Elbrus expeditions. Trekking and ski-touring in the Mount Elbrus area. Caucasus Mountains, Russia. Mt Elbrus climb. gb@geographicbureau.com phone: +7 812 230-45-76 Postal address: 197110, P.O. Box 162, St Petersburg, Russia

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Detailed itinerary

The following itinerary is a working guide only and it is a subject to variation as a result of climbing, weather and other conditions. We reserve the right to modify the itinerary at any time if necessary.

Day 1

Early morning arrive in Tbilisi. Transfer to the northern part of the Great Caucasus along Aragvi river to Gudauri ski-resort (2200m. 2-2.5hrs driving). Acclimatisation hike to Sadzeli peak (3300m). Accommodation in a local guest house in 3-4 berth rooms.


Day 2

In the morning drive across the Jvari Pass (2380m) to a small town of Kazbegi and then village Gergeti (1750m). There is an opportunity to leave extra luggage in a hostel in Gergeti. Horse-supported hike via Gergeti pass 3387m (about half way to Betlemi hut) to a tent camp near the glacier (about 3000m). Overnight in a tent camp.


Day 3
Hike to mountain hut Betlemi (former meteorological station at 3675m, 3-4hrs walking from the campsite). 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, 4365m. grade 2. It is a good preparation before attempting Kazbek. We walk to the west and gain altitude up to 4000metres, 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 4500m on the NW side of the summit area (3h); 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 (4900m, 2h). 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 7h). Return to the refuge, 4hrs. 


Day 6
After breakfast we walk down to Kazbegi, 4hrs (Optionally: spare day to attempt climb Kazbek).


Day 7
Drive to the hotel in Tbilisi and city tour. 


Day 8
Transfer to the airport. Departure from Tbilisi.