Day by day description
Day 1. Arrival in Mineralny Vody
The flight from Moscow to Mineralny Vody takes 2hr. From the airport we drive for 3.5-4hr in a private minivan through plains and foothills into the deep and wooded Baksan valley, up to Cheget village, not far from the village of Terskol. Hotel.
Day 2. Acclimatization outing to Cheget
In the morning we walk to the Cheget chair-lift and ride to the Ai cafe at 2750m. The impressive north walls of Donguzorun (4400m) and Nakra (4200m) peaks are in full view on the left side. On the right one the place offers a perfect view of double headed Elbrus across the Baksan Valley. The classic route is clearly seen from here. There is one more chair-lift to a rocky shoulder (3,100m), from where we can walk a bit higher. Return to Cheget Glade, lunch in a cafe. In the evening we deel with the rental office, where take the needed personal gear. Hotel.
Day 3. Ascent to high hut on Elbrus
We leave in hotel our things not needed on the climb and go (20min) to Azau staion (2356m) of Elbrus cableway and its two runs take us to Mir station (3500m), from where a chair-lift brings us to Garabashi huts (3750m) called Bochki (“barrels”). We stay in a hut not far from the Bochki. In the afternoon we go for a walk to the old Refuge burnt down in 1998 (3hr). Hut.
25 june - 03 july 2016
16 july - 24 july 2016
30 july - 07 august 2016
13 august - 21 august 2016
Included in the price
1. Meeting and seeing off in the Mineralny Vody airport
2. All land group transfers according to the program
3. Accommodation in a hotel on the double room basis - 2 nights
4. Meals: no meals when in hotel, full board from dinner on Day 2 to breakfast on Day 8.
5. Staff: one English speaking guide for the mountain part and extra guides for the planned day of ascent of Elbrus (3-4 clients to one guide), cook
6. Local police registration
7. Luggage storage (not needed on the mountain) when climbing
8. Ropes for climbing
9. Safety measures: radio, first aid kit, registration with Rescue Service.
10. Cooking equipment and fuel
11. Visa support
Not included in the price
1. Moscow services
2. Return air fare to Mineralny Vody
3. Single accommodation supplement
4. Individual car transfers
5. Personal equipment rentals
6. Extra (personal) guides and porters
7. Insurance (medical and other)
8. Any changes in the program initiated by client(s) and entailing extra expenses
9. Work of extra guides on second attempt on reserve day
10. Extra nights in hotel
11. Meals when staying in hotel
Nearest date 25 June - 03 July 2016 г. Duration 8 days / 7 nights Group Group size 5
The highest mountain range of Europe (seven summits over 5000m) is definitely not the Alps, but the Caucasus which goes from the Black to Caspian seas for nearly 1200km, rises at its center part to 5200m and reaches its highest at Mt.Elbrus (5642m).
Seven Summits peak.
Nowadays some climbers have reduced climbing into a highly technical “hi-end” profession, thus getting farther and farther away from modest lovers of mountains. But Nature has more sense than that and has provided the globe with good old volcanoes where almost anyone can feel and be a Climber.
So, here is Mt.Elbrus, the highest summit of Europe.
Undoubtedly it is the most impressive and beautiful European peak. And easily accessible one.
The price for this climbing trip is far lower than for some of the famous Seven.
We feel these three points can outweight any doubt: to go or not.
Four factors of succes:
Good company which implies good guides, the key figures of any adventure trip.
Weather (the most stable in July and August).
Tactics (number of days, acclimatization, help of "lifts" such as Snow Cats etc)
Well chosen equipment (we can offer the full range of this in the local rental offices).
Off the caravan ways.
Nowadays Elbrus sees dozens of hundreds of people each season from all over the world.
99% of them do the Classic route. We run this trip, it is our staple product, but also we have much more scenic and secluded alternatives to the Classic. It is Elbrus from north, from south-west plus the traverse from south to north.
The heart of the Greater Caucasus, the amazing cluster of five majestic peaks over 50000m called Bezengi is on our offering list as an acclimatising playground for an Elbrus climb.
For easier navigation can suggest the following ranging for our Caucasus trips:
1. easy technically with maximum comfort and crowds (the Classic)
2. easy technically with less comfort (no hotels and cafes, camping instead of huts), but with a lot of wilderness and fantastic scenery, no crowds (Elbrus from north)
3. mixed: easy technically with maximum comfort and crowds in the south and a lot of wilderness and fantastic scenery and no crowds in the north (Elbrus with traverse from south to north)
3. mixed: more demanding technically (yet quite affordable for novices), hotel in the valley, lift with a cableway, camping at the starting point plus wild high mountain scenery and the total seclusion as a bonus (Elbrus from south-west)
For more information see the detailed programmes.
