Mt. Elbrus, a dormant, double-coned volcano, rises to 18,510 feet. Its double peaks tower over the stunning western Caucasus Region of Russia, near the border of Georgia. Elbrus is the highest point in all of Europe (& Russia), making this climb one of the renowned ‘Seven Summits’.
Mt. Elbrus, a dormant, double-coned volcano, rises to 18,510 feet. Its double peaks tower over the stunning western Caucasus Region of Russia, near the border of Georgia. Elbrus is the highest point in all of Europe (& Russia), making this climb one of the renowned ‘Seven Summits’. Boasting 22 glaciers on the peak, this is the perfect introductory climb for anyone with a strong fitness level who wishes to build glacier climbing skills, climb a moderate high altitude peak, and explore the fascinating and diverse Russian culture in the Caucus mountains and the famed cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Our two-week expedition is a great way to climb Mt. Elbrus (18,841′), Europe’s tallest mountain, and to see some of Russia. We’ll fly as a group to St. Petersburg. After our climb, we’ll head to Moscow and depart for home from there. Most organizations travel in and out through Moscow and you’ll miss an opportunity to see one of Russia’s most impressive cities. Our experience Russian guide will meet us at upon our arrival in St. Petersburg and handle all logistic arrangements.
We will stay two nights and one day in St. Petersburg. We then fly to Mineralnye Vody and travel by bus to the Caucasus Mountains. Our base of operations is a hotel in the small town of Terskol. We will take several days acclimatizing, training and making practice climbs in the Caucasus. Good training terrain is available nearby and we’ll make use of it while acclimatizing and preparing for our attempt on Elbrus.
We then make our attempt on the Elbrus summit. Summit day is STRENUOUS but not very difficult technically. It is close to a 5,000 foot elevation gain that day. Ice ax arrest, basic crampon and rope travel are required skills. We’ll spend one to two nights on Elbrus prior to our summit attempt depending on the weather. The huts are basic but adequate.
The trip ends by flying from Mineralnye Vody to Moscow. We’ll have a chance to tour Moscow for a day and will spend one night there. Enjoy our organized tours in Moscow with an English speaking guide.
AC Sherpa scaled this mountain in 8hrs and 14 minutes in July 19th 2010! After that he guided and climbed 4 more times with clients. Our local Russian guides are great climbers and very helpful. They know their country well and support us through all phases of the trip. It is very important to work with solid local help in Russia. This adds greatly to our enjoyment and safety. Join us with ISG DBA International Sherpa Guides (ISG) to complete this one of the Seven Summits. Before or after you have the option to make one trip to knock out two mountains by climbing Kilimanjaro. They are relatively close to each other and if you have time, they work well as a pair on a single expedition trip. Ask for special pricing, if you’re interested.
Mt. Elbrus Climbing – Itinerary
Day 1: Depart the USA for St. Petersburg, Russia, usually flying via Europe. (Saturday)
Day 2: Arrive into St. Petersburg, where you will meet your guides. Transfer to our hotel and have a team dinner. (Sunday)
Day 3: Explore St. Petersburg, perhaps Russia’s most beautiful and interesting city. Russia’s cultural hub is a fascinating mix of historical sights and trendy modernism. We will spend the entire day touring the city, and will certainly visit the famed Hermitage, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, and the Fortress of Peter and Paul.
Day 4: Fly to Mineralnye Vody and travel by bus to Terskol in the Baksan Valley. This short flight should give us excellent views of the Caucuses and possibly our first peak of Mt. Elbrus. The bus ride is 3-4 hours but will pass quickly with the stunning views. Our hotel in Terskol is new, next to the ski lifts, and has excellent local and international food.
Day 5: Today we take an acclimatization hike in the stunning Baksan Valley. Steep paths wind all through the valley and many options exist, including possibly using one of the local ski lifts to gain more altitude. We return to our hotel for the night.
Day 6: While continuing to acclimatize we hike to a local glacier and spend half the day reviewing and teaching crampon and ice axe technique. This practice is essential for safety and efficiency on Elbrus. We return to the hotel for the night.
Day 7 :Today we begin our actual climb of Mt. Elbrus. Through a combination of ski lifts and hiking we arrive at The Barrels, cozy mountain huts at 12,300 feet on Elbrus. To ensure we stay well fed and healthy, we will have a Russian cook with us at the huts preparing mountain food and making our stay more comfortable.
Day 8: Climb to Pastukhov Rocks at approximately 15,000 feet. As well as a chance to practice our glacier and crampon skills, this is also an important climb for acclimatization and a great time to see the route on the mountain in daylight. We return to the Barrels for the night.
Day 9: Rest and practice additional crevasse rescue and advanced glacier skills. Since tonight’s climb is quite long and will require all of our energy, it is important we conserve, while also eating and hydrating as much as we can today. Night in the Barrels.
Day 10: Summit Day! We wake around 3 AM for a quick breakfast and hot drink. An optional snow-cat (weather dependent) takes us to our previous highpoint at Pastukhov Rocks, just below 15,000 feet. From there it is almost 4,000 vertical feet to the summit of Elbrus, primarily on open moderately angled glaciers. We should reach the summit mid-morning and have stunning views of the Caucuses from Europe’s highest summit. The round-trip climb back to the hut takes around twelve hours.
Day 11 :An extra summit day. If we have already climbed Elbrus, we descend to the Baksan Valley today. Night in Hut or Hotel.
Day 12: Drive back to Mineral Voldy and fly to Moscow. After checking into our hotel we will wander the city and eat a fantastic dinner.
Day 13: Spend the day exploring Moscow, visiting the Kremlin, Cathedrals, and Red Square.
Day 14: Leave Moscow for the USA. (Saturday)
Day 15: Arrive in the USA. (Sunday)
Cancellation Refund Policy
Note: ISG, DBA International Sherpa Guides (ISG) highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions. Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, ISG must adhere to a stringent refund policy. Each deposit, regardless of amount, includes a $250.00 non-refundable registration fee. Full refunds, less registration fee, will be provided 120-days prior to course, trek and/or expedition date. No refunds will be provided. All refund requests must be made in writing and be received in our office within the 120-day period, as stated above. All balances are due 90 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified. Participants whose balances are not received by the 90-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their place on the expedition.
Note: ISG reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible.
Trip Cancellation Insurance
We highly recommend purchasing trip cancellation insurance. ISG offers a plan in conjunction with Travelex. If you are signing up online or over the phone, please contact us for detail policy number and information we will be sent upon receipt of your completed application.
- Duration: 15
- Grade: 4
- Destination: Caucasus