Climb Mt. Elbrus

 

Mt. Elbrus is Europe’s highest peak, daunting and rewarding. You will be challenging yourself on the one seven summits.  Our itinerary is unique as we acclimatize on the less traveled north side of the mountain and climb from the South side.  Mt. Elbrus is found deep in the Baskan Valley and in the Caucasus mountain range running along the Russian Georgia border and east of the Black sea. We have refined our Elbrus climbs over the years giving you the best chance at success. We want you to be successful so we only run twelve day climbing programs with proper acclimatization which is the key to success on high altitude mountains.  Our programs will give you a 90% chance of making a safe and successful ascent of Mt. Elbrus. Check out our dates for 2017. Contact us.
On the summit of Mt. Elbrus 2006
High on Mt. Elbrus Elbrus on the classic route

A little bit more about the climb

This trip is a very unique experience; travelling into Russia can be quite daunting, and it can be a difficult place to negotiate.  Our service brings you straight into the mountain region.  You will fly from your home country to Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik, where you will be picked up and driven into the mountains. On arrival there are no mountains to be seen, which leaves you wondering if you are in the right place. After and hour or so the foot hills appear and we turn right into the Baskan Valley, passing by over loaded trucks, small farming villages some animals on the road. The mountains around us are bare, but beautiful as we move closer to the end of the valley and then snow capped peaks appear.

If you opt to climb from the south, the village area of Terskol has a large old hotel and some nice Chalets and this will be your base. The area is a sleepy market village, peaceful and quiet, but not all the time. This area can frequently be closed to tourist due to military action in the region, which can make it impossible to enter the area during volatile times. The price starts from $2,600. Check out our quality itinerary below.

Heading over the Irikchat pass Training climb on Mt. Elbrus
Once in the region we will spend plenty of days acclimatizing, trekking around the surrounding valleys and peaks. Before we move up on the cable car to the Barrels at 3,750m/ 12,303 ft. and acclimatize up to the Pastukhov Rocks at 4,800m/ 15,748 ft. at the higher end. We will then make our attempt on the summit. Climbing on the North side will be done by tents and different Itinerary. No matter what side of Elbrus you want to climb on, the weather and cold temperatures can come into play on this mountain.  What we have done is built in extra days to give you every chance in making the top of one of the world’s 7 summits. We want to give you the best chance at making the summit of Elbrus.

Itinerary

View Mount Elbrus in a larger map

Day 1

Fly to Mineralnye Vody, on the plains north of the Caucasus. Once you arrive on the ground you drive 3 and a half hours by private bus to the hotel in the Baksan Valley, near Mt Elbrus at about 2,100m/ 6,890 ft above sea level.

Day 2

Transfer 50 km to gorge Tyrnyauz at the start point 2,400m/ 7875 ft to go up to Suaryk pass 3,210m/ 10,532 ft Trek over Suaryk pass on an easy route. Descent into the Kyrtyk valley, the first part is a 200m long steep path, this valley is very picturesque with amazing relaxed scenery. We will camp out in tents tonight. You will be walking up for about 3 hours, with 800m up and down.

Day 3

Trek up to Syltran lake 3,200m/10,532 ft along the nice valley and then to Syltran pass 3,430m/ 11,253 ft. Then descent to tent camp 2,510m/ 8,235 ft on the confluence of Kyrtyk & Mkiara valleys. Your day will be 9 hours hiking. To you will go up 1,700m/ 5,578 ft, and down 900m/ 2,953 ft.  From tonight’s camp you get a cool view to Elbrus.

Day 4

Today you will hike up to the Kyrtykaush pass 3,230m/ 10,598 ft. With a nice easy 4 hour up hill jaunt and down hill 2 hours. From the pass is a great view to the unknown and beautiful gorge Islamchat, which leads to the northern foothills of Mount Elbrus.

Day 5

Trek to Irikchat valley over Irik pass 3,750m/ 12,304 ft.  Going up to the pass we walk through the glacier Mkiara, climbing equipment will be needed today. After crossing the glacier you descend right down from the pass to the Irik valley and camp at 2750m/ 9,023 ft.  This a long 1,200m/ 3,937 ft.  6 hour ascent and heading back down 1,000m/ 3,280 ft. 3 hour hike back down into the valley.

Day 6

Today we hike up to the Irikchat pass 3,660m/ 12,875 ft. The pass is situated right under the lava flow on the East slope of Elbrus East top of Elbrus 5,621m. From the pass, it is possible to see the North slope of Elbrus, and a part of its South slope which is a unique experience climbing on Elbrus. Today’s hike is 4 hours uphill, and back down about 2 hours.

Day 7

Today we will trek back through the Irik valley and then Irik gorge waterfall and back to Elbrus village at 1,800m/ 5,905 ft. This descent will take about 3 hours. From the road side you will travel by car to the village and transfer to Elba hotel. The afternoon is free to relax, have a sauna or wander into the unique village of Terskol. You will spend the night in the hotel.

Day 8

Today you will make the 15 min drive to the Azau cable car station. We take the cable car/chair lift system up Elbrus and stay in the Garabashi Huts at 3,700m / 12,140 ft. or the Diesel Hut at 4,050m / 13,288 ft.

Day 9

Today we head out for an acclimatization walk to the “Rocks of Pastukhov” at 4,800m / 15,748 ft. We will then descend back to the hut and overnight in the hut.

Day 10

Today is our summit day.  You begin in the early morning hours to ascend the highest of Elbrus’s twin peaks. The West Summit is our goal and the highest point at 5,642m/ 18,510 ft. You carry your day-pack with spare kit, sun cream, sun glasses, water and other essential gear. (Option: it is possible to use a snow-cat to Pastukhov Rocks) This is a cold and challenging ascent and can take up to 10 hours. From the top of the Pastukhov rocks we will traverse left across the col between the two summits. We will move across the col and ascend the west peak to the true summit. We will top out onto a flat section and cross this section on easy terrain to the true summit of Europe’s highest peak. We will take our time and descend back to the hut. This is a long but rewarding day. You have just stood on the summit of Europe’s highest peak.

Day 11

This day may well be needed as a spare summit attempt. The weather can be very inconsistent in this region and if the conditions are not favorable the day before we will hold off and use this day to go for the summit.  Otherwise we will return to the hotel on the valley floor.

Day 12

Return to the hotel. Relax and perhaps enjoy one of the fine walks from the hotel.

Day 13

Flight home or onward journey.  Today you will transferred to Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik. You will be up early and drive back out of the Baskan valley to the airport for your flight home. This ends our service in the Elbrus Region.

If you want to climb Mt. Elbrus and stand of the top of Europe at 5,642m you need the right acclimatization program, and the right team to back it up. We have that team that will prepare you and help you gather the knowledge and experience to take on Europe’s highest peak. You need to be ready for an amazing adventure and we can get you there. Get in touch today and take the first step on route to your Elbrus journey.