Almost all first time visitors to the Caucasus are keen to ascend Mount Elbrus, 5642m, the Europe's highest mountain.
The double-breasted summit of Elbrus can be seen for miles around from different parts of the Caucasus region. Both East (5621m) and West (5642m) summitsare permanently covered with snow. Many of the remote side valleys where it is possible to have some acclimatization training are seldom visited even by locals.
Our standard trip is 13 days. During the first we week we train in using an ice axe and crampons and have a good number of acclimatization walks. But for those who are already rather acclimatized, there is also an opportunity to join us for a short 8-day Elbrus climb.
The trip begins with the arrival in Mineralnye Vody and driving to the base hotel in the Baksan Valley. From the hotel we make several trips following beautiful forested valleys, walking through alpine meadows, crossing glaciated mountain passes and climbing some of the easiest summits which provide superb panoramas of the Caucasus Range. These initial trips will be porter supported and will involve camping and backpacking. They will provide us with fitness and acclimatization necessary for the ascent of Elbrus itself. For the ascent of Elbrus we use a cable car system to take us to the height of about 3800m. We stay in the Garabashi Huts (3800m) or Diesel Hut (4100m). The actual program will depend on the weather, group condition and the availability of a snowcat which we will use according to the group’s wish to help us up the lower slopes of the mountain (if available and necessary).
An emergency medical kit accompanies the climb. Nevertheless we recommend you to carry your own personal first aid kit. A suggested list of contents as well as more general health information is included in pre-departure information. No special inoculations are required but we recommend to have inoculations up to date and to consult a doctor for other cover such as typhoid. Check if the insurance is up to date and covers mountain risk.