ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

Russia
Elbrus Expedition

Overview

Mount Elbrus holds the distinction of being the highest peak in the continent of Europe. Located in the Caucasus mountain range in Russia, it’s part of the exclusive seven summits club and possibly one of the accessible seven summits peak. Situated between the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east, Mt. Elbrus rises majestically from the high green plains that stretch northward into the heartland of Russia.
The climb to the Summit of Mt. Elbrus is not technically difficult but usually requires crampons and sometimes ice-axes. No previous experience or climbing skills are required which makes it an ideal trip for climbers aiming to build their altitude experience while climbing one of the Seven Summits!
 

Quick Facts

Best Time : May to August

Duration : 10 Days

Max. Altitude : 5642 m

Commences At : Mineral Vody, Russia

Ends At : Mineral Vody, Russia

  • Arrive in Moscow. Make your way to pre-booked hotel in City Centre.
  • Rest and Sightseeing in Moscow.
  • Fly from Moscow to Mineral Vody. Pick up from airport and 4 hour drive to Cheget District.
  • Rest day in Cheget. Acclimatization trek to Mt. Cheget. Gear rental and supplies purchase.
  • Drive to Treskol village and cable car to Base Camp – Barrel Huts.
  • Acclimatization Day trek to Pushtov rocks.
  • Rest day and basic snow craft training.
  • Push to Summit (02:00 am) and descend to Huts. Possibly even descend to Cheget. Overnight at Cheget.
  • Buffer day for bad weather. Or alternately, descend to Cheget.
  • Cheget to Mineral Vody and fly to Moscow.

Contact

Take a morning flight from Moscow to MineralVody. We usually recommend all our clients to take reach MineralVody by early afternoon, so that we can drive to the Terskol village in the beautiful Baskan valley comfortably. Our group usually leaves the MineralVody by about 2 pm. It’s a comfortable 3.5 hrs drive and we reach Terskol by 5.30 pm. We check in the small but cozy mountain hotel and spend the evening resting.
Today is the acclimatization day. After a good breakfast, we walk around the village and take a cable car up to the base of the Cheget peak which is approximately 3100 Mts . The Hike is about 2-3 hours depending on the pace of the trekkers. Going up to the Cheget peak is optional and one may choose to just walk around the base of the cable car to acclimatize around the 3000 mts mark. We descend down to the village by lunch time. Post Lunch, the next couple of hours are spent in the rental equipment shop. There are two shops with a range of equipment and depending on the requirement you can rent equipment from the shop. Our guide is there with you to assist you with the same.
Today is the day when we move up the mountain. We leave the hotel around 9 am after breakfast. We don’t need to carry our entire luggage and can leave some stuff behind in the hotel cloak room. We drive to the Ski Lift station and take the Ski Lifts up to the refugee huts on Mt. Elbrus. We walk a short distance (may be around 15 – 20 mins) to our mountain refuge which is located roughly around 3600-3800 Mts. We take some time to settle down in the Mountain refuge and then go for a short acclimatization walk on the snow to get used to the conditions. Our aim is to walk around 1-2 hours and go up to an altitude of 4200 Mts. We then descend down to the refuge to spend the night indoors.
Acclimatization walk to the Pastuckhov rocks. We leave after breakfast and start climbing towards the Pastuckhov rocks located at 4800 Mts. This acclimatization day is important and the walk is about 3-4 hours up and about 2 hours down. We return in time to have a hot lunch at the mountain refuge.
Today’s day is for Ice and snow training. We teach you basic techniques of snow craft and Ice craft which will help you on the Summit day. Ice axe arrest, roping up with the team, Using crampons, ascending and descending on the snow are some of the techniques are team and guide will teach you. The afternoon and evening is utilized relaxing and sleeping so that one is fresh for the next day’s Summit attempt.
It’s the Summit day. A day we’ve all planned and prepared for months now. Depending on the snow conditions, the weather and the walking speed of the group, we leave the refuge by 2am and start climbing up. If the weather is right, we reach the summit in about 6 – 8 hours and return back to the refuge by 1pm and descend down to the Treskol village by Ski Lifts the same evening. In case the group gets delayed and we are not able to come down to the refuge by 03:00 pm, then we spend the night at the mountain refuge only and descend down to the Treskol village only the next morning. The climbers have an option of taking a snow vehicle (called a snow Ratrak) which can carry upto 10-12 people up to the Pastuckhov rocks which can save upto 3-4 hours. This is optional and usually costs about USD 100 per head.
This day is kept as a reserve buffer day in case of bad weather on the previous day. If because of the weather conditions, the group takes an attempt of reaching the summit on this day, it is necessary to descend to the valley same evening. Overnight at the hotel in Treskol with celebrations.
The Group leaves Treskol village after breakfast and reaches Mineral Vody by 11:00 am or so. In case one needs a separate transfer because of a separate flight timing, that can be coordinated at an extra cost.

