Mt. Elbrus climb from North side

North route Highlights

10-11 days

Group tour

From €990 *

The north side of Elbrus attracts with its virgin nature, powerful waterfalls and mineral springs. There are no restaurants or hotels, only tent camps and mountain huts. Also, there are no cable cars or snow-cats, so climbers have to hike from the bottom to the top themselves.

There are two camps on the route: the base camp at 2500 m and huts at 3800 m, from where climbers make the summit attempt. The mobile connection is most reliable at the base camp. As you leave the base camp, it will be possible to make a call or to send a message only at some spots on the route. So please inform your family that you will be out of coverage for several days.

The north foot of Elbrus is located in a remote area. The nearest city is 90 km away, that's why our itineraries include two nights at a hotel in Kislovodsk: before and after the climb. If you need any equipment for hire, you can rent this in Kislovodsk, just provide us with the list and sizes in advance.

* - the price depends on season, period and chosen tariff.

Itineraries

Day 1. Arrival at the Mineralnye Vody airport (MRV) with any flight before 2 p.m. Our guide will be awaiting you outside the arrival hall. Once everyone has arrived, the bus leaves from the airport heading to the city of Kislovodsk. The ride will take around one hour. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guide will check the participants' equipment to make sure that everyone is properly equipped for the climb. When necessary, you can hire missing items in our rental shop next morning. After sorting out the equipment, you will have free time to see this beautiful resort place and have dinner at a restaurant.

Day 2. After breakfast we load the backpacks onto an off-road vehicle and head towards Mt. Elbrus north side, having visited the rental shop on the way. The ride will take around 2.5 hours. Upon arrival at the base camp (2500 m), there will be lunch and a walk in the surroundings, which include waterfalls, mineral springs and green hills. Dinner and briefing at the camp.

Day 3. Carry to the High Camp (3800 m). On this day participants will carry their climbing gear to the next camp - crampons, ice axes, high-mountain boots, etc. Altogether this will make 10 - 15 kilos. The hike will take four hours up and two hours down. Overnight at the Base Camp.

Day 4. Move to the High Camp with the rest of personal belongings. It is possible to use porter services at a rate of 3.5 €/1kg. Lunch at the High Camp and free time.

Day 5. Acclimatization hike up to the Lenz rocks (4800 m). This is a challenging day. The way up will take 5 - 6 hours and another two hours for the way down. Overnight at the hut.

Day 6. Day of rest. Today there will be no hikes, only a snow- and ice course near the camp. The guide will show you how to use an ice axe when you are sliding down the slope. Every participant will be trained in the technique of stopping the slide with an ice-axe. Overnight at the hut.

Day 7. The summit day. You will start at 2 a.m. after having breakfast early in the morning. When you climb from the north side, the east summit (5621 m) is closer than the west one (5642 m). So, on the summit day a group can split, and those participants who are better acclimatized go to the west summit and others climb to the east one. The decision is made by the guide. Descent to the hut by 4 - 5 p.m. and overnight there.

Day 8. This is the reserve day for summit attempt if the weather was bad on the previous day. Otherwise, descent to the base camp (2500 m).

Day 9. Another reserve day for the summit attempt. Transfer to Kislovodsk. In the afternoon there will be a celebration dinner at a restaurant with handing over certificates of completion.

Day 10. Transfer to the airport after breakfast. You will be there by 09.30 in the morning


Day 1. Arrival at the Mineralnye Vody airport (MRV) with any flight before 2 p.m. Our guide will be awaiting you outside the arrival hall. Once everyone has arrived, the bus leaves from the airport heading to the city of Kislovodsk. The ride will take around one hour. Upon arrival at the hotel, the guide will check the participants' equipment to make sure that everyone is properly equipped for the climb. When necessary, you can hire missing items in our rental shop the next morning. After sorting out the equipment, you will have free time to see this beautiful resort place and have dinner at a restaurant.

