 to 600 m has a slope of 15 to 20°. The ascent is straight up, avoiding the bends of ice (but you should not go far to the left, not to fall under the faults on the southern cirque glacier) and by turning to the left, we go out to Slanting Shelf (5000m).
4. Slanting shelf (5000m) to Motorcycle couloir (5340m) route takes about 2 to 2.5 hours. It is rather a flat traverse with a smooth climb. The steepness of slope on the inclined traverse is 15°, and in some places, up to 25°.
5. Motorcycle couloir (5340m) to Saddle (5350m) route takes about 20 to 30 min. Take a detour around the foot of the eastern peak (400 to 500 m) below. On this site, you can sense the smell of sulfur dioxide emitted from fumaroles on the southern slope. In case of an adverse wind, it poses a serious hurdle to the hikers. Traverse to get to the saddle, and move cautiously on the trails, as there can be cracks. On the left, under the slopes of the western summit, at the beginning of snow trough there is the structure of an old ruined hut, and in front of it at the top of the eastern summit, a new hut has been built, designed solely for rescuing persons caught up in inclement, extreme weather conditions during the ascent (construction of the hut was completed in August 2010).
6. Saddle (5350m) to the point of entry into the summit plateau (5550m) route takes about 1 to 1.5 hours. At 50m from the hut, turn right and along the fairly steep snow slope (30 to 35°), climb up to the rocky ridge. There may be an ice patch before the ridge. At this point, there can be movement on the railing.
7. Summit plateau (5550m) to the top of West Elbrus (5642m). Start here to climb up and left on the summit plateau. Through a 400-meter flat area, we reach a low dome of the top (40 minutes to 1 hour).
8. The western peak of Mount Elbrus is a small, snow and ice rise of 15° steep with a stone pedestal at the top.
9. Descend via the ascent route.
Attention! In case of weather getting rough, it becomes difficult to focus on long and smooth slopes of the Elbrus! When lenticular (lens-shaped) clouds appear above the top or cloudiness over Ushba and Donguz-Orun, it is necessary to either postpone or cancel the hiking. The time period from the first signs of bad weather to complete loss of visibility may take up to 3 hours.
Technically simple ascent to the Elbrus from the South makes it possible to see the entire Caucasus from the height. The changing panorama, as you climb up, leaves an everlasting impression. Especially the ascent made at dawn is memorable, when a huge shadow of Mount Elbrus rises over the horizon in the west under the rays of the rising sun.
We cannot but mention that in wintertime the Elbrus slopes above the Pastukhov Rocks usually look like a huge icy field more than 500 m long. That is why moving along the ice surface requires definite alpine experience. That is why we recommend to the tourists who would like to climb the Elbrus in winter to have at least tourist or alpine training and experience in moving along an ice relief using crampons, you should have a rope and ice-screws with you and have some practice in using them. You should understand well what you are doing.
It often happens that people come to climb the Elbrus in winter without required preparation. In this case we strongly recommend you to hire a professional individual guide while climbing the Elbrus in a company which can be trusted (Alpindustria) and which will take care of your safety during the climb.
As a rule the fine weather is established by the full moon days. Please go to Moon calendar.
Good luck while climbing!Route: Mineralnye Vody airport - Terskol - hotel - mountain hut (3840m ) on Elbrus - Elbrus top 5642m - Barrels on Elbrus - Terskol - hotel - Mineralnye Vody airport.
Day 1. Flight to Mineralny Vody, Transfer to Terskol.
Air flight to Mineral Vody, meeting at the airport by our representative. Transfer to the Elbrus region (4 hours), accommodation at the hotel. Briefing with the guide on personal equipment, preparing for outing to Cheget.
Day 2. Ascent to Cheget Peak (3460m)
Going up on two lines of chairlift to the altitude 3000m (30 minutes). Acclimatization outing to the shoulder of Cheget (3460m). Up 1-2 hours. On the top there is a good platform viewing the Elbrus, the Main Caucasus Range. The path is going through the rocky ridge. Snack, lunch package and descent by snowy southern slopes of Cheget. The outing takes you 3-5 hours. Return to the hotel. Discussing the program for the next day.
