Elbrus is a wild, remote mountain, one of the 7 summits and perfectly suited for expedition style mountaineering. Climbing Elbrus is a great of experiencing what it's like mountaineering at a significantly higher altitude than the Alps.
Mineralnye Vody Airport, Russia
June - September
- + 5
CLIMB THE HIGHEST PEAK IN EUROPE
Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe and is perfectly suited for expedition style mountaineering. It stands incredibly tall at 5642m altitude, rising high above its neighbouring peaks, located in the Caucasus mountains of Russia between the Caspian and Black Sea. Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. The taller, western summit is 5,642 metres, and the eastern summit is 5,621 metres.
This is a multi camp experience and an opportunity to tick off one of the seven summits. You'll experience every type of environments have to offer from flowery meadows, to volcanic rock, topped off with Europes highest glaciers. If you're looking to dip your toe into expedition mountaineering this is is the trip for you. Ypa!
YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE
WHO IS THIS FOR?
Ideally you will have some previous experience mountaineering using crampons. Previous experience at altitudes over 4000m helps and our Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa climbs are ideal preparation for this. That said It is a relatively straight forward climb so can be achieved with limited experience however we will be using axe, crampons and ropes for glacier and slope security.
Not sure whether you're ready? No sweat! Drop us a note and we'll be happy to talk it through with you.
Mineralnye Vody Airport, Russia
June - September
3:1 summit days
You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing. You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more 'aggressive' environments. Let's dial it up!
Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'about us' page.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLIMB
Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary.
Double layer boots
Double layer acts as a gaiter for added warmth and protection.
Rent for €35
Straight shaft for general mountaineering
Rent for €45
12 point steel mountaineering crampons
Rent for €30
Standard climbing harness
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
Big backpack or comfortable duffle bag
Up to 90L
For hikes and summit attempt, 30L
Foldable poles are best
Category 4 sunglasses
Must have high level of sun glare reduction and good UV protection.
Rated to -15 °C comfort temperature
Big down or synthetic jacket
Rated to -10°C
Side-leg zippers are helpful
Midweight fleece jacket
Midweight thermal underwear tops
Midweight thermal underwear bottoms
Good walking socks are required
Camp shoes: running shoes or trail shoes, sneakers
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet
Bandana / Buff
Fleece windproof gloves
To protect gloves from snow
To protect your trousers from crampons and to keep any snow out if it's deep
Sunblock factor 50
ID and documents
Passport / Drivers license, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
"Professional, very well trained guides - set just the right pace for us and made the climb to the summit a great experience!"
"I took a bit of a punt with AB on this trip and was so happy I did. Their local team on Elbrus were superb and very experienced. I didn't make the summit due to bad weather but it almost didn't matter as it was a life changing experience"
YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE
On arrival day you meet with your guides and fellow climbers at the accommodation for a welcome briefing in the evening. Here you will have an opportunity to ask any last minute questions as well as share your pre trip excitement with your group.
- All accommodation
- All Guides' expenses
- All Guiding fees
- All transport
- Group transfers as per itinerary
- Mountain hut accommodation full board
- All the necessary permits
- All food according to the itinerary
- OVIR registration
- Russian entry visa support
What's not Included?
- Flights to/from Mineralnye Vody Airport
- Equipment rental
- Travel insurance
- Visa Fee (Approx. €100)
- Snacks and drinks
This trip is running on the following dates
OUR ELBRUS ACCOMMODATION
We know the importance of having a comfortable base on this trip. That's why we stay in a lovely 3* hotel on arrival and departure day. During the ascent we stay in our local suppliers' camps, including their very own Mountain Hut built in July 2018. It can hold 16-18 guests and is the best choice on the north route. They provide 3 meals a day with vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free menus available, pure drinking water, free recharge of electronics devices, and Wi-Fi (for a supplement). Supplemental oxygen is available in emergencies.
Our Elbrus expedition is spent predominantly in camps on the route, with an overnight in a lovely 3* hotel at either side of the trip. The camps go from base camp at 2500m up to high camp at 3800m where we spend the most time. In summary we spend the first night in a hotel, then 3 nights at base camp followed by 4 or 5 nights at high camp depending on how long the summit attempt takes us, before the final night back at the hotel which signals the end of the trip. Departure the following day with transfers to the airport.