Day 2. After breakfast we load the backpacks onto an off-road vehicle and head towards Mt. Elbrus north side, having visited the rental shop on the way. The ride will take around 2.5 hours. Upon arrival at the base camp (2500 m), there will be lunch and a walk in the surroundings, which include waterfalls, mineral springs and green hills. Dinner and briefing at the camp.

Day 3. Acclimatization hike to the valley of stone mushrooms (3100 m). This is a foggy mystic place where the first symptoms of altitude sickness can already be felt. The way up and down will take four hours. Lunch and dinner at camp.

Day 4. Carry to the High Camp (3800 m). On this day participants will carry their climbing gear to the next camp - crampons, ice axes, high-mountain boots, etc. Altogether this will make 10 - 15 kilos. The hike will take four hours up and two hours down. Overnight at the Base Camp.

Day 5. Move to the High Camp with the rest of personal belongings. It is possible to use porter services at a rate of 3.5 €/1kg. Lunch at the High Camp and free time.

Day 6. Acclimatization hike up to the Lenz rocks (4800 m). This is a challenging day. The way up will take 5 - 6 hours and another two hours for the way down. Overnight at the hut.

Day 7. Day of rest. Today there will be no hikes, only snow- and ice course near the camp. The guide will show you how to use an ice axe when you are sliding down the slope. Every participant will be trained in the technique of stopping the slide with an ice-axe. Overnight at the hut.

Day 8. The summit day. You will start at 2 a.m. after having breakfast early in the morning. When you climb from the north side, the east summit (5621 m) is closer than the west one (5642 m). So, on the summit day, a group can split, and those participants who are better acclimatized go to the west summit and others climb to the east one. The decision is made by the guide. Descent to the hut by 4 - 5 p.m. and overnight there.

Day 9. This is the reserve day for summit attempt if the weather was bad on the previous day. Otherwise, descent to the base camp (2500 m).

Day 10. Another reserve day for the summit attempt. Transfer to Kislovodsk. In the afternoon there will be a celebration dinner at a restaurant with handing over certificates of completion.

Day 11. Transfer to the airport after breakfast. You will be there by 09.30 in the morning

What is included and not included

Cost of a tour includes:

Visa support, local registration and park fees

Group transportation from Mineralnye Vody to Kislovodsk and back.

Kislovodsk - a 3* hotel, shared twin or triple accommodation with breakfast, 2 nights

Base camp - tents, High Camp - huts

Transfer Kislovodsk - Mount Elbrus and back

All food on the mountain (cook services included)

Guide. One guide for the group throughout the tour. One mountain guide for three-four people for the summit attempt (1/3-4 guide/client ratio).

Porters for gas and food

One summit attempt with guides

Group equipment (ropes, ice screws, etc.)

Cost of a tour does not include:

Lunches and dinners in Kislovodsk

Hire of personal equipment (such as sleeping bag, boots, crampons etc.)

Porter services for personal belongings. Food, gas and public equipment will be carried by our porters. You will have to carry your personal belongings from the base camp up to the high camp. This will be done in two carries. Normally, active acclimatization is very helpfull and enhances your chances to reach the summit. But if you feel tired you can hire a porter for 3,5 euros per 1 kilogram. You can make a decision on the spot and ask your guide to find a porter before you leave the base camp.

Single occupancy at a hotel or in a tent. If you don't want to share your space with somebody you can pay 80 euro extra for hotel and 35 euro for a tent and enjoy single accommodation.

Private transportation from/to airport MRV. An individual transfer on the last day costs 25EUR for 1 - 3 people by day time.

Prescheduled return to Kislovodsk because of an illness or in case of a successful climb when the reserve day was not used. This will raise some additional expenditures:

– Transportation. You can join any other group which occasionally leaves from the Base Camp for Kislovodsk. You will be charged 1500 - 2000 roubles per person. When there are no vehicles at the Base Camp but you still want to leave, you can order a car and that will cost 200EUR/260USD.

– Accommodation. Our price includes only 2 nights at a hotel in Kislovodsk: before and after the climb. If you return earlier you will have to pay self for additional nights and meals at the hotel. Besides, it can be difficult to find a free room in a mid-range hotel, especially in July and August.

