Altitude: 5,663M/ 18,480ft Location: Russia
Elbrus is a strenuous mountain and can be windy and cold. However it is a popular mountain and has a typical success rate of nearly 80%.
June 15 - June 30
July 1 - July 14 (2012 Confirmed with Matt Schonwald)
August 7 - August 21
BC services only USD$please contact us
All services Moscow – Moscow except lunches and dinners in towns.
12 per trip
Mt Elbrus 5833m/18,481 ft
Standing at a height of 5633m / 18,481 ft, Elbrus is a giant dormant volcano in a chain of mountains known as The Caucasus. The Caucasus range forms a chain of snowy, high, alpine mountains separating Georgia from Russia to the north. They run for 1000km with many peaks over 4000m. Elbrus is the highest peak in this range and indeed Europe and is one of the Seven Continental Summits.
Mount Elbrus was first climbed by the British party consisting of Moore, Gardiner, Grove and Walker in 1874. The mountain is heavily glaciated and has double peaks. We will climb the highest of Elbrus’ peaks, the West Peak.
Although no advanced mountaineering experience is required for the ascent of Elbrus you will need to be familiar with the basic use of crampons and ice-axes. Elbrus is a strenuous mountain and can be windy and cold. However it is a popular mountain and has a typical success rate of nearly 80%. If you are fit, prepared and acclimatised, you will have a great chance of standing on the summit of the highest peak in Europe.
The trip starts and finished in Moscow and provides a real experience of life behind the “Iron Curtain”.
Our schedule will include sufficient time for acclimatisation treks, and to experience local villages, culture and geography. The schedule also includes spare days should we need to wait for the weather to improve. From Moscow, we will fly 2 hours to Mineralnye Vody. From here good roads lead us to a hotel in the Baksan Valley, near Elbrus. This trip takes 4 hours. Here we will make several walks, prepare our equipment and get ready for the mountain.
During our trip we will have opportunities to practice or improve upon ice axe and crampon techniques to ensure all group members are part of a “climbing team” rather than clients led on a rope.
For the ascent of Elbrus itself we may make use of the cable car lift system to take us to the Garabashi huts at 3850m or the Diesel Hut at 4157m. An alternative is to walk up to camp at the former site of the Priut 11 hut at 4200m. Walking will help with acclimatisation and is dependent on conditions on the mountain. Whilst on the mountain we will also make acclimatisation walks before attempting the summit proper.
Summit day is long and strenuous and the average time to summit is 8 to 10 hours for the ascent and about 4 hours for the descent. In autumn, winter and spring the slopes above the Pastukhov rocks are covered with ice and can be dangerous. However in the summer, this is less apparent. However, we will still be moving as a group and ensuring that safety is our primary concern.
On arriving at the summit plateau, you are greeted by steep drops and a large and featureless plateau. The sense of achievement is immense as you look out across Europe, before taking summit photographs and descending.
Flying back to Moscow, we partake of the local hospitality to celebrate our success.
Sample Daily Itinerary for summer 2012 July trip
July 1-2. Leave the U.S. Arrive in Moscow. Hotel accommodation near the city center.Overnight at a hotel Izmailovo Gamma-Delta
July 3. Moscow city tour until 4pm. Free evening. Overnight at a hotel Izmailovo Gamma-Delta.
July 4. Fly to Mineral Vody. Meeting at the airport in Mineralnye Vody and transfer by private bus to the hotel in Baksan Valley not far from Elbrus. Briefing with the mountain guide. Overnight at the Povorot hotel in Terskol
July 5. Our first acclimatization hike into the beautiful Baksan Valley. Overnight at the Povorot hotel in Terskol
July 6. Acclimatization ski or hike to Cheget observatory. This long day adds good bump up in altitude, leaving most climbers feeling strong and acclimatized. Overnight at the Povorot hotel in Terskol
July 7. Move to “barrels” where we lodge at about 11,000 feet. We use the tram and ski lift to help move our gear. Overnight at the Barrels.
July 8. Hike to Pastukov rocks (15,416 feet) and return to barrel. Overnight at the Barrels.
July 9. Rest Day or 1st attempt Elbrus. Early morning start with almost 5,000 vertical feet of cramponing. Return to hut for the night. Overnight at the Barrels.
July 10. Summit climb! Early morning start with almost 5,000 vertical feet of cramponing. Return to hut for the night.. Overnight at the Barrels
July 11-12. Two days available for the ascent of Elbrus or ski tours exploring the area. Overnight at the Barrels. (2 nights)
July 12-13. Drive to Mineralnye Vody. Flight to Moscow, move to the international airport for the return flight home.
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