If you’ve done some climbing with us before or tackled some of the more common mountains in the Alps (Mont Blanc / Matterhorn / Monte Rosa), then you’re likely to recognise most of the kit below. That said, Mount Elbrus at 5642m, is higher and takes longer to summit than your standard Alpine peak so requires a few more items on the kit list.
Below is a list of our recommended kit for your trip. We work closely with Jottnar as they make, in our opinion, the best technical mountaineering clothing out there. All Adventure Base clients receive 15% off their range and you can learn more here.
EXPEDITION DOWN PARKA
You’ll need an Expedition Down Parka for summit days but potentially in the early morning and evenings of your trip. Ideally this compacts down well and should be around 800-fill. Something like: The Jottnar ‘Fenrir’ hooded jacket would work well.
HARDSHELL WATERPROOF JACKET
A hardshell jacket of Gore-Tex, or similar standard, is one of your key pieces of kit. Make sure it’s big enough to put over multiple layers and that it comes with a hood. You’ll use this if the weather becomes a little wild and you need protection from wind and rain. Something like: The ‘Hodr’, ‘Grim’ or ‘Odin’ Jottnar hardshell jacket.
INSULATED MID LAYER
There are a few options here depending on your preferences but this layer needs to be a warm thick fleece, a softshell or a light down jacket. This is one of your key insulating layers so something comfortable and technical is recommended. Something like: The ‘Asger’ or ‘Floyen’ jackets from Jottnar are ideal.
LONG SLEEVE BASE LAYER TOPS x 2
Some long sleeve lightweight mid layers are required as they will be the second piece of your layering system. Something like: The ‘Svend’ or ‘Tyer’ from Jottnar.
SHORT SLEEVE BASE LAYER TOPS x 2
The first of your layering system. A top tip is to look for an anti-microbial treatment to keep things as fresh as possible. Something like: The ‘Ove’ or ‘Mar’ from Jottnar.
Insulated pants are optional but if you know you suffer from the cold, could be a sensible option. Make sure they pack down well and are roomy enough to get over your other trousers if required. You will potentially use these on the summit day or if you’re experiencing particular cold weather. Something like: The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer.
HARDSHELL WATERPROOF SHELL PANTS
Hardshell trousers of Gore-Tex, or similar standard, are required for this trip. Ideally they come with side zips to provide a little more ventilation when you’re working hard. Something Like: The ‘Valdyr’ from Jottnar works well.
SOFT-SHELL MOUNTAINEERING / TREKKING PANTS x 2
This is the trouser you will spend a lot of your time in so make sure it’s comfortable. Something like: The ‘Valen’ from Jottnar is ideal.
BASE LAYER LEGGINGS x 2
Make sure you’ve got some full leg, lightweight leggings will keep you warm and toasty.
SHORTS x 1
A shorts option is great for warm days or when spending time indoors.
DOUBLE LAYER MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS
You’ll need a double layer, expedition boot, often referred to as a ‘6000m boot’. The double layering system works as insulation as well as a gaiter and is designed for mountains up to 6000m. Make sure you’ve got some room in the toes but not too much that your foot moves when you walk. Something like: The LA SPORTIVA – G5 Evo.
TRAIL SHOES / HIKING SHOES
Trail or hiking boots will be more comfortable on the lower section of the mountain as well as any days you’re in the town.
Your camp shoes are used when not on the mountain and indoors. There’s nothing quite like slipping your foot out of your boots and in to something a little more comfortable. Something like: Some Crocs… It’s not a fashion show after all.
HATS / FACE COVERINGS
You’ll need a sun cap, a warm hat that covers your ears and a buff or balaclava. The idea should be that if needed, you can cover your whole face.
You’ll need sunglasses (ideally glacier glasses), that provide 100% UV protection. You’ll also need some goggles (Ski goggles are ideal) that can be thrown on if it’s windy.
Making sure your hands stay warm is one of your most important jobs. Although optional, we recommend a liner glover as it’s very versatile. Your mandatory gloves are a thin softshell glove that provide protection in the cooler temperatures and a thick warm glove (Like expedition shell gloves) that are ideally Gore-Tex and have a removable inner glove.
Your duffel bag is for the gear transport and your backpack is for the hikes and summit days. We recommend a 35-50 litres pack but it all depends on how you light to pack and what you like to bring. It should be large enough to carry your clothing, sleeping bag, equipment and clothes.
You will need one ice axe with or without a strap. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Raven’ Ice Axe.
You will need some 12-point steel mountaineering crampons with anti-balling plates. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Serac’ crampons.
While it’s highly unlikely anything will fall on you, a head injury can occur. Taking every precaution in a remote environment is important which is why you will need a lightweight climbing helmet. Something like: The Black Diamond ‘Vision’ Helmet would work well.
This should be comfortable, adjustable and large enough to fit over all clothing. Something Like: The Black Diamond ‘Couloir’ harness is great.
Adjustable poles will help on some of the trekking sections both ascending and descending.
NYLON ACCESSORY CORD
You will need 4m (length) of 7mm (width) cord to be used if we need to use the fixed rope near the summit.
You will need 3x screw gate carabiners.