The following itinerary is a working guide only and might be a subject to change due to local conditions, weather and governmental restrictions
Arive in Tbilisi early in the morning. Transfer 165km to the northern part of the Great Caucasus along the Aragvi River, via Mtsheta, Jvari, Annanuri, across the Jvari Pass, 2380 m, to the small town of Kazbegi and on to Gergeti village, 1850m, by the foot of Kazbek. Accommodation in Gergeti lodge. Pre-Trek briefing.
Acclimatisation walk by alpine pastures enjoying wonderful views of the Trinity Church, 2200m, and Mt Kazbek behind. Walk up to the Gergeti Pass, 3000m. There is an opportunity to leave a part of climbing equipment there. Descent to Gergeti. There is an opportunity to leave your unnecessary luggage in Gergeti.
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.
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.
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.
Spare day to attempt Kazbek in case if the weather on the day 5 was bad.
After breakfast we go down to Gergeti Lodge, 4hrs
Transfer to Russia. Cross the border and go to the Baksan valley. Accommodation in a hotel.
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.
We begin in the early morning hours to ascend the highest of Elbrus' twin peaks – the West Summit, 5642 m. (Optionally: Using Snowcat up to Pastukov Rocks, ca. 4650 m).
Spare day to attempt Elbrus if the weather on the previous day was bad.
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.
Transfer to the Mineralnye Vody airport for the departure flight.