The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and is a subject to variation as a result of changes in airline schedules, local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions. We reserve the right to alter (lengthen or shorten) the trek at any time if necessary.
Arrive in Mineralnye Vody, on the plains north of the Caucasus. Drive by private bus to Terskol town (see pictures) (about 3,5 hours) the hotel in the Baksan Valley, near Elbrus (the altitude is 2100 metres).
Our trek starts with a pleasant walk over the Suaryk Pass. From the hotel we'll drive 50 km to the Tyrnyauz Gorge, 2400 m, then walk up to the Suaryk Pass, 3210 m. The route of the trek is quite simple but very picturesque. Descent to the Kyrtyk Valley. Overnight in a tent camp.
3 hours up, 800 m, 3 hours down, 800 m.
Walk up to the Syltran lake, 3200 m, one of the largest lakes in the Caucasus . The route goes along the nice valley and then to the Syltran Pass, 3430 m. Then descent to the tent camp, 2510 m, on the confluence of the Kyrtyk & Mkiara valleys.
7 hours. Up, 1100 m, down 900 m.
Walk up to the Kyrtykaush Pass, 3230 m. From the pass there is a great view to the unknown and beautiful Islamchat Gorge, which leads to the northern foothills of Mount Elbrus. Return back to the camp.
4 hours up, 2 hours down.
Cross the glaciated Irik Pass, 3750 m, to a campsite in the forest lower down in the beautiful Irik valley. Overnight in a tent camp, 2750 m.
6 hours up, 1200 m, 3 hours down, 1000 m.
Walk up to the Irikchat Pass, 3660 m. The pass is situated right under the lava flow on the East slope from the East top of Elbrus, 5621 m. From the pass, it is possible to see the North slope of Elbrus, and a part of its South slope.
4 hours up, 2 hours down.
In the morning we'll descent from the Irik Valley, pass the Irik Gorge with a waterfall and sand castles and from the Elbrus village, 1800 m, drive to the hotel in the Baksan Valley. In the afternoon there is free time to relax, have a sauna or walk around in Terskol. Overnight in the hotel.
15 min drive to the Azau station. We take the cable car/chair lift system up Elbrus and stay in the Garabashi Huts at 3800 m or the Diesel Hut at 4100 m.
Acclimatisation walk to the Pastukhova Rocks at 4800 m. Return to the hut.
We begin in the early morning hours to ascend the highest of Elbrus' twin peaks - the West Summit. You carry your day pack with the day's requirements. We return to spend the night at the hut.
Spare day to attempt Elbrus if the weather on the previous day was bad (otherwise return to the hotel).
Return to the hotel. Relax and perhaps enjoy one of the fine walks from the hotel.
Drive to Mineralnye Vody for the flight home.