Come climb Europe's highest peak on your way to summiting the World's 7 Summits! We customize private expeditions up the Elbrus South Route. Booking now for 2021!
We customize climbs to your level of comfort and budget, from 4-star hotels and the Leaprus Barrel Huts, to more economic options; your choice!
DAY 1:: ARRIVAL TO NORTH CAUCASUS
After flying into the Caucasus Mineral Waters airport (MRV), settle in for the scenic drive to Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Brush up on the history of the Balkar people along the way, among whom you will be spending the next week. Prepare for a stunning detour for your picnic lunch, at Bylym Lake, an incredible lake nestled among grassy hills and rising rock faces. Once you have completed the breathtaking drive to Mt. Elbrus, check into your hotel and enjoy some free time to explore the area and take in the views around you. Don’t blink, because you will have risen 7,000 feet above sea level on this 3-hour drive without even noticing! You will meet your guide tonight and go over the plan for the next 6 days, and a successful Elbrus encounter!
DAY 2:: ACCLIMATIZATION HIKE
Your acclimatization to the Caucasus Mountain heights starts today! Most of today is focused on preparing for your Elbrus ascent. Cheget is a neighboring mountain to Elbrus with a beautiful view, if the weather allows. As you spend several hours hiking up Cheget, getting your body used to the elevation and conditions, you will realize why the Caucasus is such a coveted destination. After a tasty lunch on the mountain, all gear will be double-checked (and rented as necessary), for your upcoming ascent. Rest up tonight, as tomorrow you are moving up to 14,000 feet, base camp!
DAY 3:: BASE CAMP
Today you get to meet Mt. Elbrus up close and personal. You’ll take the famous cable car system up three levels to the climbers’ base camp. This will be your home the next 4 days for your Elbrus encounter. As riveting as you’ll find Elbrus itself is, even more so is the surrounding Caucasus range, stretching into Georgia and beyond. Once your things are settled in one of the infamous “barrel huts” for lodging, you’ll do another brief acclimatization climb combined with some ice climbing/training. Your body will continue to adjust today, as the elevation has doubled, not to mention the significantly colder weather (there is snow here at base camp year-round). Daily your mountain guide will be walking you through practical precautions for summiting Elbrus safely and successfully. Your private cook on Elbrus will make sure you are getting the nourishment your body needs.
DAY 4:: ACCLIMATIZATION / TRAINING
During your second day on the mountain you’ll get a good feel for tomorrow’s route, as you do an acclimatization/practice climb up to the Pastukhov Rocks, around 16,500 feet. Spend some time getting used to the gear you’ll be using with some training using your ice axe. If you have a chance today, make sure to check out Elbrus’s infamous “World’s worst outhouse”; now you can mark that off your bucket list.
DAY 5:: REST DAY
Wake up with excitement today, as it’s your final day before your Elbrus ascent. Today is a day to rest up before the big hike tomorrow and to allow your body one more day to adjust to the altitude. Get to know some of the other climbers on the mountain, play some board games or just get extra sleep. If there are more than 3 people in your group, you’ll meet your second summit guide today, who will team with you and your guide on your ascent tomorrow. Turn in to bed early after dinner, as an early wake-up call awaits!
DAY 6:: SUMMIT DAY
It’s Summit Day! You’ve got an 8-12 hour ascent ahead of you, and so will start your climb in the dark between 2:00-3:00 am. Team is a beautiful thing as you work together with your group up the mountain. The early morning hours of your climb is quite the sight with a long line of climbers ascending Elbrus, lit up by a highway of head lamps. You may have never experienced quite the sunrise as you do on your ascent, as you leave the rest of the Caucasus range behind to Elbrus’s gentle summit. Your climb won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, with altitude sickness, extreme cold temperatures, and unpredictable weather all real possibilities, but it will all be worth it when you reach the top. Once you have a quick celebration on the top, prepare for your 3-4 hour descent back to base camp. Gather your things and jump on the cable car to head back down to Cheget. Dinner will have never tasted better than it does tonight.
DAY 7:: RESERVE / REST DAY
Rest day! You’ve earned it. Sleep in as long as you want. Today you’ll want to peruse the charming local souvenir markets, full of tempting local goods, including Caucasus Papakha hats, beautiful hand-knit slippers, shawls, and tasty local jams. Or if you’re up for it, go on a local horseback excursion, see a beautiful waterfall, or try out a 4-wheeler on the local trails. Enjoy re-living and re-telling your Elbrus encounter with your fellow climbers and guides at your celebration dinner tonight. In case there was inclement weather on Day 6 (yesterday’s planned ascent), today will be your summit day up Elbrus.
DAY 8:: DEPARTURE
Pack your bags and say goodbye for now to the North Caucasus, a place we hope you will come back to for another adventure very soon. Fly out of the local Mineral Waters airport (MRV), through Moscow, and back to wherever you call home..
INCLUDED IN COST OF TOUR:
- All transportation, including airport pick-up/drop-off
- Full Board – All Meals included
- Unlimited Coffee/Tea
- Lodging – 3 nights in hotels and 4 nights in barrel huts during acclimatization
- Tickets for Mountain Chair Lifts
- Rental of group climbing equipment
- Professional Mountain Guide (one ascent attempt included in cost)
- Additional Mountain Guide on day of ascent (1 guide per 3 climbers)
- Safety precautions (registration with Russian emergency services, walkie-talkie system, first-aid kit)
- Entrance fees to national park
NOT INCLUDED IN COST OF TOUR:
- International and domestic airfare
- Russian tourist visa
- Rental of personal climbing gear
- Booking a higher level of accommodations
- Additional services requested at hotel (spa/banya, etc.)
