Climb Mount Elbrus

  • Overview

  • About

  • Route

  • Grade

  • Prices

  • Itinerary

  • Preparation

  • Gear

Trip: Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus range, Russia, Highest Mountain in Europe

 

Altitude: 5642m/18,511ft a continental High Point and 7 summit challenge

 

Route: Adylsu Valley - Priut Hut - Summit - Terskol

 

Dates: 2018 dates to be confirmed but provisionally June 17th to 30th, July 14th to 27th, July 28th to August 10th

 

Duration: 13/14 Days total     Grade: Trekking – Strenuous     Prices: €2,650 Land Only

 

Flight: From €990- Ireland-Moscow-Mineral Ni Vody Central Caucasus & return.

 

Add Ons: From €700- 3 Nights St Petersburg inc train and flight. From €380- 2 nights Moscow including bus tour

The Elbrus Experience

 

 

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 and to the peaceful region of Kabardino-Balkaria were we climb Europe’s highest mountain.

 

Free Webinar

 

Elbrus webinar

 

The Route - The effects of Altitude - Training - Food - Gear required - Guides - Accommodation - The psychology need to succeed - The support for you, your family and friends from Ireland to the mountain.

  
If you haven't any experience of climbing a snow and ice mountain we can provide a weekend course in Ireland for you to learn the skills you need to participate in the climb.


You will need to learn the skills for using crampons and ice axes in order to climb Elbrus.

 

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 who 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 145 square km's 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.  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 frequent violent storms combined with low temperatures, as low as -25 degrees, means that this ascent is a real high altitude adventure!

 

The average time to summit is approx. 9 hours and approx. 4 hours for 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 their own weather, making conditions unpredictable and ferocious at times.  To be prepared for a wide range of temperatures it is imporatant 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 €2,650

Flights from €990

All inclusive €3,700 (Valid as of Aug 2017) 

*Prices based on shared rooms/tents. If single accomadation is required a supplement applies

Inclusions:

  • Fully escorted with experienced guides and on site training

  • All transfers

  • Hotel Accommodation

  • Park Fees

  • Accommodation while trekking

  • Communal Equipment

Exclusions:

  • Visa fees

  • Meals on route

  • Travel Insurance

  • Tips, bar bills, laundry, room service etc.

  • Extra baggage costs

  • Personal gear - Medication

  • *Prices based on shared rooms/tents. If single accomadation is required a supplement applies

Optional Extras

Moscow Extra 2 Nights including City Guided Tour €380 - Can add or take away days as needed.

St Petersburg Extra 3 Nights including one way train and one way flight, €700 - Can add or take away days as needed.

Itinerary:

  • 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

  • Day 14: Moscow free day, B&B

  • Day 15: Moscow - Ireland

  • Day 16: Arrive Ireland

Cancellation:

Full refund applies if cancellation is received and acknowledged more than 20 weeks prior to event.

Desposits will not be refunded for cancellations received within 20 weeks.

For bookings made where flights have to be paid for in advance, the flight cost is non- refundable once paid.

Preparation

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 your Visa application:

  • 4 passport photos-signed on reverse side.

  • Tourist Voucher - available from us upon request.

  • Travel Insurance Certificate.

Applications are made by post to your nearest Russian Embassy

For more info please contact us

 All gear listed below videos.

Gear List for high altitude mountains like Mt Elbrus and Aconcagua 

How to pack for snow and ice mountains

Layering system for summit nights at high altitude and other tips

Clothing:

  • 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

  • Softshell/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

Foot and Hand wear:

  • Shoes for travel and easy walking

  • Sandals

  • 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

  • Sock Liners

  • Warm trekking socks - 2/3 pairs

  • Foot Powder

  • Head & Hand Wear

  • Liner Gloves

  • Windstopper fleece gloves

  • Waterproof Mittens

  • Bandana/Buff

  • Sun Hat

  • Warm Hat

  • Balaclava/Face mask

Accessories:

  • Sunglasses x 2 - Specific to High Altitude Mountaineering, UV & IR protection

  • Ski Goggles

  • Headtorch

  • Spare batteries

  • Climbing Equipment

  • 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 Equipment

  • 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

  • Travel Items

  • Large Duffel Bag

  • Travel clothes for days in we are in transit

  • Travel towel

  • Swim shorts/suit

  • Padlocks for bags while in transport

  • Toiletries Bag

  • Camera

  • Book/Journal

  • Miscellaneous Items

  • Travel Insurance Certificate

  • Passport, Visa and copies of all travel and insurance documents

  • Money in US Dollars/Euros

  • Sun Block - important

  • Towel and wash kit

  • Spare batteries for all electronic equipment

  • Medical & Personal Needs

  • Lip Balm/Sunscreen

  • Personal First Aid Kit

  • Personal Medication - seek advice from your doctor

  • Babywipes/handwipes

  • Hand Gel

  • Ear Plugs

  • Water Purification Tablets

 

 

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More Information on Elbrus

Elbrus Dates

2018 Provisional Dates:

June 17th to 30th 

July 14th to 26th

July 28th to August 10th

 

2019 Provisional Dates:

June 15th to 28th 

July 13th to 25th

July 27th to August 9th

 

If these dates do not suit we can organise the trip for whatever dates you wish for two or more people! 

*Minimum group size of 6 applies per group as per dates above, dates may change due to airline changes*