Our Mount Elbrus expedition via the south approach has achieved outstanding success rates for people of all levels over the past decade. On this expedition we gradually gain height and increase our chance of success by taking time to acclimatise in the Syltran-Su valley on Mount Mukal and/or Syltrankelbashi, which offer views across the beautiful valleys to Elbrus. Once acclimatised, we use the cable car to regain our high point at just over 4000m from where we follow sweeping snow slopes to the col between Elbrus’ twin summits before continuing easily to the true summit of Europe’s highest mountain in an ascent of about 1000m.
In 2018 Adventure Peaks has continued to maintain it’s high level of success on Elbrus averaging 94% success rate across 14 South side trips this year.
In 2015, 2016 and 2017, 99% of our clients reached the summit via the South ridge, totalling 180 out of 185 clients. This success is in sharp contrast to what is normally achieved on the Northern approach due to the grueling summit day which totals 1900m! 2016 was the exception on the North side which saw far better success than the norm of 50% due to the incredibly good weather that season.
Climbing Mount Elbrus – summit day – For our summit day we rise in the early hours and prepare for a 3.00am departure for the highest point of Europe. It is often possible to obtain a lift by Snowcat (or walk) to around 4750m. The route from here is a steady climb up to the Sedlowina Saddle, the col between the two peaks of Elbrus. From here the final 300 metres of ascent to the West summit is on steeper snow slopes. The ascent is approximately 8-10 hours round trip. Time permitting we will return to our hotel base in the valley to celebrate or spend a further night in the barrels.
Mount Elbrus Northern approach – This expedition takes the more remote approach away from the famous cable car of the South. Whilst the route may be described as more beautiful, the final summit day is far longer and more exhausting being around 1,900m to the main west summit and should, therefore, only be attempted by those with a very high level of fitness!! -2016 provided exceptional good weather and success was far greater (with 95% of our Northern route clients reaching the summit) but this is not normal.
View our Mount Elbrus Northern Approach Expedition
Why climb with Adventure Peaks
- 99% client success in 2017 (72 out of 74 summits)
- 99.5% client success in 2016 (68 out of 69 summits)
- 98% client success in 2015
Please note expedition success is different to client success as only one client has to reach the summit for it to be successful.
Why do we achieve such good results
- Adventure Peaks are High Altitude Mountain specialists
- Additional summits climbed during the acclimatisation phase
- No load carrying
- High Guiding ratio
- 3 days set aside for a summit attempt
Day 1 International travel via Moscow
Day 2 We arrive late morning in Mineralnye Vody (Mineral Waters) just to the North of the Caucasus mountain range. From here a 4-hour overland journey by road past fields of sunflowers takes us to the Upper Baksan Valley. We arrive at our hotel which will form the main base for the expedition. (H/L,B, L,D)
Day 3 From our hotel we drive to Verkhniy Baksan, here we leave the main road and take the road as far as possible up the Syltran-Su valley (ideally to 2300m, but will depend on road conditions). At the end of the road we will trek to Lake Syltrankel at 3000m, 3-4 hours, where we will have lunch, set up our overnight camp, refresh skills and relax. (C, B, L, D).
Day 4 Today we make our ascent of Mount Mukal (3899m). On a clear day you will also be rewarded with beautiful views across the Baksan valley towards Elbrus. (C,B,L,D).
Day 5 After packing up camp ready for the porters we descend back to the valley and return to the hotel to make our final preparations for the Elbrus summit bid. (H/L,B,L,D).
Day 6 Today we take the cable car and chair lift to the Barrels at 3800m on Elbrus (also called ‘Bochky’ or ‘Karabashi’), our base for the next few nights to further aid the process of acclimatisation before our summit bid. Whilst on the mountain the accommodation is more basic but food will be cooked for you. If time permits we will do a further short acclimatisation walk to the old burnt down Prijutt Refuge, 4060m. (MH,B,L,D)
Day 7 Today our destination is the Pastukov Rocks stretching from 4500-4700m, allowing us to practice crampon work as well as being rewarded with good views of Ushba, one of the most famous mountains of the region,often described as the Matterhorn of the Caucasus. We overnight at the Barrels. (MH,B,L,D)
Days 8 to 10 Potential summit days:
We rise in the early hours and prepare for a 3am departure for the highest point of Europe. It is often possible to obtain a lift by Snowcat to around 4500m. The route from here is a steady climb up to the Sedlowina Saddle, the col between the two peaks of Elbrus. From here the final 300 metres of ascent to the West summit is on steeper snow slopes. The ascent is approximately 8-12 hours round trip. Time permitting we will return to our hotel base in the valley to celebrate or spend a further night in the Barrels. (MH,B,L,D)
Day 11 Morning transfer to Mineralnye Vody and fly to Moscow for late afternoon International flights, usually getting you home the same day.
It is vitally important that you have adequate travel insurance for your trip with Adventure Peaks. We recognise the complexity and variety of choice in the insurance market and know that many of you either have your own preferred insurer or have annual multi trip cover in place already. If this is the case, please ensure that your insurer is aware of your Adventure Peaks itinerary and can agree to cover the activities being undertaken.
Adventure Peaks do not provide any advice on travel insurance, although it is a requirement of our booking conditions that you have travel insurance which covers the activities which you are likely to be undertaking on your holiday. Cover must include emergency medical, helicopter evacuation, repatriation and rescue expenses.
It is strongly recommended that suitable cancellation insurance is purchased at the time of booking as all deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.
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