Climbing Elbrus from the West side

West route Highlights

11 days

Private tour

Price on request *

This is the most challenging way to climb Mt. Elbrus. We recommend this route to experienced mountaineers only because of its technical difficulty. The west route base camp is located in a remote area, there is no mobile connection, only satellite phones are used here. There are much camping and climbing gear to carry from camp to camp and in general, this route is more complicated when compared to other ones on Mount Elbrus. That's why we don’t arrange scheduled departures via the west approach, only private expeditions. Please request the quotation!

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

Itineraries

Day 1. Arrival at Mineralnye Vody airport. Transportation to a hotel in Kislovodsk (1 hour).

Day 2. Transfer to the base camp in the valley of Ullu-Khurzuk (5 hours).

Day 3. Acclimatisation hike to Camp 1 on the moraine (altitude 3500m) and descent back to the base camp. It is possible to take warm mineral baths after coming back to camp. The way runs along broad grassy slopes, crosses the river and climbs up the moraine. You have to carry only your lunch and water/tea on this day. Hiking time is 4 - 5 hours.

Day 4. Ascent to the Camp 1 (3500m) with all the gear. After setting a camp we will have some ice- and snow training. Hiking time is 4 - 5 hours.

Day 5. Acclimatization hike up to 3900m. This day we'll come back to our camp at 3500m, so we have to carry only lunch and thermoses. Up there we'll do some ice- and snow training again. At that altitude, we'll have to do with snow, ice, moraine big and medium-sized boulders. Stones can slide and roll down, so helmets are necessary. Hiking time is 3 hours Gradient of ascent is up to 20°

Day 6. Ascent to the Camp 2 at 4200m. At first, we'll hike up a medium-sized rockslide followed by a snowy slope with an ancle of climb up to 30°, untill we reach a bivouac shelter where we stay for night.

Day 7. Ascent to the advanced Camp 3 on the western shoulder of Elbrus at 4600 m. We'll hike up the snowy slope with gradient of ascent of 20°, then traverse to the right untill we reach the western plateau.

Day 8. Summit day. Gradient of ascent is 15°-20°. The way goes along a rocky ridge and in technical respect is rather simple. Overnight at camp.

Day 9. Reserve summit attempt in case of bad weather on previous day. Descent to the camp at 3500m.

Day 10. Descend to the base camp at 2500m. Transfer to hotel in Kislovodsk

Day 11. Transfer to the airport


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 – base camp and back

All food on the mountain (cook services included)

Guiding services 1/3-4 guide/client ratio for all days.

Porters for common camping and climbing gear, 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 common equipment will be carried by our porters. You will have to carry self your personal belongings.

Single occupancy at a hotel or in a tent.

Private transportation from/to airport MRV.

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 for hotel, meals in Kislovodsk and probably for transportation.

Mountaineering insurance. It is obligatory for climbing the west route on 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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