|Duration: ||13/14 Days total |
Expedition Leader: Pat Falvey
Grade:Trekking – Strenuous,
Prices: €2250 Land Only
Flight: €880 Ireland-Moscow-Mineral Ni Vody Central Caucasus & return.
A superb climb, and suitable for a beginner moving on from trekking the likes of Kilimanjaro into climbing and moving on snow and ice. It brings you to a volitile region of Russia, just miles from the border with Georgia, in the central Caucasus's and to the peaceful region of Kabardino-Balkaria were we climb Europe’s highest mountain.
The Caucasus Mountains stretch for 550 miles (880Kms), from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. They form the physical barrier dividing Europe and Asia, and the whole range lies entirely within the former Soviet Union. This region is home to 50 different Ethnic groups which all seek independence and recognition for their customs, beliefs and their freedom from repressive regimes.
This area is one of the most interesting places on earth and this expedition gives us a chance to explore the wonders of this otherwise war-torn region by visiting the peaceful region of Kabardino-Balkaria, which is situated in the Central Caucasus and is our destination for our attempt on Mt. Elbrus.
The highest and most glaciated part of the Caucasus is the central region,where Mount Elbrus stands, the highest mountain in Europe. Elbrus is a popular mountain, being a straightforward glacier climb. The main hazards are the high altitude (which we prepare for as fully as possible, with training climbs and walks in the Baksan valley), and poor weather, for which we have built in a few spare days to give more flexibility.
Climbers will need to be familiar with the use of crampons and ice axes, although ski poles will generally used. We have scheduled in to our itinerary specific acclimatisation days to allow our bodies to adjust accordingly for our summit attempt. We have designed a course, Snow and Ice Skills, specifically for those travelling to a region and landscape like that found on Mount Elbrus. We recommend you complete this prior to travelling with us.
Our expedition begins in Moscow. We only have a very brief stop off here before catching our flight to Mineral Nye Vody and then on to our base, Terskol which is situated in the Balksen valley. Before our attempt on Elbrus, we spend a few days in the spectacular valleys surrounding Elbrus, acclimatising, training, resting and looking for a break in the weather. Mount Elbrus is notorius for storms!
Undoubtedly, the best known and most alluring mountain in Russia, and the largest in Europe, Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano, one of the 'Seven Summits'. The fact that it is the highest in Europe suffices for many to go and climb it.
Elbrus belongs to a handful of mountains with a very special and irresistible kind of beauty which lies in their shape and setting. It stands 11km north from the main range and exceeds its neighbours in height by 1200-2000m. The views from both summits are breathtaking: to the north is a rolling carpet of pastures and all other sides there is a sea of snowy peaks.
The Elbrus Region/ Prielbrusie- Located in the Central Caucasus, the highest part of the entire mountain range is an area where many valleys converge into the Baksan Valley.It's glaciers give rise to the Baksan, Kuban and Malkan Rivers. In this region we will see many famous peaks such as Mt.Shkhelda (4,320m), Mt. Chatin (4,369m), Mt. Ushba (4,710) and Mt. Elbrus itself (5,642m).
Mount Elbrus dominates the Central Caucasus and has two seperate volcano vents: the western peak, Zapadnaya 5,642m, is the higher peak and the eastern peak, Vostochnaya, at 5,621m. The eastern peak has a crater 250m in diameter. The mountain is covered in a huge sheet of ice which covers some 145sq KM and is up to 400m thick. Often horrific weather surrounds the mountain and it is notorius for storms. From the col that divides the two peaks the snow slopes descend to the many tongues of ice and crevasses lying in the valleys.
The ancients knew the mountain as Strobilus , Latin for ' pine cone', a direct loan from the ancient Greek Strobilos, meaning ' a twisted object' - a long established botanical term that describes the shape of the volcano's summit. A myth that is held here claims Zues had chained Prometheus, the Titan who had stolen fire from the Gods and given it to ancient man- likely a reference to historic volcanic activity.
By the normal route it is a long climb over a medium incline that requires good acclimatisation but has no real technical difficulty. By this stage we will have spent many days in the surrounding hills and valleys acclimatising and preparing for our climb. The simplicity of this climb is not to be under estimated, it is a dangerous route. Apart from the altitude , the highly variable weather and freqeunt violent storms combined with low tempatures, as low as -25 degrees, means that this ascent is a real high altitude adventure!
The average time to summit is approx 9hrs and approx 4 hrs for our descent. Crampons and ski poles are necessary for this climb and ice axes are useful for extra safety. Like all big mountains, the peaks of the Caucasus generate and attract thier own weather, making conditions unpredictable and ferocious at times. To be prepared for a wide range of tempatures it is important to bring everything on the recommended equipment list.
Trekking - Moderate to Strenuous:
This trek is suitable to those moving on from high altitude peaks like Kilimanjaro and wishing to start progressing to mountains which require additional skills such as moving on snow and ice.
A good level of fitness is required prior to departure.
A good level of fitness is required for this climb and if you have not been training prior to this climb you will lower your chances of a successful summit. It is a demanding trek and includes an average of 6 hrs walking per day, with exception to summit night which is between 12 and 15hrs.This is a technical climb and is very steep in places. For many people it will be a very hard physical challenge. We strongly recommend that you seek advice on fitness from a professional instructor.
