The following itinerary is intended as a working guide only and it is subject to variation as a result of local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions. We reserve the right to alter (lengthen or shorten) the trek at any time if necessary. Airline schedules are subject to change and it may be necessary to vary our itinerary to adapt to these changes. Time: GMT +3.
Arrive in Moscow, transfer to the hotel ***. Depending on the arrival time city tour on the way to the hotel.
Drive to the domestic airport. Fly to Mineralnye Vody, on the plains north of the Caucasus. 3,5 hours drive by private bus to the hotel in the Baksan Valley, near Mt Elbrus at about 2100m from sea level.
Walk by Terskol Gorge up to near the Terskolak Pass. At the beginning we follow good trail, pass nice waterfall. Then cross moraines to the bottom of the pass. 4-5 hours walking. Camp at 3200m.
Cross the Terskolak Pass (3600m). Descent scree slopes down to Irik Valley. Continue walking down by gentle alpine meadows to the confluence of Irik and Irikchat rivers. We cross Irik River and walk up along Irikchat Valley to our second campsite at 3000m. 6 hours walking. Camp there.
Walk by Irikchat valleys up to the Irikchat Pass. Last section of the slope leading to the pass is scree and requires lot of energy from hikers. Over the Irikchat Pass (3667m) to Jikaugenkioz Plateau. Descend at the beginning (about 50m distance) is by steep snowy slope (30o) with 2-3 crevasses. Depending on snow condition we may use fixed rope on that
section. Continue down along the glacier. Camp at the end of the glacier at 3200m, on moraine at upper section of East Jilisu river. This day we walk 7 hours.
At the beginning we follow down the East Jilisu stream, then cross the stream towards grassy "Obsidian Valley" Plateau. On the way we cross a big flat field which was used us a secret landed place for planes during Second World War. Cross Jilisu river and walk "Obsidian Valley" Plateau to the next camp. Camp near the Kyzylsu River below Buruntash Pass at 2900m. 6-7hrs
Early morning we cross the Kyzylsu River and walk along the river up to the Balkbashi Pass (3689m), 2,5-3 hours up. Very near are snow-icy spurs of Elbrus and Ulluchiran Glacier. Cross Balkbashi Pass and by grassy slopes walk down the Bitiuktebe Valley, 3,5-4hrs. Camp near shepherd’s hut at 2800m.
Continue walking down the Bituktebe Valley by track road to the confluence of Bituktebe and Ullukhurzuk Rivers (3 hours). Turn to the left and walk by the picturesque green forested Ullukhurzuk (Kiukiurtliu) Valley up to the approaches of the Kurshou Pass, 3-4 hours. At the final part of the day we walk toward the western summit of Elbrus and its spur -Kiukiurtliu with almost perpendicular wall can be seen. Camp at the end of the Kiukiurtliu Glacier on 2600m.
We walk up by moraine toward the summit E. Kurshou (3684m). On half way before getting to the top of the ridge turn to the left and cross Kebek Pass 3350m, 3 hours up from the camp. Long descent by some scree and then steep grassy slopes to the Ullukam (Kuban) River Valley (3-3,5 hours). Continue walking 1,5-2 more hours along Ullukam River up to the campsite higher then the confluence of Ullukam and Ullu-Ozen streams, at 2600m.
Walk up along the Ullukam stream, then turn to the right and continue up by glacier morein to cross the Khotiutau Pass 3550m. After the pass we get Bolshoi (big) Azau Glacier. Cross the glacier along the Khotiutau Plateau and passing small glacier lake walk down to Baksan Valley at the lower Azau cable car station (2300m) from where bus takes us to our hotel in Baksan Valley. Relax. Totally 6 hours walking.
Spare day in case if weather or the group condition requires spending more time on the trekking route. If the group returns on day 12 some valley walks will be organised. Hotel.
Drive to Mineralnye Vody and fly to Moscow. Transfer to the hotel Belgrad. Dinner and night at the hotel.
After breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to the international airport for the flight home.