£1750 + VAT
Mount Elbrus is one of the Seven Summits, the highest points of each continent, which have inspired generations of climbers – experienced and novice alike. Of the great Seven, Mt. Elbrus could be one of the first steps on the ladder to Everest. Amongst the mountains of the Caucasus Range, Elbrus is distinctive as a twin-summited peak, covered in thick ice. An icy col known as Sedlowina Saddle connects the East and the West Summit. The angle of the slope and the lack of crevasses on the South Route offer a safe opportunity for getting a true big mountain experience.
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+10 to -20°C
Everyone on the expedition will have access to a perfect selection of Mammut equipment. All at a large discount to allow you to have the best trip possible
At 5642m (18,442 ft) Mount Elbrus is Europe’s highest mountain and is over 800m higher than any mountain in the Alps. It is located in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia.
We will sleep in mountain huts which serve the South route of Elbrus. Accommodation is basic and warm sleeping bags are a must. The huts are wooden or steel buildings with beds and foam mattresses. They are arranged in dormitories at the lowermost hut, open-plan and as large common sleeping platforms at the other huts. At the huts, it is first come first served, so expect to be sharing your hut with strangers, although we do our best to keep our team together. The hotels for the first and last nights are high quality, three star accommodation, where you will be lodged in twin or triple rooms.
Food served in the communal areas of the huts will be basic but wholesome and carbohydrate-rich to keep us going on the mountain. If you have food allergies or intolerances, please inform us in your Booking Form. We will aim to cater to your needs, but it is advisable to also bring your own supplies from home. Some snacks will be available in Terskol, but we can’t purchase any food on the mountain, so we advise you to bring some snacks from home. Water will be boiled from rivers and glacial streams.
For the acclimatisation peaks and climbing days on Elbrus you will only carry a daypack. All kit will be brought up the mountain via ski lifts by yourself and the team.
Common health problems in the mountains are headaches, dehydration, stomach bugs, diarrhoea, sun burn and altitude sickness. Keep hydrated at all times, drink only boiled or treated water, cover up in the sun and eat every meal for energy. Acclimatisation is a process which allows the body to adapt to an environment with reduced oxygen. The best way to acclimatise is to ascend slowly or to ascend to a higher level for a while, then to descend. An ideal scenario will combine these two techniques. All our trips are designed with a focus on safe and sensible acclimatisation. Nevertheless the speed at which a body adapts varies from individual to individual. Expect changes to your body and habits to occur, including your muscles feeling tired more quickly, a change in your sleeping habits, increased gasping for breath, loss of appetite and generally requiring more energy to do basic things. Our guides are very experienced in identifying symptoms of altitude sickness and will always have alternative plans to aid further acclimatisation in the event that this may be required.
The South Route is the most common ascent route, as it offers a safer ascent and a higher rate of summit success. All crevasses on this side are known with easier accessibility to mountain rescue, helicopters and skidoos if a speedy exit from the mountain is required. Sudden storms, poor visibility and extremely cold weather are common on Elbrus. The guides will always carry several pieces of safety equipment, such as an emergency shelter, blizzard blanket and an emergency short rope to help people down if necessary. From the col upwards, there may be a fixed line in place for added safety. This means you can clip in easily and be held in the event of a slip on that section which is the steepest on the mountain.
You will need to apply for a visa for entry into Russia. Please ensure that it is issued well in advance of travel. The visa consists of a full page insert into your passport. Bring along a copy of your visa and the main page of your passport in the event that your passport is lost or misplaced. Once issued the visa cannot be amended so ensure that all details are accurate on application. We offer support throughout the visa application.
International travel to Milneralnye Vody, and meeting your guides. With a four hour transfer from the airport to Terskol village, you will have the opportunity to take in the sights of Russia get a taste for the region. On the remaining day we stay locally in the Azau valley, with an option to walk around Terskol. The night will be spent in the nearby Chegat Hotel in twin or triple rooms – a nice, quiet 3-star hotel.
We take two ski lifts up the slopes of Cheget-Karabashi, a 3461m peak. A light scramble takes us to the top of the mountain and offers views across to Mt. Elbrus and over Georgia. We spend another night in the Cheget Hotel.
The morning will be spent making final preparations including arranging kit and food for the trek, before taking three different types of ski lifts up Elbrus, to 3,800m. This is another acclimatisation and skills day. Overnight we stay in the iconic Barrel huts.
Starting at the Barrel Huts we climb up to the Pastukhova Rocks at 4,640m, carrying only our daysacks. With a continued focus on trekking skills and acclimatisation we then descend back down the same route to spend a 2 nd night in the Barrell huts.
We use this as another skills and acclimatisation day, climbing up to 5,000m and descending down again to the Barrel huts.
These are possible summit days, where we wait for the weather to allow for a summit attempt. The climb starts in the early hours, around 1 or 3am. If the weather is favourable, you may have up to two summit attempts, but the decision will be made by the guides. With good weather and snow conditions, there are three summit options:
There is the option to split the team into 2 if different options are preferred. The guides will make this decision, based on their assessment of safety levels. The preferred option for most is taking the snowcat to 5,000m and summiting from there, which is still a very tough challenge.
Breakfast in the hotel and transfer to Mineralnye Vody, flight to Moscow and onward travel.
We aim to make sure that all the kit we use is to the highest standards. We are equipped with satellite telephones and full safety equipment. We have provided a kit list on these pages, but we are here to answer any questions and help you choose the right equipment. Our pre-expedition training course is designed to give you time to get to know your equipment before setting out on your trip.
Your expedition will be fully supported by experienced guides who will set safety parameters and have detailed knowledge of high-altitude mountaineering and its risks. This acknowledges that everyone on the team has a role to play in the safe outcome of the expedition, being mindful of risks and reducing them. In the local area, there is plenty of means for rescue as well as local mountain rescue on the ground.
We provide nutritious expedition food for each participant for all the days trekking. It will be enough calories for the trip, but if you feel like having some extra snacks, please feel free to bring them. Our selection of food to choose from is based on long experience where energy, taste and also preparation are key factors. Please let us know if you have special needs or concerns regarding food or nutrition, we will do our best to help.
Flights are not included as part of the trip price and have to be booked individually, however, we are happy to give advice on best flight times.
We can organise this expedition on a ‘tailor-made’ private basis for groups of friends, families, clubs, charities or any other group. Please contact us to discuss the itinerary and your preferred dates. We will then send you a quote, with no obligation.
You will need a travel insurance policy that caters for the activities you will undertake on your trip with Mammut Mountain School. It is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have such a policy. For advice on best policies get in touch.
If you would like to know more about these courses, please give us your details and we’ll get in touch to discuss further.