Arrival Transfer to the Hotel
Arrival in Moscow. Our driver will meet you in the arrival sector with a Go Russia sign board. Transfer to the hotel.
Moscow - Elbrus
Departure to Elbrus. Transfer to Terskol Village
Transfer to the airport to take a short flight to Mineralnye Vody where you will be met by our representative. On the way from the airport we pass local cities and villages and in approximately 4 hours, arrive in the valley of the Baksan River. Here we can already see the snow-capped summits. Check-in at the hotel.
Acclimatisation Hike to Cheget Peak (3,050m)
A day to acclimatise. After breakfast we hike up to the Cheget peak (3,050m) for approximately 5 hours, stopping to relax at the “Ai” café (2,750m), from where you will enjoy a panoramic view of the Baksan valley and the twin summits of Mt. Elbrus. The route is not technically difficult, and the degree of the slope is approx. 15-25°. Return to the hotel.
Acclimatisation Hike up to the Former Refuge “Prijut 11” (4,200m)
Breakfast. Check out from the hotel. Drive to the cable-car station "Azau" and then up to the "MIR"/Garibashi station (3,750 m) by two lift trams. Begin an acclimatisation hike to 4,200m. Up to the former refuge “Prijut 11”. Overnight at Barrels hut (Bochki).
Acclimatisation Hike up to the Pastukhova Rocks (4,700m)
Breakfast. Acclimatisation hike higher up to the Pastukhova rocks (4,700m). The route is not too steep with the last part being the steepest at 20 to 25 degrees, but it is tough going at this high altitude. Be prepared for hard walking. Overnight stay at Bochki camp.
Rest day. Training on the Glacier. Overnight at the Bochki Camp
Rest day. Overnight at the Bochki camp.
Summit Attempt. Celebration Dinner at the Bochki Camp
Today we attempt to reach the main target of our trip – the summit of Mt.Elbrus. We will wake up very early, at 3 a.m., to start our climbing. Using the headtorches we make our way to the Pastukhova rocks where we stop for a short rest and have some drinks. From Pastukhova rocks the slope is not more than 20-25 degrees, but the high altitude starts to affect your stamina. Over 5,000 m the route turns to the left and we start traverse the slope in the direction of the small flat “saddle” plateau, which we will reach in 2-3 hours. A final big effort is needed to reach the top, which we can do by going either to the East or West Summit.
East Summit (5,624 m) - it is an easier option because the icy slope from the saddle is not so steep (maximum 30 degree). The route leads to the top without any technical difficulties. However this route takes some time.
West Summit (5,642 m) - this is a more difficult choice because a steep clear ice slope (30-35 degrees) leads to the summit plateau. We will need to use crampons, ropes and in some cases ice-screws here. But after hard work we will arrive at the long (approx. 1 km) flat top plateau, leading us directly to the peak.
Return to the Bochki camp and prepare for a celebration dinner for the winners in the evening. You will also receive your certificate confirming you’ve been on the top of Mt. Elbrus once you are down in the valley. Overnight stay at Bochki camp.
Descend Down to Terskol
Descend down to Terskol and overnight at the hotel.
Hike in Baksan Valley
Relaxation day. After breakfast we go trekking in Baksan valley which offers magnificent views of Mt.Elbrus. Return to the hotel. Free time.
Tour Dates & Prices
Elbrus - Moscow
Transfer to the Airport Mineralnyje Vody. Departure to Moscow
Breakfast in the hotel. Free time. In the afternoon transfer to the airport Mineralnyje Vody for your flight back to Moscow.
Please read this section in conjunction with Go Russia General Info on Adventure Tours
, FAQ Adventure Trips
and view a suggested complete First-Aid Kit Checklist
for your trip. Please contact us
to obtain information on the medications available from your guide on site. Please also note to guarantee professional service level and first-hand experience we have personally inspected the area and a member of our staff participated on a Elbrus climbing tour.
SPECIAL EQUIPMENT REQUIRED
Please be aware that Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK advises against all but essential travel to the Elbrus area. For more details please visit the FCO website: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/russia
. Elbrus being one of the seven summits is a very popular mountain and attracts different climbers from all over the world. To the best of our knowledge no foreign tourists climbing the mountain have been a victim of terrorist attacks in that particular region.
Elbrus is a volcanic massif to the north of the Caucasus Main Ridge. The best time for climbing Elbrus is from May through to August, with the best month normally being July. Normally the ascent begins from the Baksan Valley and is led on the south slope of Mount Elbrus. The standard route we use: Bochki camp – Pastukhov rocks – saddle – West summit does not require any advanced mountaineering experience and it is generally accepted that Mt. Elbrus climb on the normal route is non-technical and suitable for beginners. There are other routes to the summit which are considered more technically challenging.