Day 3. Azau station – Diezelhut (4055).
Rising by the cableway to the station “Mir”, then using a chairlift to the station “Garabashi”. Azau (2200m) – Staryi Krugozor (2950m) – Mir (3500m) – Garabashi (3750m). Then by foot, rising up to the “Barrels” which are situated 50 meters from the station of Garabashi. An acclimatization outing to the Diesel Hut (4050m) – 1,5 hours. Practicing moving on a snowy-ice relief with the guide of the group. Discussion the program for the next day, viewing and selecting personal equipment, accommodation at the hotel.
Day 4. Acclimatization outing to the Pastukhov’s rocks (4650m).
Rising by the cableway to the station “Mir”, then using a chairlift to the station “Garabashi”. Azau (2200m) – Staryi Krugozor (2950m) – Mir (3500m) – Garabashi (3750m). The Ascent Tour to the Pastukhov’s Rocks. Ascent 3-4,5 hours, descent 1-1,5 hours. Discussion of the tactic of the ascent to the Mt. Elbrus, viewing and selection of personal equipment, preparing for the ascent. Overnight at the mountain hut.
Day 5. Ascent of Mt Elbrus (Western, 5642m). First possible summit ascent.
Day of ascent. An early start (at 3 o’clock). If you take a snowcat to the Rocks, you can start later, at 4-5 a.m. The climb will take you 12-16 hours with the way down to the Barrels. Moving on skis or crampons, depending on the snow condition. If there is a lot of snow, you can go up to the saddle by skis; if it is not possible, you can leave them in the end of the ridge or at the Pastukhov’s rocks. The track to top is marked by landmarks, but it is advisable to go on climbing only in good weather. There are lots of closed crevasses on the glacier, and you should keep the path. You should go only using crampons. In May and November the slope to the saddle can have a long part of pure ice. In this case the route is possible only for well-prepared sportsmen. The way down is especially dangerous (3,5 km at a steepness 30) They say, you can see both the Caspian and the Black seas in the ideal weather from the top.
Overnight at the mountain hut.
Day 6. Reserve day.
Reserve day (in case of bad weather). Overnight at the mountain hut.
Day 7. Reserve day.
Reserve day. Descent to the Azau. Lunch, transfer to the hotel. Final Party, Free time. Handing in certificates on climbing to Mt. Elbrus and Elbrus T-shirts. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 8. Transfer to Mineralny Vody
Breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Mineral Vody airport.
1. “Alpindustria” company's staff for all the program.
2. Transport. All transfers according to the program (Minvody airport - hotel- airport, transfers in the region).
3. Accommodation. Double hotel rooms - 4 nights HB.
4. The mountain hut (3840m ) accommodation on Elbrus - 3 nights FB.
5. An English speaking guide.
6. Elbrus and Cheget cableway/chairlift return tickets according to the program.
7. Food. Full board in the Caucasus - 2 meals a day in hotel restaurants. Lunch in cafes. Pocket lunch while touring and climbing.
8. Certificates on Elbrus expedition.
9. Cook service on Elbrus.
10. Rental kitchen equipment.
11. Tickets for cableway\chairlift during the program.
12. Guide-assistant for the climbing period (for groups more than 4 people).
13. Local and state tourist taxes:
a. Passport registration;
b. Border area Pass;
c. Visa invitation;
d. National Park permit for climbing
1. Single accommodation.
2. Additional food and drinks.
3. Additional transfers and cableway tickets (not included in the program).
4. Equipment rental.
5. Snowcat (snow grooming machine) for climbing. (600 euro per a snowcat)
6. Extra night at the Elbrus hotel ifcoming from the Elbrus earlier than it was planned.
Domestic and international air fare. Insurance.
Only ONE attempt of climbing the Elbrus is included.
During the trip:
- international passport, migration card, visa (for foreign citizens)
At the height of 5,000 m or more, it can be rather cold: -20 in summer; -40 in winter. Sometimes wild winds blow. We prepare ourselves for the worst weather conditions. At the same time, it can be rather hot down in the valley.
