Elbrus Climb with Earth's Edge

Elbrus

14 Days / Russia
Inclusions
training weekend
accommodation
parkfees
meals
international
internal
intl guide
doctor
transfers
View Dates

Overview

Standing at an impressive 5642m (18,481’), Elbrus is Europe’s highest mountain and one of the ‘Seven Summits’. Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains which separate Europe and Asia stretching almost 1000km from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. This beautiful mountain range has some fantastic scenery with vast mountain views, alpine meadows and dense forest.

Our 14-day Elbrus climb allows plenty of time for acclimatisation and flexibility in the event of bad weather. Weather plays a huge part in a successful summit attempt with winds, blizzards, thunderstorms and mist common even in summer. Elbrus is covered in snow 365 days of the year and crampons and ice axes are required to reach the summit. However, the route we take on the Elbrus climb is not technical and we provide all training on the expedition. Climbing Elbrus from the North side is much more beautiful and less crowded than the classic south side. However, summit day is much tougher and it is essential that participants have previous experience on mountains above 5,000m. As well as camping throughout the itinerary the summit day involves a 1,900m ascent which can take over 16 hours.

Please note the following itinerary is very much subject to change based on weather conditions and the health and fitness of all expedition members. Our itinerary allows a fantastic opportunity to climb Elbrus without using any lifts or snowcats. You should be aware there is no guarantee in reaching the summit. The nature of high altitude peaks such as Elbrus means that sometimes we don’t get a window of good weather which allows us to attempt the summit. 

We held a talk in the Great Outdoors in Dublin about both Elbrus and Aconcagua recently. We cover Elbrus first and then Aconcagua afterwards. We also have some general information from around 21 minutes in about fitness and our pre-departure weekends.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Dublin to Moscow.

    Fly from Dublin to Moscow.

    plane
  • Day 2

    Moscow to Pyatigorsk.

    Fly from Moscow to Mineralnye Vody and then drive to Pyatigorsk.

    plane
    transfer
    hotel
  • Day 3

    Pyatigorsk to Emmanuel Meadows.

    We drive for 4hrs through rural countryside to reach Emmanuel Meadows (2,200m).

    breakfast
    transfer
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 4

    Carry to Camp 1, 9 hrs trekking.

    Carry equipment and some food to leave at camp 1 (3,763m) then return to basecamp.

    breakfast
    trek
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 5

    Move to Camp 1, 7 hrs trekking.

    Today we retrace our steps and move to Camp 1.

    breakfast
    trek
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 6

    Rest & Skills Day.

    We take a rest day today and practise our snow and ice skills.

    breakfast
    trek
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 7

    Acclimatisation hike to Lentz Rocks, 6 hrs trekking.

    Today we walk to the Lentz rocks (4,650m) gaining significant altitude before descending back to camp 1 for dinner.

    breakfast
    trek
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 8

    Rest Day.

    We take a day to rest bodies ahead of summit day tomorrow.

    breakfast
    relax
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 9

    Summit Day 16hrs.

    Early in the morning, we retrace our steps to Lentz rocks. After a break, we pass through an area of rocky outcrops and then start to traverse to the west towards the saddle. We take another break at the saddle and then ascend up the Western summit. We spend a short while at the summit (5,642m) for photos before descending all the way back to Camp 1.

    breakfast
    trek
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 10

    Spare Summit Attempt.

    A spare day in the case of bad weather on Day 9.

    breakfast
    relax
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 11

    Camp 1 to Emmanuel Meadows, 4 hrs.

    Today we descend back to our base camp in the Emmanuel meadows (2,200m).

    breakfast
    relax
    lunch
    dinner
    camping
  • Day 12

    Emmanuel Meadows to Pyatigorsk, 4 hrs.

    In the morning we drive to Pyatigorsk. Afternoon at leisure followed by a celebratory meal.

    breakfast
    lunch
    plane
    transfer
  • Day 13

    Pyatigorsk to Moscow, 3hrs.