Mountaineering insurance. It is highly recommended for climbing Mount Elbrus.

Tours FAQ

When to climb?

The best time to climb Elbrus on foot is July and August. The snow level is minimal, weather is most stable. June, September and first half of October are also rather favorable. It is colder and the weather may be changing, but there is not too much snow on the slopes and still many chances to reach the summit.

Attempting it in spring is rather challenging, especially from the north side. The road is blocked by snow and participants have to walk the last 13 km to the base camp carrying their backpacks themselves. This is rather exhausting taking into account the altitude difference of 550 m over that distance. Temperature on Elbrus in spring can fall as low as -40. Add storm winds and icy slopes which can be really dangerous for novices and require fixing a rope.

We don't recommend climbing Mt. Elbrus in winter. There are very few chances to reach the summit because of extremely low temperatures, snow storms and blue ice on slopes.

Best time for a ski ascent as well as for a ski descent is the second half of May and June. There is still much snow and it is not being blown away by the storm winds like in early spring.

Nevertheless, even during this favorable period there can be firn above 4800 m. In this case climbers put on ski crampons or take off their skis and walk in boots.

In July and August snow conditions are not good for skiing. Snow is melting in the sun by day, turning into slush. And it is freezing back by night into an ice crust.

There are not many interesting places for ski touring on Elbrus itself. Mostly, tourists tour in the neighboring valleys - Adyl-Su and Adyr-Su. There are many passes for ski touring and skiing down. Average altitude is 3500 m above sea level which makes it possible to gain good acclimatization and to attempt the summit of Elbrus after that.

Best time for ski touring at that altitude is late March and April. There is much snow at this time and it is no longer as cold as in winter. Early May can be a bit risky because snow begins melting away, but is still possible.

Choosing the right tour

There are no technical difficulties on Mount Elbrus but it is quite challenging in terms of altitude acclimatization. Though Mt. Kilimanjaro is higher than Elbrus, it is easier to do and requires less days. This is because Kilimanjaro is located near equator and there is more oxygen in the atmosphere.

It takes 8 to 11 days to climb Elbrus. The number of days on the mountain depends on the route that you choose and your previous high-altitude experience. If this is your first time to high mountains, you should choose the longest possible itinerary. You don’t know how you body will react to low content of oxygen in the air and to different atmosphere pressure comparing to the sea level. So it is better to have a couple of spare days for better acclimatization. The more days you have for acclimatization, the better you feel on the summit day and the more chances you have to reach the top.

Some people believe they can do Mount Elbrus in 4-5 days. It is possible only when you arrive already preacclimatized after climbing other high mountain during last week. In other cases this fast gain of altitude can be dangerous for your health and life. Please read more about altitude sickness.

Anyway, longer itinerary will ensure better acclimatization for your body and an additional reserve day in case of bad weather which means more chances for reaching the summit.

We limit our climbs to 12 people.

With a group climb, you will be in a party of up to 12 climbers who have booked with us separately (strangers). Group climbs are scheduled for set dates on set routes.

In a private climb, you will be in a party of people you specifically booked with (friends, family, etc.). Private climbs can be scheduled on any date you choose and on any route. There is no maximum number of climbers for a private climb. The service on the mountain is exactly the same.

There is a variety of technical clothing and equipment you will need for your climb. A detailed gear list is available here.

Upcoming group tours

Route Dates Days Price Availability
North Route 11.09 - 20.09.2020 10 €990 Book
South Route 12.09 - 20.09.2020 9 €990 Book
South Route 13.09 - 20.09.2020 8 €890 Book
North Route 14.09 - 24.09.2020 11 €1090 Book
North Route 18.09 - 27.09.2020 10 €990 Book

For some tours we have two options regular and VIP.

* - when booking tours for 2 or more participants a discount of 3% is provided.

** - when you pay with a card, payment will be charged in Russian roubles in accordance with the exchange rate of the bank.

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