Rustik Travel

Mt. Elbrus Climb

  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel
  • Mt. Elbrus - Russia - Rustik Travel

Mt. Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe and one of the seven summits. It is situated between the Black and the Caspian sea on territory of the Russian Federation, only 20 km from the Georgian border. Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano. The last explosion occurred about 2000 years ago. The two summits of Elbrus are in fact two craters of volcano. Everywhere on its slopes you can see debris of solidified lava. The altitude, the cold and the geography makes it a beautiful yet challenging climb.

Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while climbing it.

Andy Rooney

Overview

  • Destination: Russia
  • Location: Mt. Elbrus
  • Departure: Moscow
  • Google Map Co-ordinates: 43.3499° N, 42.4453° E
  • Highest Altitude: 5,642 m/18,510 ft.
  • Nearest City (Airport): Mineralnye Vody (MRV)
  • Nearest City (Railway Station): Kislovodsk
  • Duration: South Route(8, 9 and 10 days), North Route (10 and 11 days)
  • Dates: 9 – 18 July (South Route), On request
  • Best Months: June-August
  • Level: Strenuous (Climb)
  • Guide: Available
  • Price: On request

Experience


Mount Elbrus has two summits. The West summit of Mt. Elbrus is 5642 m high; the East one is 21 m shorter – 5621 m. There are several routes on Mt. Elbrus: south route is a normal and shorter route, north route is closer to nature; traverse route from south to north and vice versa which allows to see both sides of this huge mountain.

The main difference between the south route and the north route is that there are lifts and snow-cats on the south side. You don’t have to carry your backpack from 2200 m up to 3800 m, you enjoy views from a cable car instead. Same on the summit day: almost every group rides a snow-cat up to 5000 m, so there are only a view hours of hiking up to the summit.
On the north side you have to walk the whole distance self and carry your backpack from the base camp at 2500 m up to the hut at 3800 m. That’s why it takes more days than via the south side. The route is less crowded and closer to nature: there are no hotels, restaurants and shops.

We typically take the North route climbing closer to nature, the hard way.

