Elbrus – South route
Elbrus is a dormant two-summit volcano in the central Caucasus. The two summits are two separate volcanos. The “young cone” – the eastern summit – is 5621m high, while the highest point – the western summit – is 5642 m. Elbrus’s slopes generally are not steep but the average slope angle reaches 35 degrees after 4000m altitude. Northern and western slopes feature numerous vertical cliffs as high as 700m. Eastern and southern slopes are low-pitched.
The classic southern route leads to Elbrus’ western summit (5642 m). The route is not technically difficult but requires good physical form, acclimatization and skills in using some alpinist equipment.
Elevation: 5.642 m/ 18.442 ft
Range / Region: Caucasus
Difficulty: Ascent on the altitude, transit on glacier
Route: South Route
Nearest airport: Mineralnye Vody, Krai de Stávropol (MRV)
Elbrus is located 20 km north of the main divide of the Greater Caucasus and 65 km southwest of the Russian city of Kislovodsk. Its permanent ice cap feeds 22 glaciers, from which the Baksan, Kuban and Malka rivers are born, among others.
The Elbrus region remains one of the most attractive among all the regions of the Caucasus, despite great height and varied weather.
Being an artificial border, it is considered that the northern part of the Caucasus is European and the South Asian part. Therefore, Mount Elbrus, with 5,642 m of altitude, is the highest mountain in Europe when it is located in the North Caucasus.
Traditionally it was thought that the mythical Mont Blanc was the highest in Europe; however, the Elbrus exceeds it considerably by 800 m.
Today we have an acclimatization hike up to Terskol peak (3400 m a.s.l.), providing very close and magnificient view of Mt. Elbrus. Highlight of the route is the waterfall, called the “Virgin hairs” and observatory of the Russian Academy of sciences. Overnight stay in the hotel.
This is the day when we move to the mountain refuge at 3800m. We will transfer by minibus to the Azau station, and then will move via cable car to Mir, then chairlifts ferry us to Garabashi Station (3,750m) where we walk the final 50m to the Barrel Huts – converted fuel tanks that form our accommodation. From here we’ll begin an acclimatization trek to Priyut 11 (4050 m), the famous hut completed in 1939 which had a remarkable history during the golden era of Soviet mountaineering that eventually suffered a catastrophic fire in 1998. A new smaller hut called the Diesel Hut was built nearby in 2002. Overnight at the refuge.
This day we’ll start a trekking to acclimatize and practice some crampon walking technique to climb up to Pastuchov’s Rocks (4,650m) which will take several hours affording us views that will quite literally take our breath away. The route is not too steep with the last part being the steepest at 20 to 25 degrees. Overnight at the Barrel huts with a briefing on our summit bid and discussion on what kit to take.
An early start (at 2 AM o’clock) from the Barrel huts we make our way to the Pastukhova rocks using the headtorches where we stop for a short rest and have some drinks. From Pastukhova rocks the slope is not more than 20-25 degrees. You’ll be using crampons the whole time as some sections are completely solid ice while other areas can have deep snow covering hidden crevasses. A final big effort is needed to reach the western summit (5,642m). On very clear days it is possible to see both the Caspian and Black seas! It will be a long an exhausting day taking around 14 hrs to return to the Barrels but it will be well worth the effort.
After breakfast, we transfer to Mineralnye Vody Airport. and take our flight to Moscow and check in at the hotel. You can continue with your travel plans. End of services.
- Invitation, Permission to climb the Elbrus and stay in the National Park.
- Accommodation in hotel in Elbrus Region (Terskol Village) and accommodation in “The Barrels” refuge at Base Camp
- All meals during the stay, at Base Camp. A rich diet, complete and balanced. All meals are prepared daily by the chef at The Barrels. All three meals are provided: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
- Mountain Guide-Coordinator and Experienced Local Mountain Guide qualified to operate in Mt Elbrus.
- Transport in-out Mineralnye Vody Airport/Hotel in Elbrus Region by private vehicles. Only for group, not individual.
- Transport in-out from Terskol Village to Azau Station and Cable Railway Tickets for the ascent to Base Camp
- Administrative payments in Elbrus Region
- Complete expedition Kit (Personal equipment not included)
- Coordination and advice.
Not included services
- Airline tickets and taxes, excess baggage from your country to Moscow and return.
- Transport in-out Moscow Airport/Hotel in City of Moscow.
- Airline tickets and taxes, excess baggage from your Moscow to Elbrus Region (Mineralniye Vody Airport) and return.
- Meals and personal expenses not detailed in the Itinerary.
- Personal extra guide for summit day and porters.
- Personal Equipment.
- Personal expenses (tips, phonecalls, internet, tours in Moscow)
- Entry Visa to Russia (Those who need it)
- Compulsory insurance and unexpected evacuation
- Any other service NOT detailed as included.
Personal Extra High Mountain Guide – 400 EUR
Clients should help the guides to upload the food to the Barrells shelter.
Extra days of accommodation: Hotel accommodation in the Terskol Village in case of descent of the refuge before the dates indicated in the program would be possible for additional payment (€ 45 per person per night in full board accommodation – for groups starting from 4 people) and if there are rooms available at the hotel.
The additional day out of program in Terskol Village costs € 65 per client in DBL accommodation in full board – for groups of 6 or more people.
Scheduled departure date:
From July 21st 2020
Guide: Heber Orona
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