Mount Elbrus is the two headed cone of a dormant volcano. Situated in 11 km northern of the Main Caucasian Chain. It is connected with the Main Caucasus Ridge by the Khotiutau ridge. The highest (west) summit is 5642m high, the eastern one is 5621m. Elbrus is composed of both hard crystalline rocks and magmatic intrusions. In the surrounding valleys mineral springs are quite common and in a few places sulphurous fumes escape out through fissures, often deep under the ice cover.
Most of the slopes (up to a height of 4000 m) are not steep; lower slopes reach up to 35° but are interspersed with many rock bands (some 600-700m high), crevasses, and ice falls on the southern, northern and western slopes. Eastern slopes are less broken.
At 4100m the unique two-storied mountain hut (Diesel Hut) is located. About 45-50 people can stay in the building. It is easily reached by using the cable car and chairlift system up to 3800m (Garabashi); above that it is sometimes possible to hire a snow cat to save on the two hour glacier walk up to the hut.
The ascent of Elbrus is technically easy but requires the use of crampons over short sections never over 40°. Allow 6-7 hours and beware of rapid weather deterioration which can make route finding very difficult and the conditions arctic.