Itinerary

North and South Route

North Route / 10 Days
The North side has lower level green valley treks but a bit more barren. It is very scenic and beautiful. The North Route is more challenging than the South route as it doesn't have the infrastructure of cable cars, refuge etc., so its more difficult to take the equipment and gear up the mountain. There are itineraries from 10 to 11 days in his route.
Day 1 / Kislovodsk (872 m/2,862 ft)
Arrive at Mineralnye Vody airport. There are several domestic flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg and international flights arriving from Istanbul and Dubai. Our guide will meet you from your flight outside of the arrival hall. Transportation to hotel will be arranged by 14:30, so you can arrive with any flight that lands before that time. Transportation to our hotel in city of Kislovodsk (800 m above see level) will take about 1 hour. The guide will check your equipment upon arrival to hotel and you may agree to have a dinner with the groupmates somewhere in the city or at hotel (not included).
Day 2 / Base Camp (2,500 m/ 8,064 ft)
We start from the hotel at about 7 in the morning. You may leave some bags in the storage room at hotel. Rental equipment you will get either in Kislovodsk on the way to the base camp (2500 m) or in the basecamp itself. The way will take 3 hours. On the halfway there will be a stop for breakfast at a local cafe with traditional Caucasian pancakes. There will be a lunch waiting for us at the base camp and a nice walk in suroundings after that.
Day 3 / Acclimatisation walk to the High Camp (3,800 m/12,467 ft) and back to Base Camp
Today we'll carry some part of equipment to the high camp at 3800 m and come back to the base camp. The way up takes about 4-5 hours and another 2 hours for the way down. You may ask your guide to agree with a porter if you don't want to carry your backpack self. That costs €3 per 1 kg.
Day 4 / High Camp (3,800 m/12,467 ft)
Move to the high camp on Mount Elbrus. With the rest of equipment we hike up to the high camp at 3800 m. Free time.
Day 5 / Acclimatisation walk to the Lenz Rocks (4,800 m/15,748 ft) and back to High Camp
Acclimatisation hike up to the Lenz Rocks (4800 m). This will take 5-6 hours up and 2-3 hours down. Overnight at the high camp (3800 m).
Day 6 / High Camp. Ice and snow course.
Day of rest at the high camp (3800 m). Today you may have an ice- and snow course. You will practice in self-arresting with an ice-axe when sliding down the slope. Bed time at 8 p.m.
Day 7 / Summit day.
Light breakfast and start from the camp at about 2 a.m. Initially, all climbers are striving to the West summit since it is 21 m higher than the East one. But the way to there is 3 hours longer and not everybody can manage this. If a group is big enough and there are several guides, the chief guide can decide to split the group in two. This takes place at the altitude of about 5000 m and it is the chief guide who decides who goes to the East summit and who goes to the West summit. He is responsible for safety of the group and every climber and he is experienced enough to estimate physical and mental state of every participant, so his decision is ultimate. There is an important rule on Elbrus: at 1 p.m. you have to turn down, no matter how close to the summit you are. This is because the weather is worsening after midday. If you are a slow walker you can hire a personal guide and start earlier than the other people in your group. Normally, ascent of Mount Elbrus takes 9 - 11 hours and descent to the high camp at 3800 m - 4-6 hours. Overnight at the high camp (3800 m).
Day 8 / Descent to the base camp (2500 m) or reserve day for summiting.
Day 9 / Transfer to our hotel in Kislovodsk. Celebration dinner (not included) and handing over climbing certificates.
Day 10 / Airport transfer.
Transportation to the airport after breakfast. We'll bring you to airport about 10:00. Flight to go back home or stay on to Explore Russia in 7 days - Moscow, St. Petersburg, Golden Ring region, art, culture, history, literature, architecture, food, drinks and more. For details, visit http://www.rustiktravel.com/Experiences/russian-experience
South Route / 9 Days
The South route offers lush green acclimatisation hikes in beautiful, pristine meadows similar to the Alps. The South route is well supported in terms of infrastructure. It has cable cars, which take your kit up for you and snow machines, which speed your ascent on summit morning. There are itineraries from 8 to 10 days in his route.
Day 1 / Baskan Valley (2,300 m/7,546 ft).
Meeting at Mineralnye Vody airport before 2 pm. Our English-speaking guide will be awaiting you outside of the arrival hall at the airport. Bus ride (3 - 3.5 hrs) to a mountain hotel in the Baksan valley near the foothills of Mt. Elbrus. There are twin and triple rooms in the hotel, with toilet and shower. Single accommodation may be available for additional cost in case there are vacant rooms in hotel or if you ordered that in advance. You will pick up equipments for the climb and the expedition briefing will also take place. Overnight at the hotel (2,300 m/7,546 ft).
Day 2 / Acclimatization day. Hike to Terskol peak (3,100 m/ 10,170 ft. 4-5 hrs up and 1.5-2 hrs down).
Acclimatization hike to Terskol peak (3,100 m/ 10,170 ft)). This is the last day before you leave the valley and after hike you can visit equipment store in order to hire something. Your guide will assist you to choose right equipment. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 3 / Transfer to Azau valley, ascent by ski lift to cable car station Mir (3,500 m/11,483 ft).
Acclimatization hike to Priut 11 (4,100 m/13,451 ft). Descent to hotel. This is the last day before you leave the valley and after hike you can visit equipment store in order to hire high-mountain and climbing equipment (mountain boots, crampons, harness, down jacket, sleeping bag, etc). Overnight at the hotel.
Day 4 / Mountain refuge (3,800m/12,467 ft).
This is the day when you move to the mountain refuge at 3800 m. You can leave your non-climbing luggage hotel. It will not be necessary to carry your backpacks self because the group will reach the refuge using ski lifts. There will be only a short distance to walk from the cable cars last station to the hut. You will be kindly asked to help the guide to load the boxes with food onto the ski lifts and then to unload it. The cook will either ascend with you or already awaiting you at the hut preparing light lunch. After having tea or coffee with sandwiches and sweeties we put on all mountain equipment and go for acclimatization hike up to 4,300 m/14,107 ft. Overnight at the refuge.
Day 5 / Hike up to the Pastuckhov rocks and probably higher (4,800 m/ 15,748 ft. 6 hrs up and 2 hrs down).
Overnight at the refuge.
Day 6 / Day of relaxation.
On this day you will have ice and snow courses with your guide not far from the refuge. The guide will teach you how to put on the crampons and how to walk in it; he will show you techniques of self-arrest with an ice-axe and you will try to slide down the slope and then fix yourself on the snow using your ice-axe and the crampons. Overnight at the refuge.
Day 7 / Summit day (5,642 m /18,510 ft).
We leave the refuge about 3 a.m. for the climb of Elbrus' west summit, (5,642 m/18,510 ft). It is possible to hire a snow-cat (Ratrak) for a group. This vehicle carries climbers (12 people) up to Pastuckhov rocks and saves 4 hours and a lot of energy. Generally, for an average group, it takes about 9 hours to reach the top and 5 hours to come back to the hut. Typically, we stay at the refuge this night. If a group comes back from the top before 2 p.m. we can discuss the possibility to descend to the valley and have overnight at the mountain hotel. However this will require additional payment for hotel, because this night is paid for the huts.
Day 8 / Reserve day.
This is a reserve day in case of bad weather on the previous day. When the group takes an attempt of reaching the summit on this day, it is necessary to descend to the valley same evening by all means, though it may be hard because the ski lifts stop working at 4 p.m. Celebration dinner and overnight at hotel.
Day 9 / Departure.
Depart to the airport at 06.30 a.m. in order to be there by 09.30 a.m. If this time doesn't suit you, it is possible to order a private airport transfer. Flight to go back home or stay on to Explore Russia Moscow, St. Petersburg, Golden Ring region, art, culture, history, literature, architecture, food, drinks and more. For details, visit http://www.rustiktravel.com/Experiences/russian-experience