For guiding this climb we always use experienced top-skilled Russian mountaineers. Systematic acclimatisation is essential prior to making the ascent. The climb itself may take between 6-10 hours; the descent another 4-6 hours. The main obstacles are high altitude, fog, wind and the cold. This is a fine ascent which is more a test of stamina rather than a technical task, although high altitude and unpredictable weather make for a challenging and adventurous trip. Although the climb is not technically difficult but requires crampons and an ice axe. It is a very achievable challenge which requires proper cold weather clothing and basic mountaineering skills which you can develop during the trip.
And our guides explain use of the ice axe on your free acclimatisation day on the Bochki camp or any other day depending on weather conditions and other factors on a trip. Any necessary climbing skills will be taught during this trip so mountaineering experience is not required. IMPORTANT: climbers are expected to be in good physical condition
Your safety is very important to us. As stated in our booking conditions
your booking is accepted on the understanding that (1) you realise and accept the risks and hazards potentially involved in adventure holidays and that (2) you are mentally and physically capable of undertaking your chosen trip. You must tell us if you have an existing medical condition or disability that might affect your travel arrangements before your booking. If you suffer from hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain disease
- you will not be allowed to participate in this tour.
During the tour you must fully abide by the authority and decisions of our employees, tour leaders, and suppliers. The decision of these people as to the conduct, itinerary and objectives of the tour is final and if, in their opinion your behaviour or physical condition is detrimental to the safety, welfare and well-being of the group as a whole (which are the paramount considerations), or they consider that your general well-being will be put at risk by continuing with the trip, you may be asked to leave the tour without the right to any refund for unused services.
Upon your arrival in Elbrus area you will have a safety briefing at your hotel with your guide and other group members. The guide will explain your day-to-day itinerary, time schedule, how to prepare for the ascent, safety rules and also check your personal equipment. At this stage you will be required to sign the paperwork that you have read and understood “The Safety Rules” which you must follow during your tour and you consider yourself to be in a good physical condition and capable of taking part in the ascent. Download “The Safety Rules Declaration”.
Lack of oxygen at high altitudes (over 2500m.) affects most people to some extent. The effect may be mild or severe and occurs because the air pressure is reduced and the heart and lungs must work harder to oxygenate the body. While mild AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) does not interfere with normal activity, the persistent and worsening symptoms can lead to the severe AMS and even to two very serious conditions such as High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
and Cerebral Edema
which could be fatal. Unfortunately youth, good fitness and previous experience at high elevations do not necessarily mean that you will be less likely to have problems with altitude.
The symptoms of AMS include: Headache, Dizziness and nausea , Loss of appetite, Disturbed sleep, Shortness of breath. The best medicine is prevention and there are some things that climbers can do to to minimize their risks of illness and improve their performance:
- The mountaineer’s dictum “Climb high, sleep low” is the best method to prevent AMS;
- Stay properly hydrated (drink at least 4-6 liters of liquids per day). Urine output schould be copious and clear to pale yellow;
- Eat a high calorie diet while at altitude;
- Take it easy and don’t push yourself when you get at altitude;- A slow and steady pace will carry you much higher and easier;
- Avoid tobacco, alcohol and any depressant drugs.
If the symptoms increse go down! These are guidelines only! For more detailed and professional information regarding the AMS please refer to the following links: www.traveldoctor.co.uk, www.thebmc.co.uk, www.ismmed.org
- Double plastic boots
- Crampons: step-ins or strap-on (10-12 point), check that the boots fit beforehand. Point protectors are also useful for storage and adjusting tool
- Ice axe: general mountaineering – normally 65cm. – preferable to have rubber end protectors
- Climbing harness with carabiners
- Trekking poles
The key to clothing is the layering system. Layers can be added or discarded with temperature fluctuations. The first layer is a form of synthetic underwear that draws moisture away from the skin and dries quickly. This is followed by two or more insulating layers, also preferably of synthetic pile and a windproof outer layer. This system applies not only to the torso but also to extremities.