    Drive back to Mineralnye Vody for the flight back to Moscow.

    breakfast
    lunch
    plane
    transfer
  • Day 14

    Moscow to Dublin.

    Fly from Moscow to Dublin.

    plane
    arrive

Facts

Elbrus is part of the Caucasus mountain range which is situated in the South of Russia near the Georgian border. The Caucasus technically sits in Asia and Europe, although most geographers place it in Europe. Elbrus is the tallest mountain in Europe and one of the Seven Summits.

Elbrus actually has two summits. The West summit is the highest at 5642m, the East summit is just 21m shorter at 5621m. If you climb either of the two summits it is considered that you climbed Elbrus.

Elbrus has 22 glaciers that feed three rivers — Baksan, Malka and Kuban. The mountain is covered with snow all year-round.

Elbrus gets the title of highest in Europe. Another, perhaps better known, peak is Mont Blanc. It is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union. Its elevation is 4,810m above sea level.

Routes to the summit

Elbrus has a unique cable car system, which was built on the south side of the mountain from 1959 to 1976. The cable car reaches 3,658m.  From there, most climbers take the standard route up the south side to the summit.

On the south side of the mountain, climbers can hire a snow-cat or a snowmobile to bring them from 3800m to 4600m. We, however, climb the north side of Elbrus so we're walking the whole way!

Famous ascents of Elbrus

In 1829, Kabardinian Killar Khashirov, a guide for a Russian army scientific expedition, was the first to reach the summit of Elbrus.

Russian adventurer Alexander Abramov led an expedition in 1997, that drove a modified Land Rover to the summit, making it the highest mountain climbed by a vehicle.

Huts on Elbrus

A unique feature of Elbrus is the system of huts for resting, including the Barrel Huts, which are located at 3,962 m.

The first hut, called "Prijut 11," was built at 4,160m in 1932. However, in 1998, a group of climbers started a fire to cook on, and burned it down.

Best time to climb Elbrus

July and August are the best months to climb Elbrus as the weather is at its most stable. Although even in the summer, nighttime temperatures can drop to -8 C and fogs can appear out of nowhere at any time of year. Weather conditions on the mountain are notoriously unpredictable and that is why we factor in a spare summit day to the itinerary.

Available Dates

  • July 3rd, 2019 - July 16th, 2019
    Good availability.
  • Aug 2nd, 2019 - Aug 15th, 2019
    Good availability.
  • Aug 15th, 2019 - Aug 28th, 2019
    Good availability.
  • July 2nd, 2020 - July 15th, 2020
    Good availability.
  • Aug 3rd, 2020 - Aug 16th, 2020
    Good availability.
  • July 7th, 2021 - July 20th, 2021
    Good availability.
  • Aug 6th, 2021 - Aug 19th, 2021
    Good availability.
Deposit 399.00

3,699.00

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What Our Clients Say

I have done two expeditions with Earth's Edge. They have both been wonderful experiences and I have enjoyed the company of the locals and climbers who I have set out with. Not only have we learned more about the mountains I have climbed but I have learned more about the countries that I have visited (.i.e. people, language, cuisine).

Cillian Mac Gabhann. Co. Westmeath, Ireland. 

 

Elbrus was my third trip with Earth's Edge. The fact that at 52 and after 5 major surgeries in the last 4 years I summited Elbrus is a huge thing for me. I would never have done this without Earth's Edge and their team!! So a big thank you to everyone!!

Caroline Bjoerk. Co. Kildare, Ireland 

I have now travelled with Earths Edge for 2 expeditions. On both occasions, I have spoken to several people who have used other groups in the past and each person has stated that their travels with Earth's Edge was by far and away superior to anyone else. What I have experienced, matches with these statements. Any expectations that I may have had were not only met, but exceeded. Safety is a priority, but they thrive on creating an experience. These adventures will live with me forever and I can’t thank them enough.

Keith Lynch. Co. Kildare, Ireland

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