Elbrus expeditions. Trekking and ski-touring in the Mount Elbrus area. Caucasus Mountains, Russia. Mt Elbrus climb. gb@geographicbureau.com phone: +7 812 2305794 fax: +7 812 2304576 Postal address: 197110, P.O.Box 162, St Petersburg, Russia

Over 25 years experience

Mt Kazbek and Mt Elbrus

  • DEPARTURES:
  • FROM-TO: Tbilisi - Mineralnye Vody
  • DAYS: 13
  • Price in EURO: 1 275

OUTLINE ITINERARY

The following itinerary is a working guide only and might be a subject to change due to local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions

Day 1
Early morning arrive in Tbilisi. Transfer to the northern part of the Great Caucasus along Aragvi river to Gudauri ski-resort (2200 m. 2-2.5hrs driving). Acclimatisation hike to Sadzeli peak (3300 m). Accommodation in a Gudauri hotel. Pre-Trek briefing.

Day 2
In the morning drive across the Jvari Pass (2380 m) to a small town of Kazbegi and then village Gergeti (1750 m). There is an opportunity to leave extra luggage in a hostel in Gergeti. Acclimatisation hike via alpine pastures, enjoy wonderful views of the Trinity Church. Descent to Gergeti. Overnight in a hostel.

Day 3
Hike up via Gergeti Glacier to the mountain hut Betlemi (former meteorological station at 3675 m, 7hrs walking from Gergeti). One will not expect much comfort in this high mountain hut, but we try our best.

Day 4
Sunrise viewed from the refuge provides breathtaking panorama of the Caucasus. This is the day for acclimatization. Usually, in good weather conditions, we prefer to climb Mount Ortsveri, 4365 m. grade 2. It is a good preparation before attempting Kazbek. We walk to the west and gain altitude up to 4000 metres, where from we climb snow and icy north-east slopes to the summit, 4-5 hrs. Return to the refuge.

Day 5
The Summit Day. From the Betlemi hut a gently rising traverse W leads back to N side of the Ortsveri glacier. Now follow the glacier generally NW for 4km, passing under the S side of the mountain, to attain a large snow Maili Plateau at 4500 m on the NW side of the summit area (3 h); this section is easy if amply snow covered, but later in the day or late in the season great care must be taken as there are many crevasses in the glacier. Now a steeper slope leads to a small saddle on W side of the summit (4900 m, 2 h). Snow, rocks and easy angled ice (35 to 40 degrees) lead to the top; possibly 4 rope lengths of difficulty - max. PD sup, grade II+ (from Betlemi hut, about 7 h). Return to the refuge, 4 hrs.

Day 6
Spare day to attempt Kazbek in case if the weather on the day 5 was bad.

Day 7
After breakfast we go down to Gergeti hostel, 4hrs

Day 8
Transfer to Russia. Cross the border and go to the Baksan valley. Accommodation in a hotel.

Day 9

Drive to Azau station, 2440 m. Cable ways up to 3800 m. Acclimatisation walk up to 4400 m. Overnight at the mountain hut at 3800 m.

Day 10
We begin in the early morning hours to ascend the highest of Elbrus' twin peaks – the West Summit, 5642 m. (Option: Using Snowcat to Pastukov rocks, ab. 4650 m).

Day 11
Spare day to attempt Elbrus if the weather on the previous day was bad. 

Day 12
Descent to the Baksan Valley. Transfer to the hotel. Relax and perhaps enjoy one of the fine walks from the hotel. You can visit the Cheget market and buy some souvenirs.

Day 13
Transfer to the Mineralnye Vody airport for the departure flight.