Inclusions

Inclusions

  • Invitation letter for visa. We send this to you as soon as we get your deposit and passport copy. Visa fee is additional.
  • Local registration for foreigners according to the Russian law.
  • Group transportation from Mineralnye Vody to Kislovodsk and back. Please, notice that our group transfer from the airport Mineralnye Vody on the 1st day is scheduled for 14:30. This means that you need to arrive before that time. On the last day we'll bring you to the airport to be in time to check-in for flight SU1305 which departs at 11:35. If your flight departs later you'll probably have to wait at the airport for some time or to order a private transportation. You'll also need a private transportation in case your flight departs before 11:35. Please, keep in mind that the way from Kislovodsk to the airport takes 1 h.
  • Accommodation: Kislovodsk - a 3* hotel, shared twin or triple accommodation with breakfast. 3* hotel Snow Leopard shared twin or triple room in the foot of Elbrus, 4 nights. - Mountain refuge Heart of Elbrus at 3800 m, mixed dorm (4 or 8 person), 4 nights
  • Base camp - tents, High Camp - huts.
  • Cable car tickets for two ascents and two descents on Mt. Elbrus.
  • Transfer Kislovodsk - Mount Elbrus and back.
  • All food on the mountain (cook services included).
  • Guide. One guide for the group throughout the tour. One mountain guide for three-four people for the summit attempt (1/3-4 guide/client ratio).
  • Porters for tents and food.
  • One summit attempt. For example, when a group starts in weather conditions which allow to go, and later it changes to the dangerous ones (like storm/ heavy snowfall/ dense fog) and the group has to descend; or one/ several participants feel bad and give up on climbing this is considered as an expended attempt.
  • Group equipment (ropes, ice screws etc.).
  • Climbing certificate.
  • Park fee.

Exclusions

  • Expenses in Moscow.
  • Lunches and dinners in Kislovodsk.
  • Hire of personal equipment (such as sleeping bag, boots, crampons etc.).
  • Porter services for personal belongings. Food, gas, tents and public equipment will be carried by our porters. You will have to carry your personal belongings from the base camp up to the high camp. This will be done in two carries. Normally, active acclimatization is very helpfull and enhances your chances to reach the summit. But if you feel tired you can hire a porter for only 50 euros. You can make decision on the spot and ask your guide to find a porter before you leave the base camp.
  • Riding snow-cat (ratrak, a vehicle transporting people along the snow slopes). The exact cost depends on number of passengers: up to 4800 m it costs €700-800 per vehicle (max 9 clients and 3 guides free). You also can hire a snow-cat on your way down and this will be cheaper than on the way up.
  • Taking an additional attempt after the first attempt has been expended (this doesn't include cases when the weather was bad from the beginning and the group hasn't started the climb).
  • Single occupancy at hotel or in tent. If you don't want to share your space with somebody you can pay 60 euro extra for hotel and 35 euro for tent and enjoy single accommodation.
  • Cost of additional night at hotel when you decide to descend to the valley on the reserve days because this days are already paid for at the refuge.
  • Individual transfer from or to airport - €60. You require an individual transfer when you: - arrive to Mineralnye Vody later than 14:15 on the first day of the trip; - you return flight on the last day departs before 11:25 or much later than that and you don't want to wait at the airport.
  • Prescheduled return to Kislovodsk because of an illness or in case of successful climb when the reserve day was not used. This will raise some additional expenditures: Transportation. You can join any other group which occasionally leaves from the Base Camp for Kislovodsk. You will be charged 1500 - 2000 roubles per person. When there are no vehicles at the Base Camp but you still want to leave, you can order a car and that will cost 200EUR/260USD. Accommodation. Our prise includes only 2 nights at hotel in Kislovodsk: before and after the climb. If you return earlier you will have to pay self for additional nights at hotel. Besides, it can be difficult to find a free room in a mid-range hotel, especially in July and August. Prices start from 1000 to 6000 roubles for a single room.
  • Taking an additional attempt after the first attempt has been expended (this doesn't include cases when the weather was bad from the beginning and the group hasn't started the climb).
  • Mountaineering insurance. It is highly recommended for climbing Mount Elbrus.
  • Airfare.
  • GST and other taxes applicable, if any.

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