10 nights, 11 days
Single and double available
All food included on a full board basis on the mountain, half board in the hotel
WHAT TO EXPECT
HERE'S YOUR ITINERARY
While we try and stick to the tried and tested itinerary below, the mountain and the weather sometimes has other ideas. We will always remain as flexible as possible, which is why we only work with experienced and knowledgable guides, to make sure we can change any plans if required.
Arrival at Mineralnye Vody airport ideally on a morning flight. Meet the rest of the expedition team and guides outside the arrival hall. Once everyone has arrived, our transfer leaves from the airport heading to the city of Kislovodsk (1hr). When we arrive at the hotel we will have a guides meeting and check all the equipment. When necessary, you can hire missing items from a rental shop. After sorting out equipment, you will have free time to explore the town and have dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in our hotel in Kislovodsk.
On the road to base camp
After breakfast we load the backpacks onto our off-road vehicle and head towards the north side of Elbrus, having visited the rental shop on the way for any last minute needs. The journey takes around 2.5 hours as we leave the town behind and head into the wilderness. Upon arrival at the base camp (2500 m), there will be lunch and a walk around the surroundings, which include waterfalls and mineral springs. Dinner and briefing at the camp.
Acclimatisation to 3100m
Acclimatization hike to the valley of stone mushrooms (3100 m). This is a foggy mystic place where the first symptoms of altitude sickness can already be felt. The way up and down will take approximately four hours. Lunch and dinner at camp.
Acclimatisation hike to high camp
Carry equipment to the High Camp (3800 m). Today we carry our climbing gear to the next camp – crampons, ice axes, high-mountain boots, etc. Altogether this will make up around 10 – 15 kilos. The hike will take four hours up and two hours down. We then overnight at the Base Camp feeling the positive effects of acclimatisation.
Move to High Camp
Time to move to the High Camp and reunite with our climbing equipment. Lunch at the High Camp and some free time to relax and enjoy the views of our new surroundings before dinner time.
Acclimatisation to Lenz Rocks (4800m)
Acclimatization hike up to the Lenz rocks (4800 m). This is a challenging day. The way up will take 5 – 6 hours and another two hours for the way down. We’ll reach the height of Mont Blanc today, with some amazing views. Back down for dinner and overnight at High Camp.
Day of rest. Today there will be no hikes as we rest and recover from yesterday's push. The guide team will refresh your knowledge how to use an ice axe when you are sliding down the slope and some other key skills. Dinner and overnight at High Camp.
The summit day. We normally start with an ‘Alpine Start’ at 02:00 am. We fuel up at breakfast before setting off for our objective. Climbing from the north side, the east summit (5621 m) is closer than the west one (5642 m). So, on the summit day a group can split, and those participants who are better acclimatized go to the west summit and others climb to the east one. The decision is made by the guide team. Descent to the hut by 4 – 5 p.m. and overnight there, after a much needed dinner.
Reserve summit day / Start descent
This is the reserve day for summit attempt if the weather was bad on the previous day. Otherwise, we will slowly make our descent to the base camp (2500 m).
More time to descend
Another reserve day for the summit attempt and to facilitate any slight changes in itinerary to maximise your chances of reaching the summit with us. Transfer back to Kislovodsk. In the evening there will be a celebration dinner at a restaurant with the guides and we can toast to our achievements.
Departure. Transfer to the airport after breakfast. Arrival at the airport by 09.30 in the morning for your flight home.
Can I store baggage at the hotel whilst I’m on Elbrus?
Yes you can. The hotel we use is located in the city centre of Kislovodsk. You can leave any unrequired Read more
Yes you can. The hotel we use is located in the city centre of Kislovodsk. You can leave any unrequired belongings in a special storage room at the hotel when you leave for the mountain.
How do I get to Mineralnye Vody?
Most major European airports fly to Moscow and from there it is one stop over. Websites such as skyscanner allow Read more
Most major European airports fly to Moscow and from there it is one stop over. Websites such as skyscanner allow you to book a package flight including the stop over. Some clients like to stop off in Moscow either on the way in or the way out for a couple of days to go sightseeing. Let us know if you need assistance with your flights, we’d be more than happy to help.
What kind of boots do I need?
What’s the difference between the North and South route?
Both are good routes to the summit of Elbrus but we prefer the North route due to its remoteness and Read more
Both are good routes to the summit of Elbrus but we prefer the North route due to its remoteness and increased difficulty. To summarise, the North route on Elbrus is tougher than the South route but both are very rewarding and challenging climbs. We need to be more self-sufficient on the North route and it provides a more genuine ‘expedition’ environment.
