Trek from north to south Highlights
Price on request *
A distinctive feature of the tour is the possibility to travel without a backpack! Every day our vehicle brings backpacks for you. A meal is prepared from natural products by professional cooks. We suggest various routes as we have a network of camps around Mount Elbrus.
- Mineralnye Vody (airport)
- Dzhily-Su tract
- The Glade of Emmanuel (2550 m)
- The "Mushroom Rocks" plateau (3100 m)
- The North Karakaya passage (2890 m)
- The valley of the Islamchat River
- The passage of Kyrtyk-Aush (3242 m)
- Camp «Ostrovok»
- Syltrankel Lake
- Verkhny Baksan village (1600 m)
- The Cheget glade
- Mineralnye Vody (airport)
* - the price depends on season, period and chosen tariff.
Day 1. Walking around in Kislovodsk.
Meeting at the Mineralnye Vody airport. Transfer to Kislovodsk. After check-in at a hotel a walking tour around Kislovodsk will be offered, where you will visit the most remarkable places in the city and also the Medical Park and buvettes with mineral water. The resort is famous for dolomite and mineral types of water. Here you will try cold and warm mineral water. Dinner will be held upon return to the hotel.
Day 2. The Dzhily-Su thermal springs.
From this day on the trekking part begins! If needed, you can rent missing items of equipment for hiking (boots, waterproof jackets and trousers, trekking sticks). The first point of the route will be Dzhily-Su tract, which means "warm water". The spring comes up from the ground being fed by melting glaciers and warmed up with the volcanic activity of Elbrus. The water temperature is constant at any time of a year. It is 22.4°C. In Dzhily-Su valley you will see the magnificent waterfalls Kyzyl-Su (another name is Sultan), Karakay-Su and Emir. Then there will be a hike to the Emmanuel glade, where the first Elbrus expedition set its camp almost 200 years ago. In afternoon the group will be accommodated at camp. Before dinner we will enjoy a short walk to the White spring.
Day 3. «German Airfield» and the «Mushroom Rocks» plateau.
Above Dzhily-Su tract, in the middle of the mountainous hillsides, there is a wide glade. This place is called «German Airfield». Locals assure that during World War II the surveillance planes have been landing there. You will be able to see the unique natural "airfield" and surroundings, and then ascend to the "Mushroom Rocks” plateau, - the whimsical shapes of petrified lava look like giant mushrooms.
Day 4. North Karakaya Pass.
This day we will come over the North Karakaya Pass (2890 m). The way at the head of the river Malka is incredibly beautiful. Get prepared to move wading creeks and mountain flows. At confluence of Islamchat and Shaukam rivers we will set a camp for this night.
Day 5. Kirtyk-Aush Pass.
The way to the Kirtyk-Aush Pass is stony and waterlogged in some places. The pass has a height of 3232 meters. It is covered with snowfrom late August till early July. This place is an unique memorial place of the World War II. In August 1942 the Soviet soldiers led through the pass 70 children from an Armavir orphanage. For the overnight we stay at the stationary camp “Ostrovok”.
Day 6. Descent to Verkhny Baksan village. Transfer to Cheget village.
In the morning we will have a hike to one of the most beautiful lakes of Elbrus region – Syltrankyol. Further we will walk along the riverbed of the Kyrtyk River to Verkhny Baksan village. A bus will bring us from that settlement to hotel Snezhny Bars near Cheget Glade.
Day 7. Excursion to the southern foot of the Mount Elbrus.
On the penultimate day of the tour we invite you to the excursion to the southern foot of Elbrus! This place attracts tourists, skiers and mountaineers from all over the world. With Europe’s highest cable car you can reach the point of 3847 meters above sea level. Riding a snow-cat provides a great opportunity to visit mountaineering refuges "Priut 11" and "The LeapRus”. After that, you will be transferred to Cheget Glade. The participants will be able to ascend Mount Cheget by cable car.
Day 8. Departure.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Mineralnye Vody airport. You can extend your holiday in Cheget upon request and use a free transfer on another day.
What is included and not included
Cost of a tour includes:
Visa invitation letters and local registration
All transfers according to itinerary including bringing personal belongings from camp to camp by support vehicle
Accommodation – hotel in Kislovodsk (1 night) and hotel in Cheget (2 nights)
Accommodation – 4 nights at camps on the route (tents).
Meal – in Kislovodsk and Cheget: half-board at hotels
Meal – on the route: breakfasts and dinners will be served at camps, lunch will be given in the boxes.
Cable car tickets on Mount Elbrus till 3847m
Common camping and hiking equipment including radios and first-aid kit
National park fee
Cost of a tour does not include:
Insurance for mountaineering
Lunches in Terskol and Cheget
Single occupancy supplement
Horse riding, snow-cats and snowmobiles riding
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.
Upcoming group tours
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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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