After 15 years of experience leading teams on Mount Elbrus we tried and tested different itinerary. We have come up with an itinerary that works every time. We get 100% success on most of our climbs usually the reason people are not making it is lack of physical preparation. Read some REVIEWS.
Get the Most out of your Mount Elbrus Experience
Our acclimatization program on the North and Eastern sides of Mount Elbrus lead nicely into a summit attempt from the South. We drive and then hike into our base camp at 2,575m/ 8,448 feet on the North side of the mountain. From here we will make a number of ascents to 3,125m/ 10,252 feet on crown peak, 3,700m/ 12,139 feet on he northern glacier of Mount Elbrus and then further high passes a number of times. On our last day of acclimatizing we hike up to 3,700m/ 12,139 feet and down to the valley floor to sleep in the hotel. 6 days of beautiful trekking and acclimatization leads us perfectly into our summit attempt. Check out the Elevation Gains for our itinerary.
Moving Higher on Mount Elbrus
We have trekked and hiked on the northern slopes of Elbrus crossed the mountains around the eastern side of Mount Elbrus and now we will attempt to stand on the summit from the southern side of the mountain. When you can get better safety and support for your success you take it!
That is why the southern climbing route is the best route for safety and success. There are less people on the north but better safety on the south. It’s as simple as that.
Before going up Mount Elbrus you will need to do a full gear check, repack your 50/60 liter backpack for the next portion of the trip. LEARN MORE about the gear you will need to bring up the mountain with you.
Using the Gondola to Gain Higher Altitude
It’s time to get back to high altitude. We will drive 10/15 minutes to the Gondola aiming to start heading up at 11am. The Gondola is open from 9am to 4pm. We don’t want to be too early as people can be clearing out of the huts at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. You will get a ski pass card and you will need to keep it safe for the way up and down. There are 3 different Gondola’s, so you have to rotate in and out of them. Once you get off the Gondola you walk 5 minutes up hill to the huts at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet.
The Huts at 3,888m on Mount Elbrus
There will be four people to a room. Two bunk beds and two compartments in each unit. Some room have a heater, all rooms have a window and one outlet for charging (2 pin socket). We will have access to three different toilet blocks in the area. The huts are positioned on a rocky ridge line. We will get settled and then head up for a hike to 4,050m/ 13,287 feet to the site of the Prijut II hut. Rest and then head back down for lunch. This should take no longer than 1 hour 30 minutes. Then rest for the afternoon. Mealtimes are set and you only have 40 minutes as space is limited. Dinner could be set for 7 or 7:30pm.
More Acclimatization is Needed Before Your Summit Attempt
Everything is weather dependent on Mount Elbrus. Hopefully you will have had a good nights sleep. The next morning you will be up early for breakfast and more acclimatization. The goal is to reach 4,700/ 15,420 feet or 4,800m/ 15,748 feet if the weather is good.
Try and hang out there for 30 minutes snack and come back down for lunch which might be set for 2pm. If the sun is out it can be very warm, but the weather can change in an instant to cold, windy and snowy conditions. So, you need to be prepared. It can take 3/4 hours to hike up to the rocks and 1 hour 30 to 2 hours to make your way back to the huts. We have lunch and then retreat to the rooms to dry out all gear. We also want to make sure you everyone has their crampons tested, harnesses with slings and safety lines in place before a potential summit attempt. If everyone is feeling good and acclimatizing well there could be an option to go for the summit later that evening.
Going for the Summit of Mount Elbrus
You will need to be very flexible and wait for the right time for the summit attempt. Depending on a range of factors the guides will devise a plan. A normal summit day plan would be waking at midnight and start to drink water and prepare. You would go over for breakfast at 1am and then get on the snow cat at 2am for the teams ride back up to 4,700m/ 15,430 feet. 4,800m/
From the drop off point you will start climbing. It will be dark for the first few hours before lights starts glowing on the horizon at 4:30am. The plan is to walk for an hour, stop, go to the toilet, eat and drink and quickly keep moving. You will stop every hour for a few minutes and then keep moving towards your goal.
The terrain is steep and challenging, if there is fresh snow it will make the climb harder. So you need to be physically rock solid for your summit attempt. There maybe be groups of under prepared people so we may have to maneuver around them to be able to keep a pace that keeps us warm.
We will try and move slow and steady through the climb. It should take about 6 hours to reach the top. The terrain is steep in parts and the traverse from the saddle to the west summit is protected with fixed lines before moving onto easier terrain closer to the summit.
Arriving on The Top
You can see the summit as you make the long walk for 20 minutes to the true summit and the west peak of Mount Elbrus. From the top down it will take 3/4 hours to get back to the huts at 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. You will cover 942m/ 3,090 feet of ascent and 1,742m/ 5,715 feet of descent on this summit climb.
This is a long day. We should arrive back at the huts by 12 mid-day. Have lunch, pack up our things and walk down to the Gondola for the return journey to the valley. We will schedule dinner for 7pm and you can get a shower and rest up and enjoy the success.
If you would like further information on our Elbrus climbs CONTACT US today we are happy to answer any questions you may have.