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.
We gave Andrew at Beyond Red Square a tough task in helping us get to the top of Mt. Elbrus, fly to St. Petersburg, and then take a train to Moscow. He did so without any complaints or delays via hundreds of emails. All of our guides, cars, interpreters, etc. were all on time. To be honest, Andrew had to coordinate much more than that. To get to the top of Mt. Elbrus, we actually took two flights, an airport shuttle, a car, three gondolas, a snowmobile, a snowcat, and finally a snowboard which I rode from 5000m down to 3000. Only the snowboard was coordinated by me. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Meru, and the Inca Trail with other guide services, but I would rate Red Square as the best organized of them all. Russia was fantastic and I would consider it as a place to live if the need ever came up, now that I've spent some time there. All the "Russia BAD" crap that we hear on TV and from other idiots here in the USA is complete nonsense. The roads were smooth, the people were great, and there is much to see in Russia. Chris and I found ourselves saying "that's a great idea, I wish we had that in the USA" more times than I can remember. Overall, a very memorable trip and I'm already trying to get my family to St. Petersburg in the next year or so. PS. Andrew met us at the Min Vod airport to shake our hands and leave us with a goodie bag full of homemade cookies and other treats. His handwritten thank you note inside was something you won't get anywhere else.