What’s the mobile connection like?
Mobile connection on the north side will not be available on all days. Please inform your relatives that you could Read more
Mobile connection on the north side will not be available on all days. Please inform your relatives that you could be out of touch for several days, but this doesn’t mean that something bad has happened to you. In Kislovodsk the 3G signal is good, and there will be free Wi-Fi at hotel and restaurants. There will be several spots on the way to the base camp where you can catch a signal, then on the way up from the base camp to the high camp and on the summit. There is no mobile signal at the camps but you can buy a WiFi connection there.
What’s the water situation on Elbrus?
At the base camp at 2500 m, we use water from a mountain river to cook food and fill the thermoses. Read more
At the base camp at 2500 m, we use water from a mountain river to cook food and fill the thermoses. We boil it, so it is safe to drink. Also, there are several mineral springs around the camp. At the high camp at 3800 m, we take water from a mountain lake or from glacier streams. We use 3-stage filters there, which eliminate any solid and bacterial contamination. Feel free to use your personal water disinfectants if you consider this to be necessary.
Meet your guides for this adventure
Lars is a IFMGA Guide originally from Belgium, with over 20 years of experience climbing and splitboarding in the Mont Blanc massif, the Alps and the greater ranges of the world. Having lived in Chamonix for over a decade he has enjoyed the unique and unlimited climbing possibilities in and around the valley. Lars is also one of the most recognised and experienced splitboard guides leading expeditions to Kamchatka, Greenland, Iceland and more.
Fabio has guided with us for close to ten years now and has summited Mont Blanc more times than we can remember. He's even helped Sir Richard Brans get to the top of Western Europe. When asked what his favourite mountain was his response was 'It's the mountain not known to many, in a remote country that provides opportunity for adventure. That said, I do love Cordillera Blanca (Peru) to guide in, Montserrat (Barcelona) because it's where it all started for me and Main De Fatima (Mali) because it's special to me!"
Born in the Aran Valley, from parents who were ski teachers and mountain guides, the motivation inherited by nature has led him to practice all facets of mountain sports such as climbing, skiing and mountaineering. He has spent his alpine career as part of the FEDME team (Spanish Federation of Mountain and Climbing Sports) and his passion and profession have led him to travel to other continents to carry out his activity.
"My favorite mountain is the Midi d’Ossau, in the Pyrenees. It is a volcanic and unique mountain, that a stands out from the other peaks around. It is a huge fortress with many different features that provides incredible rock climbing routes, and the most important thing is that is 20 minutes from my house ;)"
Ben is a UIMLA International Mountain Leader/Guide and works as our lead Trekking Guide. He has worked as an Expedition Leader in challenging environments around the world in countries such as Borneo, Mongolia, Morocco and Costa Rica and at home in the European Alps, responsible for the safety and success of expeditions for many years. His passion for the mountains is infectious and he loves sharing a summit photo or long-distance Trek with our clients.
"I love what I do and love to transmit my passion while guiding. After touring the world following the call of the mountains and human cultures and fulfilling my dreams, I have put together all the knowledge gained and a strong background as a mountain guide to become one of the most versatile, dedicated and professional guides back home, in the Pyrenees."
"If asked about my favourite mountain or mountain range, it wouldn't be easy to answer since perfect places to climb, ski or explore can be found all over the world. But, if I had to choose one, I think I'd say the Pyrenees, not very high, but wild and still quite unknown: the mountains where I learnt when I was a child and where I can still live great adventures far from the crowd".
Miha is an IFMGA guide from Slovenia based between the beautiful Julian Alps and Chamonix. He has been climbing for over 20 years all over the world, including expeditions to Nepal, Tibet, India, Pakistan, USA, Mexico and Peru. He summited an 8000er on his first expedition to the Himalaya, did a first ascent on the previously unclimbed Lasher peak in the Himalaya and climbed El Capitan and many routes over the Alps.
Pablo is originally from a small mountain village in Spain and came to Chamonix with only one dream to become a mountain guide. Based in Chamonix since 2013, Pablo made the Alps his playground as a guide and as an alpinist and has climbed many of the classic alpine routes. He combines mountain guiding with helicopter rescue work in Spain during the off seasons.
READY TO CLIMB ELBRUS?
We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.Start your adventure