- Hiking boots
- Socks: liners - medium weight and heavy, at least few pairs of each
- Lightweight long underwear, top and bottom
- “Expedition-weight” long underwear, top and bottom
- Pile jacket
- Pile trousers
- Windbreaker, waterproof/breathable
- Wind pants, waterproof/breathable
- Synthetic or down parka with hood. If you cannot provide this you must be sure of providing an extra warm fleece to compensate and a windproof outer jacket. This is seldom worn whilst climbing but most appreciated during meals, in camp and in pre-dawn hours of cold summit days
- Balaclava or something to cover the face like a neck warmer or even a scarf
- Sunhat, wool or fleece hat (warm with ear flaps)
- Mitts with gore-Tex or waterproof shells or one pair of very warm gloves with inners
Equipment rented locally
- Rucksack (min. 65 litres)
- Day pack (around 35-40 litres) used for valley hikes and summit mornings
- Sleeping bag 3 seasons (rated to -10 - -5 degrees C). The huts are relatively warm
- Water bottles - 2 x 1 litres capacity. (Platypus, Nalgene bottles or thermos)
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Sunglasses (100% UV)
- Goggles - optional (useful for contact lens wearers)
You can rent locally some of the necessary climbing equipment, which includes (prices are in EUR per day):
Snow cat / rat rack
- Plastic climbing boots - EUR 8 (max size - 48, min size - 35)
- Crampons - EUR 5
- Ice Axe - EUR 5
- Harness - EUR 2
- Trekking poles - EUR 5
- Warm jacket - EUR 7
- Sleeping bag - EUR 7
- Torch - EUR 2
- Goggles - EUR 4
- Thermal bottles - EUR 2
- approx. 500 EUR per one drive for a group of 2-10 persons. From barrels hut to the Pastukhov Rocks.
Please consult us
about climbing gear and renting possibilities. Please note that Go Russia does not guarantee rental prices! While we aim to provide the most updated and accurate information on all services including rental possibilities it is not always possible due to various reasons. All hire companies are privately owned and operate their business independently. We do apologise for this, but this is not what we can control or influence.
We generally use local 3* hotels. In the Elbrus area we stay in one of the best local hotels in twin rooms with showers (en-suite).
On the way up to the summit of Elbrus it is easier to stay overnight in the huts. So we use the well-known Bochki camp situated at the end of the last chair lift. The camp is placed on Garabashi hill on the slopes of Elbrus at approx. 3,800 m. There are 10 large comfortable barrels here (in Russian – “Bochki”) with wooden shelves inside for approx. 6-8 people and some space at the entry for equipment. View bochki camp photos.
There is also a canteen with kitchen facilities in the separate hut. There are no showers, toilets in a separate hut. They are quite comfortable and became the main accommodation place for climbers.
It is a condition of joining our climbing tours that you have adequate travel insurance for the complete duration of your trip to cover at least medical expenses, injury, death and cost of repatriation. For all our customers traveling to Elbrus we will arrange insurance through one of the leading Russian providers “T.I.T Insurance
” covering medical expenses for the sum up to USD30,000, as the British insurers are reluctant to deal with the area due to FCO advice. The cost of this insurance is included in the package price of the tour. Please ensure that any travel insurance arranged through the Company is what you require and you should arrange supplementary insurance if need to be. Please view the insurance policy terms and conditions
Please note your insurance cover is valid only for the dates you are in Elbrus area where you receive your insurance policy and sign the insurance contract. The insurance policy includes two parts:
- Mountaineering insurance covering days 4 – 8 of the tour when the group is travelling in the mountains, the insurance covers medical and transportation costs.
- Standard travel insurance covering days 2 – 3 and days 9 – 10 of the tour when the group is not doing any climbing activities in the mountains, the insurance covers medical and transportation costs.
We include in the tour price insurance policies for all travellers not older than 65 years. Unfortunately we cannot provide cover if you are older than 65 years.
Please note you are covered for medical, transportation and repatriation expenses but not for search and rescue services. All rescue operations in the mountains are performed by the Ministry of Emergencies of the Russian Federation. For more details of what is covered please view the insurance terms and conditions
, article 11.
Upon your arrival in Elbrus area your insurance policy will be completed and you will need to sign it to validate your cover.
Occupation: Qualified Teacher of the Russian Federation
Achievements: Mountaineer, referee, international rank C in skiing
Pavel’s interest in mountaineering started 27 years ago and since then he’s been successfully combining his full-time teaching job with his lifelong passion for mountains. He’s been leading expeditions to Elbrus since 1984 and also working as a ski instructor on Elbrus since 1988.
Occupation: climbing guide and skiing instructor, specialist in industrial mountaineering
Achievements: candidate for Master of Mountaineering, world class rock and ice climber, winner of numerous Ukrainian Rock and Ice Climbing Championships
Igor has been attracted to this adventurous profession from the age of 28. He has devoted his spare time to conquering mountains in different seasons and - as often happens – his hobby became a profession. Guide on Elbrus since 1989 and ski instructor since 2002.
Occupation: climbing guide, tour leader, manager
Achievements: candidate for Master of Mountaineering, 10 ascents of peaks over 7,000m (former USSR)
Home: St. Petersburg
She has got it all! Impressive achievements and an exciting life! Elena’s experience in mountaineering is vast – 27 years of climbing, 17 years as an instructor, more that 20 years leading groups (including schools) on Mt Elbrus.