23rd August -1st September 2019
£1795 (excluding Flights)
At 5642m, Mount Elbrus is a huge double-domed dormant volcano located in the spectacular Caucasus Mountains of Russia. The west summit of Mount Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe, making it one of the famous 7 summits. Technically, Mount Elbrus offers a straight-forward ascent and a perfect prospect for those wanting to gain ice and snow experience and basic mountaineering skills. Our itinerary allows for maximum acclimatisation time and two opportunities for a summit attempt, in case of bad weather. An ascent of Mount Elbrus requires basic mountaineering skills, which can be learnt as part of the trip. Participants will need to be prepared for multiple long days on the hill. Summit day can take between 8 - 12 hours and can often be in harsh weather. Elbrus offers a challenging and enticing adventure.
What is the format for the trip?
This is a great itinerary as it gives teams plenty of acclimatization time and maximum chance to summit. There are plenty of providers offering shorter itineraries but we stand by our decision to leave plenty of time – you have come a long way so want to have as much chance of success as possible.
Day 1 International travel to Mineralnye Vody via Moscow airport.
Day 2 Arriving in Mineralnye Vody, just to the North of the beautiful Caucasus mountain range, we will then have a 4 hour transfer to our comfortable hotel for the night. Here you will receive a full briefing from your leader and meet our local crew. Following dinner you will then have an opportunity to prepare for the following day.
Day 3 A day hike will take us up to a possible height of 3461m, Peak Cheget (Maliy Donguzorun). This will the beginning of our acclimatisation programme and hopefully offer us views across to our goal, Elbrus.
Day 4 Today we head up to the mountain huts that sit under Elbrus. We can transfer some equipment and take a walk above the huts to aid acclimatisation. It will also offer the opportunity to brush up the essential skills of walking in crampons. We will then return to the valley to rest.
Day 5 Today we move to our mountain refuge at 3800m. We will use the ski lift infrastructure to transport ourselves and kit to the refuge. This will be our home for the next few days, so the rest of the day will be a chance to rest and settle in. Living on the mountain is more basic than in our hotel but food will be plentiful and prepared for us. If fitness in the group is good we may use the afternoon for further acclimatisation and will be a chance to practice our mountaineering skills.
Day 6 From the hut we will continue to climb towards Pastuckhov rocks - 4700m. Along the way we’ll practice our crampon and ice axe skills on the icy slopes. Tonight we will descend back to the huts for a well-earned rest.
Day 7 Following yesterday’s acclimatisation we will have an easier day allowing for our bodies to recover and prepare for our summit attempt.
Day 8/9 These days are allocated for our summit attempts. Starting at around 3am a snow cat can take us the first part of the way to Pastuchov’s Rock (the cat is an optional extra). We will then continue on foot towards Sedlowina Saddle, the col between the two peaks of Elbrus and then on to the summit, the highest point in Europe. This could be a very long day taking up to 12 hours but worth the effort.
Once we have summitted it will take approx 3 - 4 hours to return to the huts.
Having spent another night in the huts recovering from our epic climb, we will descend back to the valley for lunch, a warm comfortable hotel, shower a beer (not always in that order!!).
NOTE: Depending on which day we are able to summit due to the unpredictable weather, we may descend to the Baksan valley early. This will mean an extra night in a hotel is required. (This night in the hotel is not covered in the trip price. Approx. £30.00)
Day 10 A morning transfer will take us back to Mineralnye Vody and on our onward travel back to the UK.
Who is looking after me?
The Elbrus expedition will be run by Peak Mountaineering’s owner, Paul Lewis. Paul holds the Mountain Instructors Certificate (the highest qualification available under the UK qualifications framework). He also has vast experience of high altitude guiding and works full time as a mountaineering instructor. Paul will be supported by local guides and, depending on the size of the team, additional UK leaders.
Is it suitable for me?
To ascend Elbrus participants need, above all else, a good level of fitness - the ascent involves considerable time at altitude and summit day involves a lot of ascent. There is minimal technical challenge but a lot of time is spent wearing crampons and ascending steep snow slopes so participants need to be comfortable on this type of terrain. on Elbrus and to be suitable for this expedition you simply need a good level of fitness and a sense of adventure. Any additional training that's required will be provided once we arrive in country.