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Elbrus Climb

Location: Caucasus
  • Difficulty: Ultra
  • Season: Summer
  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Region: Europe
  • Type: Trekking
Spaces left: Available
  • Difficulty: Ultra
  • Season: Summer
  • Duration: 14 Days
  • Region: Europe
  • Type: Trekking
About The Elbrus Climb

Standing at an impressive 5642m (18,481’), Elbrus is Europe’s highest mountain and one of the ‘Seven Summits’. Elbrus is located 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 itinerary 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 high winds, blizzards, thunderstorms and thick mists 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 the necessary training on the expedition. Climbing Elbrus from the North side is much more beautiful and less crowded than the classic south side. However the 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, however you should be aware there is no guarantee in reaching the summit. The nature of high altitude peaks such as Elbrus mean that sometimes we don’t get a window of good weather which allows us to attempt the summit. 

Why climb Elbrus with Earth's Edge

What our clients say...

"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 is 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." - Kieran Lynch, Co.Clare.

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100% Financial Protection – Earth’s Edge is Ireland’s only fully licensed (TA:0711) and financially bonded adventure travel company.

All our Elbrus climbs are led by an experienced Irish guide and doctor who travel with the group from Dublin.

Our packages are inclusive of flights from Dublin, in-country transport, a full local guiding & support team, accommodation, all meals on the trek,  trekking permits, a celebratory meal & an Earth's Edge softshell jacket.

Our 14 day itinerary includes ten days on the mountain allowing you to acclimatise properly, thus maximising your chances of a successful summit attempt.

We use excellent local guides, cooks and support staff. We have a strict Responsible Travel Policy and ensure our local partners are treated fairly.

Training weekends – Meet an Earth's Edge expedition leader, an Earth's Edge expedition doctor and your fellow Elbrus trekkers two months before departure. Our training weekends consist of a full brief and two hikes in Glendalough, Co. Wicklow.

We have a strict Leave No Trace policy and do everything we can to ensure we leave the mountain as we found it. 

 

Our Elbrus Itinerary & Costs

Day 1: Dublin to Moscow.
Fly from Dublin to Moscow. Overnight Hotel.

Day 2: Moscow to Pyatigorsk
Fly from Moscow to Mineralny Vody and then drive to Pyatigorsk. Overnight hotel.

Day 3: Pyatigorsk to Emmanuel Meadows
We drive for 4hrs through rural countryside to reach Emmanuel Meadows (2,200m). Overnight camp.

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. Overnight camp.

Day 5: Move to Camp 1, 7 hrs trekking.
Today we retrace our steps and move to Camp 1. Overnight camp.

Day 6: Rest & Skills Day.
We take a rest day today and practise our snow and ice skills. Overnight camp.

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. Overnight camp.

Day 8: Rest Day.
We take a day to rest bodies ahead of summit day tomorrow. Overnight camp.

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. Overnight camp.

Day 10: Spare Summit Attempt.
A spare day in the case of bad weather on Day 9. Overnight camp.

Day 11: Camp 1 to Emmanuel Meadows, 4 hrs.
Today we descend back to our base camp in the Emmanuel meadows (2,200m). Overnight camp.

Day 12: Emmanuel Meadows to Pyatigorsk, 4 hrs.
In the morning we drive to Pyatigorsk. Afternoon at leisure followed by a celebratory meal. Overnight hotel.

Day 13: Pyatigorsk to Moscow, 3hrs.
Drive back to Mineralny Vody for the flight back to Moscow. Overnight hotel.

Day 14: Moscow to Dublin.
Fly from Moscow to Dublin.

Note: In the case of bad weather some teams decide to move to the South side of the mountain and attempt the summit from there. The ascent from the south side requires a shorter weather window and can be a good option provided we can source vehicles for the journey around to Terskol. If there is a change to the itinerary of this nature you will need to pay your share of these costs.

Elbrus climb

EXPEDITION COSTS

€399 deposit at the time of booking & €3,100 balance payment two months before departure – Total €3,499. Read our best price guarantee.

*If you would like to book this expedition excluding international flights, please contact us for a land only price.

Costs include international flights to Russia, an expedition leader & doctor travelling with the group from Dublin, all transport in Russia, all meals on the expedition, all accommodation based on twin sharing in hotels & camping, local support team & an Earth’s Edge softshell jacket.

*Prices were set on September 14th, 2015.

Interesting Facts about Elbrus

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 @ 5642m, the East summit is just 21m shorter @ 5621m. If you climb either of the two summits it is considered that you climbed Elbrus.

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

July and August are the best months to climb Elbrus as the weather is at its most stable. Although even in the summer, night time 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 Earth's Edge factor in a spare summit day to the itinerary.

"Mingi-Tau" is the name given to Elbrus by the Balkars, the Turkic people of the Caucasus region. This translates to "resembling a thousand mountains," as a homage to the mountain’s size. Before the Balkars, the mountain was known as Sobilus, which is Latin for "pine cone" This is a variation of strobilos, meaning "a twisted object," which is an apt description of the mountain's 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.

Another unique feature of Elbrus is the system of huts for resting, including the Barrel Huts, which are located at 3,962 m. There is also a snow-cat to take climbers up to 4,800m.

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

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.

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.

 

How To Book

Expedition Dates:

If you would like to sign up to this expedition but need some time before you can confirm your commitment, we can hold a space for you. We will hold your space for 48 hours after which time you will need to complete the booking form & pay your deposit.

Expedition Dates:

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