- Use of “Snow Cat” tractors/snowmobiles on acclimatization climbs or day of climb
- Any change to the program that requires extra expense
- Additional beverages at meals (non-alcoholic and alcoholic)
- Professional photo/video services
- Personal Insurance for climber
Climb participants are required to provide the following gear:
- Gore-text Waterproof Jacket & Insulation Layer (down “puffy” jacket)
- Synthetic trekking pants, insulated pants, and rain/snow pants
- Fleece layer
- Mountaineering boots and camp shoes
- Undergarments: socks, underwear, undershirts
- Top Base Layer Thermal Underwear (non-cotton)
- Bottom Base Layer thermal underwear (non-cotton)
- Midweight gloves and expedition mittens
- Balaclava and beanie (preferably wind-resistant)
- Heavyweight or expedition weight socks
- Backpack for ascent with volume of 25-30 liters
- Sunglasses (100% UV protection) and Ski Goggles
- Sunscreen lotion
- Head lamp (with extra batteries)
- Climbing equipment: harness, slings, ice axe, 3 locking carabiners
- Insulated water bottle
- Personal first-aid kit: personal medications (i.e. inhaler, epipen, etc.)
- Personal toiletries
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping bag for temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius
***Any climbing equipment not brought with the climber can be rented at Mt. Elbrus.
Is it safe to travel to the North Caucasus and Mt. Elbrus?
Yes! Please see below for an article about the US State Dept's travel warnings to this region: https://www.beyondredsquare.com/blog/is-the-north-caucasus-safe/
Is there anything else to do around Mt. Elbrus or in the North Caucasus?
YES! The North Caucasus is an incredibly beautiful region with many adventure and cultural activities to do. See our recommendations for around the region: https://www.beyondredsquare.com/blog/top-11-things-you-should-do-after-climbing-mt-elbrus/
Do you help with visa and letter of invitation?
YES! We provide a letter of invitation, and have a private visa partner who personalizes the visa process for our travelers. We will walk you through this somewhat complicated process. Here is an article detailing some of the pre-trip steps you'll need to complete before coming to Russia to climb Elbrus: https://www.beyondredsquare.com/blog/travel-tips-russia/
Can you help with my Moscow/St. Petersburg touring and logistics before/after my climb?
Absolutely. We customize trips for Elbrus climbers who also want to see beautiful Moscow & St. Petersburg while they are already in Russia. See our website for our "Climb Elbrus & the Capitals" tour. We can customize this to your needs!
Is Elbrus a technical climb? What is standard length of climb?
See this article below to answer all climb-related questions, from an experienced mountaineer who has summited Elbrus twice. The experience is quite different from Kilamanjaro! https://www.beyondredsquare.com/blog/climbing-mount-elbrus/
Do I have to stay in poor accommodations?
No! If you've already already climbed Kilimanjaro, you know you're spending most nights in a tent. Nights 1,2,7 of Mt. Elbrus climbs are spent at the base of the mountain, in up to 4-star hotels. Nights 3-6 are spent at base camp in Elbrus' infamous "barrel huts". While there are many rather spartan-like options, we can help you do base camp in comfort and style in the modern Leaprus huts, including with WIFI. See below to read more! https://www.beyondredsquare.com/blog/climbing-elbrus-in-style-leaprus-barrel-huts-at-3912-meters/
Do you offer public groups that I can join?
Unfortunately no. We offered public groups for individuals to join up through the 2020 COVID-19 crisis, but no longer offer these groups. We would be happy to accommodate you and a group of friends that come with you.
Thank you Andrew & Beyond Red Square team for helping make our Elbrus experience exceptional. We researched several of the other tour companies who were offering a similar package and went with Andrew and his team based on a significantly better value & personal service. We saw many of these other tour companies on the mountain and saw no difference between the service they provided and our personal experience with Beyond Red Square. Andrew and his team were extremely attentive and responsive (always within 24 hours) throughout the planning phase. He and our guide Serge, met us at the airport and attended to all our needs from arrival to departure. Sergey proved to be mountaineer savvy, had years of Elbrus experience, and was on a first name basis with many of the other Elbrus guides, rental shops, snow cat operators, & support staff. This familiarity led to our special treatment throughout our trip. By our celebration dinner Sergey was more than a guide, we consider him a lifelong friend. Our accomodations at the AzauStar was very relaxing and had a great location, right at the base of the maintain. The staff was expecting us when we arrived. During our stay the entire staff were very attentive to our needs. Leaprus hut was a pleasant surprise and we highly recommend (heated, personable staff, exceptional food, hot & cold running water). All other huts came with much less positive reviews. Andrew, Sergey and Beyond Red Square, thank you again for making our trip exceptional.
I had a great experience with Beyond the Red Square. I searched for some time before going with them but was not disappointed. My experience started with Andrew. If you have interest, have a chat over Skype with him just to gather information. Chatting with him was a key for me to decide to book and to achieve my objective of summiting Elbrus. Andrew always answered my emails and that a huge benefit for planning for this trip. What he promised me on the first call was delivered and more. The price for the expedition was a little higher than some other local providers but I would definitively pay again that extra to get on-time support and to lodge in the nicer hotel/huts on the mountain. Compare to other 7 summits, the price Beyond the Red Square proposes is very decent. We were lucky to have nice weather on the mountain for all the expedition (Aug 10-18, 2019). Equipment is very important and the guide Sergey helped us ensuring we had all the right items before getting on the mountain. Bring what the guide tells, and you should be comfortable and safe on the mountain. Be in good shape before going; this will make your hike enjoyable. Overall great experience; I recommend going with Beyond the Red Square.