- Thermal underwear
- Sweater/thin fleece shirt
- Fleece/windblock jacket and trousers
- Gortex (membrane tissue) jacket and trousers
- Warm cap
- Wind-proof mask (balaclava)
- Mittens (it’s better to have two pairs)
- Warm socks
- You can take a warm down jacket with you
- Plastic or leather boots designed for ascents. It’s better to have welted boots and climbing crampons with automatic bindings
- Comfortable climbing harness
- 3 carabiners
- Telescope ski poles
- Sun glasses
- Sun cream
- Climbing crampons with automatic bindings (matching your boots)
- Sometimes we have a rest sitting on a stone, that’s why it’s good to have a carrymat (a rug) to sit on. You can use it inside your tent placing under a gas stove or a hot pan.
- Carrymat or inflatable mat to sleep on in the snow
- Sleeping bag to keep you warm when camping (comfortable temperature of +10)
- Your own spoon, mug, and knife
Climbing Mt.Elbrus is an active kind of sport in the mountains potentially dangerous for life and health for all the participants of this program. Our guides will provide the necessary level of safety in case you follow the Safety Instruction. The guide has a radio, GPS, a mobile telephone, all necessary group equipment.
Decision of stopping the programme when the weather and snow conditions impose a threat to lives of the participants is in exclusive competency of the guide accompanying the group on the route and can not be discussed. The guide is responsible for providing safety on all kinds of mountain relief.
All guests should have medical insurance in case of incidents or immediate illness which can cover medical and other expenses in emergency.
For transfer we use comfortable sedans (depending on the group size) or minibuses (for 10-15 people) like Mercedes, Volkswagen or Ford. Transfer "airport – hotel – airport" is a group transfer and it works once on the arrival day and once on the departure day. In case of necessity we can book an individual car for extra fee. We use the cableway skilift to come to the Barrels. You can book a snowcat to reach the Pastukhov's rocks.
We deal with the hotels "Ozon”***, “Povorot”***, “Chiran”**. These are the modern comfortable hotels with all the necessary structure, cozy rooms (double room), polite and respectful staff. At the mountain hut (3840m ) accommodation conditions are modest. There is sleeping area and a kitchen (dining rooms), an outdoor toilet. Beds with mattrasses and pillows, tables, electric heaters are on your availability. Temperature: +18 C, it is colder near the floor (+5 C), sleeping bags are recommended.
You will be accompanied by a guide of our Company. “Alpindustria-Terskol” staff is at your service.
It can be up to -20 C down the valley, but seldom, it is usually -5 to -10 C.
It can be up to äî -40 C at a height of 5000 m.
During the trips the guide has the first aid kit. It is possible to contact the Rescue service in any place. It is necessary for you to have individual medicines.
In case of coming back from the Elbrus earlier than it was planned the guest is responsible for an extra night at the Elbrus hotels.
There is no refund for the huts booked beforehand. Please meet this with respect. In the rush season there are no rooms available for all the coming people. So we book the sleeping bunks beforehand considering all reserve days.
It is worth buying souvenirs. Keep it in your budget.
In the valley there are many cafes and restaurants, mostly local cuisine. Dinner or lunch will cost you 300 rub and more.
Booking a snowcat on the climbing day costs 400 euro for the whole machine (up to 10 pax). Skipass costs 1250 rub a day. Excursion ticket to Cheget and Elbrus costs 650 rub.
Full board in the Caucasus is 2 meals a day in hotel restaurants. Pocket lunch while touring and climbing.
We offer you complete and balanced meals useful for people exercising up in the mountains. They include vegetables, meat, fish, bread, cereals, tea, coffee and milk.
If you have food restrictions (for example you are a vegetarian), you should warn us beforehand. We’ll try our best to make you feel comfortable.
Please meet our rules of payment conditions.
To provide a successful and safe realization of the program we undertake definite efforts and preparation which require expenses.
Down payment when booking is 5000 rub. In case you cancel the trip it is not refundable.
Full payment should be done not later than 20 days prior to the beginning of the program. Unless full payment is made we consider the trip cancelled in this term and quit the booking.
Please, be aware that the first payment is not refunded in this case.
You can pay in cash in our offices in Moscow and Terskol and make a bank money transfer.
You got question? Call us +7(495) 229-50-70 (Moscow)