Elbrus ascent with the traverse from south to north is a unique climbing trip - literally. Nowhere in the world a high mountain is climbed and crossed over.
Elbrus on the southern and northern sides is totally different mountains. From the pretty civilized, crowded and bustling south you go over the Elbrus Saddle (5300m) and come to high mountain wilderness, quiet, with very few people (for more details see our "Elbrus from north").
Clothes for Elbrus climb:
On this climb you will have to carry some of your things (your sleeping bag, some light clothes for warm down valleys etc) over the saddle (5300m), so please keep their amount and weight as low as possible. A very wise thing would be to keep it all to the unavoidable minimum. The main bulk of your traveling luggage will be brought from the hotel in Cheget to that in Pyatigorsk by one of our staff.
Footwear for Elbrus climb:
Personal climbing gear:
Camping and trekking gear:
At all times while in Russia you should have the following documents: valid passport with Russian visa, immigration card and Voucher (part of our two invitation papers).
For land transfers we use comfortable private minivans. For the transfer from Emmanuel Glade to Pyatigorsk it is 4WD vehicle. To get to Garabashi huts we use Elbrus cable-ways, car and chair-lift.
Important. In case the Elbrus cable-ways do not work (does happens, but very seldom) and in case you would not want to carry up all the loads on your back, the extra expenditure (not listed in "price includes") on a four-weel truck to the Garabashi huts are to be divided between the clients. Then the cost of the cable-ways tickets will be taken into account.
The same if the group decides to descend after the climb, when the cable-ways will already not work.
On the day of the ascent a Snow Cat can bring you as high as 4600m, 4700m and even to 5000m. This service is highly recommended, for a lot of time on the ascent is spent on walking over vast and almost flat snow fields at lower altitudes. As a matter of fact these distances will be already covered on the acclimatizing outings.
The price per person for this lift depends greatly on the height you want to get to, on the machine's capacity and group size. It may be from 50USD up to 200USD and even more. Your guide will deel with this after discussing the point with the group.
Please plan your arriving to Mineralny Vody before 2pm: the group transfer from Airport to Terskol leaves at about 2pm. If you arrive more than half an hour later than that, please be ready to pay for an individual transfer to the hotel (from 50 USD). The group transfer on the way back leaves before noon and is aimed at the earliest client's flight.
Meals are the usual European type. Lunch-packets for outings are chocolate bars, apples, juice, nuts etc.
We will change the menu on demand (as always do for Indonesian, Korean clients etc) and for vegetarians of course. If you personally want something special we will see to it.
Lunches when in hotel are not included in the price. There is a lot of cafes around where you can choose from wide menues. The prices are pretty low (from 350 to 500 roubles for a good lunch=7-10USD)
In the Baksan valley we put our clients in the Jantamal Hotel on Cheget Glade. Double rooms, free Wi-fi in the hall.
Our high hut on Elbrus is at 3750m away from the Barrels. 5-6 people in a room. There is a canteen, electricity from a generator, toilet booth outside. On the northern side it is good double tents.
Health-care and insurance.
Health-care on the mountain is limited to the first-aid kit the guide carries. Down in the valley in case of serious health problems the local hospital and your medical insurance policy are to take over. Your policy must cover climbing to 6000m. We do not provide any insurance!
Take enough of your personal medicines if you know you might need them.
The English speaking head-guide will look after you while in the mountains. There will be lessons of belaying on snow and cramponning not far from the hut. He will get the forecast and discuss with the group the best time and tactics of the ascent. During the ascent the group will be accompanied by guides-assistants (3-4 clients to a guide), who will bring down the weakened members. A cook will listen to your specific wishes and cook for you.
In any high mountains the higher you go, the more difficult and uncomfortable the conditions. Elbrus is 5642m, so, on this trip the range of your clothes and footwear must comply with hot sunny day down in the valley and with snow blizzard at 0-5C on the mountain. For details see our gear list.
In the Caucasus a lot of things are much cheaper than in the West: you can have a decent meal in a cafe with meat and beer for 10USD and buy cheaply woolen socks, sweaters and suchlike in the wool bazaar. Souveniers may be more expensive, but there is neither casino nor any night life in Cheget village, so no need to change many euros or US dollars into roubles. 100USD or euros are more than enough.
Safety and responsibility.
Safety is of the highest priority for us. All the serious ourdoor activities, especially climbing, imply a certain amount of danger. The guides who will work with you on Elbrus are fully responsible for your safety, so their authority in the safety measures during the climbing is indisputable. Their decisions when climbing will be the last and decisive.
The guides will have all the necessary climbing gear, GPS navigators and radioes, mobile phones (they do work on the south side) and first-aid kits.
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