Package Details

TRIP COST INCLUDES

  • Two night Hotel Stay on a Bed & Breakfast plan at Moscow & 3 nights in Cheget on twin sharing basis with Breakfast.
  • Internal flights from Moscow to Mvody and back.
  • Road transportation arrangements from M. Vody to Cheget and in the Cheget district during the course of the itinerary. (This is a group transfer for which you need to arrive at Mvody by 1330 hrs. In case you arrive later than that, You would need to hire a private car for the transfer which will be on actuals)
  • Well experienced Local Guide.
  • Well experienced and Everest climber Trek leader from Adventure Pulse.
  • All food and accommodation during the climb on twin sharing basis.
  • All Paper work and Permits for the climb including Visa invitation letter.

TRIP COST EXCLUDES

  • VISA procurement. (Visa assistance on actual)
  • Lunch and Dinner while in Moscow and Mvody.
  • Tips to porters and staff.
  • Any Kind of Personal Expenses or Optional Tours / Extra Meals Ordered
  • Tips, Insurance, Laundry, Phone Calls
  • Any Kind of Drinks (Alcoholic, Mineral, Aerated)
  • Personal Climbing Equipment. ($ 120-$150).
  • Hiring charges for snow caterpillar or snow scooter.
  • Any additional nights in Treskol / cheget if you come down from the Mountain early.

Anything not specifically mentioned under the head "Prices included". 

1. What are the staying arrangements for this climb?

The staying arrangements in Moscow vary according to the kind of package you’ve opted for. In Moscow – Adventure Pulse will provide you in a comfortable 2 or 3-star hotel close the city center with breakfast on double sharing basis. In case you haven’t taken this package, you would need to make your own stay arrangements in Moscow. In Treskol (The mountain Village), accommodation is in quaint little mountain hotel with a very good bath and eating facilities. This is on double or triple sharing basis. While you are up on the mountain, we stay in the traditional Barrel Huts. This is a dormitory system where typically 5 / 6 people share a Dom. There is a separate kitchen section for meals and the toilets are usually outside the hut.

2. What kind of Physical shape do I need to be to undertake this climb?

You need to be in good physical shape to climb this mountain. It’s the highest point in the continent of Europe and does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our Physical fitness document for this trek.

3. What are the entry and exit points for this climb?

One needs to fly to Moscow and then to a town called MineralVody. There are regular flights from Moscow to MineralVody with an average flight time of 2 hours. From the MineralVody airport, Adventure Pule organizes a group pick up to the base village of Elbrus. The drive from the MineralVody airport to the Treskol village is about a 3.5 hrs drive. In case you are not in MineralVody by 1 pm of that particular day, we can organize a personal vehicle for you at an extra cost to reach the Base village of Treskol.

4. Do I need any special equipment / climbing gear for this climb?

Yes, some amount of climbing gear is required for this climb. Since we spend about 5 days on the glacier, one needs to be well equipped with some personal climbing equipment. The primary climbing equipment one needs is – Climbing boots, crampons, Ice-axe for support and a good sleeping bag. All these can be hired for a period of 5 – 6 days from the base village of Treskol. Our guide will personally come with you on day 2 and help you hire all the required equipment for the climb. We recommend budgeting for about $ 100 - $ 120 for the hiring charges of the climbing equipment. For list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the Elbrus climb.

5. What are the communication systems available on the way?

Regular phone and data services work in the base village of Treskol. You can either pick up a Russian sim card from the Moscow airport or activate International roaming on your phone. While on the mountain also, the area around the mountain refuge also has network and one can make calls and use data services also. So mostly all the days on Elbrus, you can be connected with your family.

6. What about high altitude acclimatization?

Acclimatization is the most important part of any climb and we ensure good amount of acclimatization. On day 2 of your arrival in Treskol, we spend the entire day acclimatization and also go climb the Cheget peak (3100 Mts) as part of our acclimatization plan. When we move higher up, two full days are dedicated for doing acclimatization walks and hikes before head up for the final summit Push.

7. What are the food arrangements?

While in Moscow the plan is on bed and breakfast. During the day you can explore the city and try out different restaurants. Upon your arrival in the base village in Treskol, the breakfast is included in the plan, during the day and evening you can explore some nice restaurants and café located in the mountain village. During the course of the trek and climb, all meals are included and are served in the mountain refuge dining area. These meals are usually mix of continental food like – Salads, vegetables, meat and pasta and there is no food around which is specifically meant for the Indian palate. We highly recommend carrying some snacks and packets of ready to cook meals so that one can supplement the meals with something more suitable to the Indian taste.

