While planning your Elbrus expedition you should not only train your body and choose right equipment but also consider safety issues. The most significant risks are:
Every year it is reported about deaths due to heart failure on Elbrus. Unusual loads combined with hypoxia can become excessive for a person suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Pulmonary diseases also aggravate under stress loads. Asthma attack is a rather often reason of hospital admission in Elbrus region. Diabetes and epilepsy, mental disorders are also substantial contraindications for climbing Mount Elbrus. Please have medical examination, consult your doctor before planning your trip to high mountains. While booking your trip please inform us about any chronical diseases for our guide to keep an eye on you.
Traumas are not very often and mostly not serious. These are most often ligament sprains, ankle joint injuries, cuts with cramons, bruises and blisters. Our guides always have a first-aid kit for treating not significant wounds and bruises. When a qualified medical assistance is necessary, it can be reached at municipal hospital.
Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)
AMS is reaction of a body to low content of oxygen in the atmosphere in high mountains. Altitude at which first signs of AMS appear differs depending on climate and humidity of a mountain region. For example, 3500 m in Pamirs feel same as 2500 m in Caucasus. That’s why climbing Kilimanjaro is easier in terms of acclimatization than Elbrus, though Kilimanjaro is higher.
Our Safety Guidelines
We recommend to our clients to undergo medical check before arriving to Mount Elbrus. Heart deseases, mental disorders, diabetes, epilepsy are strong contraindications for climbing high mountains. For people of age above 60 years old a medical clearance is necessary. People older than 69 years have to order a private tour in order to ensure proper attention and a comfortable pace.
We ask our clients to provide us with a copy of their insurance letter in order to have it ready in case when helicopter evacuation or medical treatment is necessary.
Oxygen is always available at our huts. Besides, one of the guides carries an oxygen bottle on the summit day. This is only for emergency cases.
There are doctors living at our huts during high season. They have all necessary medications to relief acute mountain sickness, pulmonary and cerebral oedemas, they can treat digestive disorders, colds, sun burns. They can even do small surgeries.
The chief guide will be checking oxygen saturation in your blood during acclimatization days. This will help him to indicate climbers who will probably need special attention on the summit day.
Every guide is equipped with a radio on the summit day. Also, there is radio connection with the hut. This allows to be flexible when a participant wants to go down, to coordinate actions and to call for help when necessary.
Registration by a mountain rescue service
This is actually an obligatory procedure for all climbers on Mount Elbrus.
The region around Mount Elbrus is safe and much visited by the Russian and foreign tourists. It is a popular tourist destination for skiers, mountaineers and just tourists arriving here into with excursion buses from nearby cities. There are no military activities or terrorist threat in the area.
The south face of Elbrus is located very close to the Russian-Georgian boarder, that’s why you can notice frontier guards patrolling the area.
On the north side there are no cities and towns within easy reach. The closest city is Kislovodsk which is 90 kms away from Elbrus. Kislovodsk also attracts a lot of tourists due to its mineral springs, huge park and nice architecture.
The Mount Elbrus region is located not far from Sochi - the host city of Olympic Games 2014 and Football World Cup 2018.
Russian goverment does everything for tourists to feel safe and nice in this tourist region.