Climbing Mt. Elbrus

Mount Elbrus at 5,642m, is the highest mountain on the continent of Europe and one of the 7 summits. The mountain is situated between the Black and the Caspian Sea on territory of the Russian Federation, 20km from the Georgian border. Elbrus is a dormant volcano with the last explosion 2,000 years ago. The two summits of Elbrus are in fact two craters of volcano. Debris from solidified lava can be seen everywhere on its slopes.

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: to 2,100m
Arrival at Mineralnye Vody airport. Bus ride (4-5hrs) to a mountain hotel at the foothills of
Mt. Elbrus. We will spend the night in a hotel (2,100m).

Day 2: to 3,150m
Acclimatization hike to Cheget 3 Cable Car Station (3,000m) on Mt. Cheget or Terskol
Peak (3,150 m), depending on a physical condition of climbers and weather (the decision
will be made between the guide and climbers).

Day 3: to 4,300m
Today, we move to the mountain refuge at 3,800m. All unnecessary items may be left at
the hotel. It will not be necessary to bring backpacks as we will reach the refuge using ski
lifts. There will be a short walk from the cable cars’ last station to the hut. The cook will
either ascend with us or already awaiting at the hut to prepare a light lunch. After tea or
coffee with sandwiches and snacks, we will gear up and go for an acclimatization hike up
to 4,300m. We will return to the refuge to stay the night.

Day 4: to 4,800m
Hike up to the Pastuckhov rocks and higher (4,800m).

Day 5: Rest Day
Today, we will have an ice and snow course with our guide near the refuge. We will be
taught how to wear crampons and how to walk in it, and shown techniques to self-arrest
with an ice-axe. We will practice on a snow slope until we’re competent so don’t worry if
you’ve never tried this before. We will stay the night at the refuge.

Day 6: Summit Day to 5,642m
We leave the refuge at 3am to climb up Elbrus’ West summit. An average group takes
about 9 hours to reach the summit and a further 5 hours to return to the refuge. Generally,
we stay at the refuge for the night but if the team is fast (i.e. return by 3pm), we can discuss
the possibility of descending all the way to the valley and overnight at the mountain hotel.
Note that this option will require additional payment for hotel, as this night is paid for the

Day 7: Contingency Day
If there is bad weather, this will be the reserved day. Should we attempt the summit on this
day, it is necessary to descend to the valley on the same evening by all means as the ski
lifts cease working at 4pm. Summit certificates will be given during a celebration tonight.
We will overnight at hotel.

Day 8: End of Trip
Group transportation to Mineralnye Vody airport to continue to next destination.

Cost Per Person:

AUD $2,980.00 Airport to Airport (based on AUD:USD @ 0.71)

Cost Includes:

  • Local registration for foreigners according to Russian law
  • Transportation: Group transfers from Airport – Terskol – Airport
  • Accommodation:
            – 3 nights @ 3-star rated hotel; twin or triple share near foot of Mt. Elbrus
            – 4 nights @ 8-share mixed-dorm mountain refuge on Mt. Elbrus
  • Cable car tickets for two ascents and two descents on Mt. Elbrus
  • Meals: Full board during the whole trip
  • Guides
  • One summit attempt
  • Climbing certificate
  • Park fee
  • Tips for guides & staff
  • The Altitude Gym membership for 12 weeks

Cost Excludes:

  • Visa Fees
  • Equipment and Clothing
  • Single occupancy supplement
  • Additional nights at hotel
  • Airport Food
  • Additional attempts after the first (doesn’t include cases with inclement weather from the beginning and the group has not started climbing)
  • Cost of additional night at hotel for early descend to the valley on the reserve day
  • Mountaineering insurance – highly recommended for climbing Mt. Elbrus
  • Climbers needing a personal guide will incur additional costs