Russia: Expedition to Mount Elbrus (5642m), a trip with a Russian Mountain Guide 7 Summits Club Collection
Mineralny Vody – Terskol – Elbrus (5642m) – Terskol – Mineralny Vody
Why go there?
If asked about the highest and most dramatic mountains of Europe nine out of ten Europeans will answer “the Alps”. Yet, the grandest and by far the highest mountain chain of Europe (seven summits over 5000m plus Mt.Elbrus with its 5642m) is the Caucasus stretching between the Black and Caspian seas in the continent’s south-eastern corner. And undoubtedly, Mt. Elbrus, this white double-headed dormant volcano, is the highest, most beautiful and most alluring mountain in Russia.
Elbrus belongs to a handful of mountains with a very special and irresistible kind of beauty which lies in their shape and setting. Most of them are volcanoes, such as Fujiyama, Ararat and Kilimanjaro, and like all these, this mountain is a world apart. It stands 11km north from the Main Range and exceeds its neighbors in height by 1200-2000m. The views from both the summits are breathtaking: to north it is a rolling carpet of pastures veiled by the blue haze of distance and on all the other sides the sea of snowy peaks. It is said that through the clear air of autumn you can see both the Black and Caspian seas.
Why go with 7 Summits Club?
Six points to consider:
1. Everyone knows: the key figure on any adventure trip is the guide. All our guides have international certificates, fluent English (plus some other European language) and can guide on all the three popular Elbrus routes: the classic, from north and south-west. All our guides work with our groups abroad: in Nepal, South America, Alaska and Africa.
2. We are the only Russian company, which has its own office in Terskol village. Our English speaking manager can solve practically all clients’ problems.
3. Not many people are ready to buy all the gear needed for climbing to 5600m (the list is really long and expensive!), so gear rentals can be a good answer to this. We offer 10% discount if you rent in our office.
4. On the mountain we do not put our clients in the notorious Barrels. Instead we use the newly built shiny steel&glass LeapRus refuge at 3930m, modern, clean, with no rusty metal constructions and barracks around.
5. Last but not least: Elbrus climb certificates for clients who made it to the summit. And Elbrus T-shirts with Elbrus, of course!
6. The type of hotel is less important for the success on the mountain, but still most western clients would prefer the European level of service, i.e. with the hotel staff speaking good English and ready to solve quickly your problem.
Today we fly (2hr) from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody, which is the gateway to the Caucasus. From there we go for 3.5-4hr in a private bus on a pretty good asphalted road across plains, through small towns and villages into the Baksan valley, up to its head to one of the best hotels of the area, not far from the village of Terskol. Hotel. NOTE: Please plan your arriving to Mineralny Vody before 2PM for organizing group tranfer. Group transfer from Airport to Terskol start at 2AM. If you arrive after 2 PM be ready to pay extra for individual transfer 100USD and more.
In the morning we go to the Observatory. Yes, the real thing and very modern at that. We take a rough tractor road beginning at the upper end of Terskol village and zigzagging up the steep grassy slopes. In several hours we come a rocky plateau with the white buildings of the Observatory (about 3100m). The Main Range with many fine peaks and the formidable north walls of Donguzorun (4400m) and Nakra (4200m) peaks stands right opposite. The glaciers of East Summit of Elbrus are on the right side. Descent to the valley and return to hotel. Hotel.
We go by bus to Azau staion (2356m) of Elbrus car-cableway and the two runs take us to Mir station (3500m), where a chair-lift takes over to bring us to Garabashi huts (3750m) called Bochki (“Barrels”)land to Horombo hut (3760m), about 4-5 hr. 15 km A Snow Cat takes us to the LeapRus Refuge (3930m). We leave our things here and for acclimatization walk on snow fields to the remnants of the famous “Refuge of 11” (4100m) burnt down in 1998. Return to Refuge. Refuge.
Acclimatization day. We go Pastukhov rocks (4750m) and descend back to Refuge. Refuge.
Day of rest and preparation. Night in Refuge.
The long and hard day of the ascent of West Summit. From the saddle between the two summits a snow slope of 30-35? (about 150m) leads to the summit plateau, from where the stunningly contrasting views to south and north open up. With return to the hut the climb takes 10-14hr. Night in Refuge.
Reserve day/Descent to the valley to find shower and comfort of the hotel. Party in the evening. Hotel. to the hotel. Quiet afternoon.
Bus drive to Mineralny Vody and fly to Moscow. End of trip. IMPORTANT NOTE: Please plan your flight back to Moscow not earlier than 6pm. The reason is if we use Day 7 for the second (and succesfull) attempt, we might not have time and stamina to go down all the way to hotel after this exhausting climb. Then we have to do in on Day 8. The whole descent takes 3-4hr and the transfer from hotel to MinVody airport takes 3-3.5hr. So the time margin is pretty limited.
Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner
Services included in the prices:
- All land group transfers according to the program
- Accommodation in a hotel on the double room basis
- Accommodation in high hut on Elbrus
- Meals: full board from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 8
- One English speaking guide and extra guides for theday of ascent of Elbrus (3-4 clients to one guide), cook at hut
- Local registration, visa support
- Elbrus cable-way return tickets
- Luggage storage when trekking or climbing
- Ropes for climbing
- Moscow services
- Return air fare to Mineralny Vody
- Single accommodation supplement
- Individual car transfers
- Personal equipment rentals
- Extra (personal) guides and porters
- National Park fees
- Insurance (medical and other)
- Any changes in the program entailing extra expenses
- Snow Cat service on day of the ascent
Prices & Dates
From / To
30.04. – 07.05.2023
21.05. – 28.05.2023
28.05. – 04.06.2023
04.06. – 11-06.2023
11.06. – 18.06.2023
18.06. – 25.06.2023
25.06. – 02.07.2023
02.07. – 09.07.2023
09.07. – 16.07.2023
16.07. – 23.07.2023
23.07. – 30.07.2023
30.07. – 06.08.2023
06.08. – 13.08.2023
13.08. – 20.08.2023
20.08. – 27.08.2023
27.08. – 03.09.2023
03.09. – 10.09.2023
10.09. – 17.09.2023
» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays
Prices (per person): 1.250,00 USD (183.410,00 Rubles) ✓
Deposit for reservations: * 300,00 USD (38.019,00 Rubles) ✓ Full payment 30 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!
Duration: 08 days
Participants: Minimal: 6 Maximal: 15
Country / Location: Russia
Mountain Guide: Alexder Abramov and Vladimir Kotlyar, 7 Summits Club managers
Other dates / additional info:
B. Sampsonievskiy Av.#45,
St. Petersburg, RUSSIA
+7 916 634 40 43 Anastasia
+7 921 185 25 28 Luba
+7 916 390 88 96 Alex
+7 916 390 88 51 Luda
+7 916 178 76 02 Marina
3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.
Note: Group tranfers are included in price. Please plan your arriving to Mineralny Vody before 1pm, so that you are in time for the transfer to hotel in the mountains. Group transfer from Airport to Terskol start at 1pm. If you arrive much later (20-30min will not be a problem) be ready to pay extra for individual transfer: about 50USD.
Necessary travel papers (documents)
Passport with a valid Russian visa, immigration card, voucher from the Russian tour operator (a part of an invitation letter) By air and by land
From Moscow to Mineralny Vody we fly with a Russian air company. Normally it is “Aeroflot”. Please plan your arriving to Mineralny Vody before 2PM for organizing group tranfer. Group transfer from Airport to Terskol start at 2AM. If you arrive after 2 PM be ready to pay extra for individual transfer 100USD and more.
For land transfers we have comfortable private buses or minivans. To get to Garabashi huts we use Elbrus Cable-way; from 3750m to 4600m on the day of ascent we take a Snow Cat
3 stars private hotel in the Baksan Valley (one of the best in the area), on the double (or triple) room basis. This hotel is pretty small, the number of double rooms is limited, so for big groups one or two triple rooms can be the only way out to keep the group in one place
On Elbrus: a bunk in a Garabashi hut (Bochki), which sleeps 6. The number of places here is very limited, so at the peak of the season we can guarantee Bochki for early bookings only (a couple of months in advance at least). For late comers we do guarantee lodging on Elbrus – in some other and probably less comfortable hut.
Full board from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9.
An English speaking guide from 7 Summit Club for the whole program and extra guides for the ascent day (3-4 clients to one guide); cook at Garabashi huts.
Health and medical insurance
Health-care on the mountain is limited to the first-aid kit the guide carries. Down in the valley in case of serious health problems the local hospital and your insurance policy are to take over. Your policy must cover climbing to 6000m.
As on any high mountain a wide range of weather conditions and temperatures should be expected: from freezing-cold nights (down to -5-10ºC), to sizzling hot noons if still and sunny (especially on snow); from a delicious calm under a blue sky to a hurricane slashing your face like a whip. The higher you go, the harsher the conditions. So, the range of your clothes and footwear must comply with any of such turns. For details see our gear list.
In Moscow: prices for meals in good cafes and restaurants are higher than in Western Europe; prices for fast food are much lower; Metro and buses are cheap (less than 1euro for any distance)
In Caucasus everything is considerably cheaper: you can have a decent meal with meat and beer for 6-7euro.
Wi-fi access to Internet in each room in our hotel; cell phone works in the Baksan Valley and on Elbrus up to 5000m
Possibility of renting personal equipment
All Climbing gear you can rent in our office in Terskol.
- Heavy-weight fleece / pile jacket
- Light/medium-weight, synthetic long underwear shirt (polypropylene/capilene
- Water proof / breathable jacket with hood (Gore Tex is strongly recommended)
- Long sleeve, light weight shirt for sun protection (preferably synthetic)
- Down or synthetic fill jacket with hood, must fit comfortably over your fleece jacket
- Fleece pants (full side zips allow ventilation)
- Thermal under wear
- Wind- waterproof and breathable pants with full length zips
- Liner socks – 2-3 pairs
- Wool or poly socks (medium-heavy thickness) – 3 pairs
- Light weight trekking boots, or strong shoes
- Climbing boots, plastic of leather – must be right for step-in crampons
- Liner gloves – 2 pairs
- Medium weight fleece gloves
- Wool or fleece mittens
- Wind-stop shell overmittens
- Wool or fleece hat
- Glacier glasses with side flaps
- Extra pair of your normal glasses, or lenses
- Double climbing boots
- Crampons (must fit your climbing boots)
- Ice-axe (glacier walking type, not a short “tool” for ice climbing!)
- Collapsible ski poles
- Down or synthetic sleeping bag good for -10ºC
- Sleeping closed cell foam pad
- Rucksack (40-50liters)
- Karabiners with screwgate lockers – 3 items
- 1-1.5liters thermos
- Personal first aid kit
- Head torch
- Water bottle
- Lip balm (spf 25+) and glacier cream (spf 40)
- Pocket knife
- Favorite snacks