Prices & Inclusions
Land Only €2250 Flights €880 All inclusive €3130,
Fuly escorted with experienced guides and on site training
Accommodation while trekking
* Visa fees
- * Tips, bar bills, laundry, room service etc.
- * Personal gear -
Moscow City Guided Tour - 1 Day - Extra night B&B
Please contact us for more details on Moscow City tour
Day 1: Dublin- Moscow-overnight flight
Day 2: Moscow - Mineralnye Vody - Tereskol, night hotel or similiar
Day 3: Hike to Cheget,3,600m- Night at hotel
Day 4: Hike to Observatory-Night at hotel
Day 5: Hike to Adysul Valley
Day 6: Cable car to Mir station, Hike to Barrel,Night at the Barrels.
Day 7: Hike to Priut hut or higher- Night at the Barrels
Day 8: Technical Training/weather/acclimatisation day
Day 9: Technical Training/weather/acclimatisation day
Day 10: Summit Attempt- last potential summit night -Night at Priut Hut
Day 11: Descend to Terskol Night at hotel
Day 12: Tereskol - MRV- Moscow Night at Hotel
Day 13: Moscow- Dublin-Arrive home/ unless you have opted for the
Moscow City Tour Extension
City Tour Extension
Day 14: Moscow free day, B&B
Day 15: Moscow - Ireland
Day 16: Arrive Ireland
Climbing Mount Elbrus is, among other things, a big personal and team achievement. Therefore, it needs to be enjoyed as much as possible, and to do it, it is necessary to bear in mind some recommendations when starting to prepare for your ascent. Your experience will depend on your training. The chances of summiting successfully are greater when you train specifically for the challenge ahead. We have designed a number of courses and walks to help you achieve your goal.
Recommended Training Program
Your daily routine must include some exercising that will contribute to achieve fitness. As nowadays most of us have many obligations, sometimes it is hard to find the time to train everyday. When you have a goal such as to summit Elbrus, the challenge is worth it and all the effort may become a pleasure, which is another goal in itself.
Although Hillwalking is best and specific to the challenge, please remember any type of cardiovascular training will help you prepare for this expedition. Focus your training on building endurance by completing long, slow and low - mid intensity training session along with a few fast and short sessions to build up your anaerobic capacity. Build the distance and duration of your training sessions slowly as over training often leads to injury. Contact us for more information regarding our training courses to help you be in the best shape possible.
Meet & Greet
Our Pre-expedition meetings are designed as part of the preparation process. All team members are invited to partake; it is a good idea to have these meetings once you have made up your mind to take on an expedition. The meetings include a thorough briefing on all aspects of the trip and provide an ideal opportunity to clear up any final questions you may have. We may include this in our skills course.
*A date will be confirmed for meet with your Tour Leader once you have signed up.
Passport / Visas- For your application
You will need a full valid passport- please ensure your passport is valid for 6 months after we return home.
For you Visa application:
4 passport photos-signed on reverse side.
Tourist Voucher-available from us on request.
Travel Insurance Certificate.
Applications are made by post to your nearest Russian Embassy
For more info please contact our office.
# We have all you need at our new store located in the Gap of Dunloe, View our products online @ http://shop.patfalvey.com/
Light weight long underwear - Tops & Bottoms
Expedition weight long underwear - Tops & Bottoms
Briefs - For everyday wear while trekking
Short Sleeved T-Shirts/Shirts - 2 x trekking
Long Sleeved T-Shirts/Shirt - 2 x trekking
Sofshell/Fleece x 2
Trekking Pants x 2/3 - one insulated pants is recommended
Parka Jacket - Down or synthetic with hood- Expedition Type and needs to fit over all insulation layers (it can get as cold as -25 degrees celsius)
Jacket - Waterproof & breatheable- storm proof mountaineering jacket
Over Trousers - Waterproof & breatheable- storm proof mountaineering pants
Shoes for travel and easy walking
Lightweight Hiking Boots
Climbing Boots - Plastic double boot-available for hire
Gaitors - short simple gaitors are best
Booties - optional luxury, down/synthetic
Lightweight socks - 2/3 pairs
Warm trekking socks - 2/3 pairs
Head & Hand Wear
Windstopper fleece gloves
Sunglasses x 2 - Specific to High Altitude Mountaineering, UV & IR protection
Ice Axe - Available for hire
Crampons - Available for hire
Ski Poles - 1 pair collapsible spring bound ski poles
Harness - lightweight web waist with all leg loops opening
Carabiners- 2 x screw gates, 2 x snapgates
Backpack - at least 75 litre with ice axe haul loops and crampon attachment point
Daypack - 25 - 35 litre
Waterproof pack cover
Sleeping Bag - Expedition quality to at least -25, down preferred and must pack small
Sleeping Mat - Thermorest preferred for extra warmth
Pocket-Knife - leatherman or similar
Water Bottles - 1/ 2
Pee Bottle/Funnel for women
Large Duffel Bag
Travel clothes for days in we are in transit
Padlocks for bags while in transport
Travel Insurance Certificate
Passport, Visa and document copies
Money in US Dollars / Euros
Sun Block - important
Towel and wash kit
Spare batteries for all electronic equipment
Medical & Personal
Personal First Aid Kit
Personal Medication - seek advice from your doctor
Water Purification Tablets