8. Will I be able to take a shower or bath during the course of the climb?

Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel in Moscow and the mountain Village also. But while we are higher up on the mountain, Shower facility is not available for 4-5 days of the climbing period.

9. What are the emergency medical precautions available for this trek?

The Adventure Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and a Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take the necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide.

10. What happens in case of bad weather on the mountain?

Adventure usually plans all it treks during the most favorable season on the mountain, but having said that weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the Summit push. In case the weather is unfavorable for the Summit push, we delay it to the next day. A buffer day/s are always built in the itinerary as contingency if we get hit by unfavorable weather conditions.

Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.

Apparels

  1. Climbing Boots – Can be Hired in Mvody.
  2. Crampons – Can be Hired in Mvody.
  3. Multiple pairs of Cotton / woollen socks (at least 4-5 pairs of each)
  4. Track Pants for comfortable trekking, Denims to be avoided (At least 2-3).
  5. Thermal inners (1 – 2 pairs)g Cotton or Dry fit T-shirts (5 to 6 minimum)
  6. Water proof Jacket / Wind-Cheater (as a precaution against possible rain)
  7. Warm thermal or Goose Down jacket.
  8. 1 Peak Cap + at least 1 Woollen Cap / Balcalava – Can be Hired in Mvody.
  9. 1 pair of warm gloves.
  10. High Altitude Sleeping bag
  11. Harness – Can be hired in Mvody.
  12. Jumar – Can be Hired in Mvody.
  13. Ice axe – Can be hired in Mvody.

Accessories

  1. Air bag / Duffel bag (No Suitcases)
  2. Day Back Pack in case you do not want to carry your own rucksack
  3. Sleeping Bag (withstand temp of 0 to -10 Degrees C)
  4. Sleeping Mat (Either foam or inflatable) – Can be hired
  5. Drinking Water Bottle 1 Litre (Atleast 2 bottles)
  6. Torch + Batteries
  7. Camera + Batteries
  8. Knee / Ankle / Wrist Guards (if required)
  9. Cold cream
  10. Hand sanitizer
  11. Bug / Insect repellent
The climb to Mt Elbrus is to the highest and the most beautiful point in Europe and one needs to be in good physical shape to be able to do this climb comfortably. Even though the climb can be steep & strenuous at some places, it does not require that you have any previous technical mountaineering experience; only that you be in good physical conditioning and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 4-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio- vascular conditioning and exercises for muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to climb to the highest point in Europe at 5642 Mts. You will spend 6 days on a glacier where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin.
We recommend the following schedule to the participants
  1. Week One: - Participants should develop a habit of being able to get up in the morning and run brisk walk for a minimum of 3-4 Km at least 3-4 days a week. This would represent at least 20-25 minutes of cardio exercise. Though difficult at first, keep at it. You can stop and take breaks as well. During the day, you should get into the habit of avoiding elevators and taking the steps. You should be able to climb at least 4/5 flights of steps daily. (Avoid going down steps too fast as this could result in some knee injuries). If you Don’t enjoy running and are into some other sport like cycling or swimming, spend about 45 mins cycling or about 600 – 800 mts of swimming for at least 4 days a week .
  2. Week Two: - Assuming you have successfully survived week one and are consistent with your exercise, you can take up the pace a notch. Increase your distance to 5/6 kms per day and 5 times a week, you can additionally go to a gym. Avoid heavy weight training. Focus more on a core workout. These are your muscle groups that run along the length of your body and helps maintain your osture and sustains you during your long hours of working.
  3. Week Three: - In addition to the week Two exercise, one additional feature you should add in Week Three is walking for half an hour during the evenings with a backpack on carrying 3-4 kgs. This could be 2lts of water, some snacks, a jacket etc. This will help strengthen your back and shoulders thus preparing you for the long hours of trekking. If you don’t want to just simply walk, also try increasing your time on climbing flight of steps. As compared to week One, you should aim to be able to climb 10-12 flight of stairs comfortably.
  4. Week Four: - Sustenance. Keep up the tempo, sustain the workout. Try avoiding doing anything very rigorous but be consistent with morning and evening walks / runs and climbing flight of stairs.
  5. Week Five: - Sustain the workout. Increase only if you feel comfortable. Start doing an additional 10-15 mins of climbing stairs in the morning / evening with a daypack of 2-3 kg; about 20-25 floors once a day should help increase the stamina and Endurance considerably.

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