Tag: Baksan Valley

Yesterday we reached the Mount Elbrus summit at 6:45 AM, the highest mountain in all of Europe.  We had fantastic conditions, very calm winds and almost no clouds in the sky, allowing us to see for miles around!

We began our summit push in the dark using our headlamps at 2:45 AM and passed a few teams as we made our way up the snow covered glaciers, eventually reaching the saddle between the east and west peak around 5:30 AM.  The sunrise was spectacular!  Then we continued up to the west peak (highest) and to the summit.  We had it all to ourselves for about 30 minutes, enjoying the 360 degree views of the Caucasus mountains, then another climbing team reached the top and we took a few photos together.  Accompanying the climbers was a wolf dog, who was very friendly!  On our way down we used our skis / snowboard, a fun way to quickly descend part of the peak.  We descended back to our hut and now have reached the village of Terskol, and are planning a few fun activities here today.  Tomorrow we will head back to Moscow!

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Mount Elbrus summit

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Greetings from 12,870 ft. on Mount Elbrus! We are currently at our mountain hut for the night. We had a great day riding the lifts up from the village of Terskol, where we spent the previous night, after an acclimatization hike on the local trails. Today we climbed to 15,000 ft. on Mount Elbrus to continue our acclimatization strategy and we skied down which was very fun and saved a lot of time. Conditions were great for skiing and snowboarding. Our newly constructed mountain hut on mount Elbrus is very clean, has wifi, nice bathrooms, and we are served 3 meals a day. We feel a little spoiled but we appreciate this level of comfort in the mountain. Tomorrow our plan is to continue our acclimatization in preparation for a summit attempt in the following days. The weather forecast looks promising so we hope for good conditions in the days ahead.

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Mount Elbrus

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Mount Elbrus

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Mount Elbrus

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Mount Elbrus

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Mt. Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe, and is a non-technical climb but requires good physical conditioning and use of crampons on the hard snow slopes. We begin our adventure in the capital city of St. Petersburg with a city tour of this beautiful European city, then transfer to the Baksan valley where we spend several days acclimatizing on the mountain slopes before making our ascent of Elbrus. Our itinerary is well thought out as we have ample time for acclimatization and weather delays. The summit provides amazing views of the Ural mountain range. This is an excellent peak to train on if you are intending to climb in the Himalaya or Alaska ranges.

Custom Programs

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Itinerary

Day 1. Depart USA

Day 2. Arrive in St. Petersburg usually in late afternoon. You will be picked up at the airport and then arrive at the hotel in St. Petersburg for a nice dinner with the team.

Day 3. City tour of St. Petersburg with Russian guide. This marvelous city offers many spectacular sightseeing opportunities. We will tour the famous museum Hermitage, with many important paintings. We also tour the Aurora Navy vessel, the ship that fired the fist shot starting the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. We stay in a St. Petersburg hotel.

Day 4. Fly from St. Petersburg to Mineral Vody airport. Travel by bus to the Baksan valley, arrive in our hotel and conduct our gear check. Overnight stay in hotel. The hotel is situated in the edge of 60 mile Baksan valley, almost on the slope of Mt. Elbrus. In the village of Terscol we have some equipment shops and rentals options, as well as a few internet cafes.

Day 5: Acclimatization day hiking through the Baksan Valley and tour the Cheget Cupola.

Day 6. We take the ski lift and go for an acclimatization hike to Mt. Cheget (3470m). From here we have a perfect view of Mt. Elbrus, as well as our climbing route.

Day 7. Ride ski lifts up to huts (3720m), hike up to 4500m. We have dinner in the huts and enjoy the fantastic view. Overnight in huts.


Day 8. Acclimatization day and climbing skills review. Afterward we make final preparations for the summit attempt the following day. 


Day 9. Summit day! We awake early for an alpine start and depart camp before dawn. We climb to the summit of Europe’s highest peak and then descend to our camp and sleep in the hut.
*We do have the option to use the snow cat that can bring us up to 4550m if desired.

Day 10. Descend from the huts to the hotel. Celebration dinner and BBQ over a recap of our successful summit day.

Day 11. Extra day in case of bad weather. We have the option for short hikes if this day is free. 


Day 12. Fly from Mineral Vody to Moscow.

Day 13: Tour of Moscow and free evening.

Day 14: Depart Moscow for USA.

Dates and Costs

Mount Elbrus Climb: $5,590
Deposit: $500

2017 Departures:
July 19 – August 1
August 1 – 14

Costs Include:
‌• All meals and domestic flights
• All American and Russian guide fees
• All hut fees
• Park entrance fees
• All group equipment such as tents, stoves, etc.
• All food while trekking and climbing
• All accommodations and transportation in country during the program on regular itinerary
• City tour of St. Petersburg and Moscow

Costs Do Not Include:
• Wire transfer fee
• Russian visa
• Any expense in the event of early departure from the mountain
• Personal items (see equipment list)
• Option to upgrade to single room
• Bottled beverages

Please inquire about our cancellation and refund guidelines.

Gear List

• Ice Axe: A 65 cm ice axe.
• Crampons: A general mountaineering crampon
• Climbing Harness: An alpine harness rather than a sport climbing harness
• Carabineers: 2 locking
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles
• Trekking Boots: comfortable trekking boots or mid top hiking shoes.
• Climbing Boots: A double plastic or insulated synthetic boot.
• Gaiters: To keep snow out of your boots
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
• Trekking pants: Nylon pants worn during warm days.
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or Down
• Expedition Down Parka: A hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill.
• Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Shell mittens with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Backpack: A 40 liter back pack.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
• Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
• Lip screen: SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1+ liter capacity recommended
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 1-2 sets of each for summit day
• Trash Compactor bags (3): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in St. Petersburg and in Moscow.
• Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear during the climb, waterproof is best.
• Small duffel bag: To store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
• Water purification system: Steripen or tablets
Medications:
  ‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
  ‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
  ‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
  ‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
  ‣ Excedrin for headaches
  ‣ Anti-nausea medications.
Climbing Snacks:
  ‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 6 days.
  ‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
  ‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
  ‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milkey Way, etc.

We regularly organize custom programs for private groups. We are happy to accommodate your program dates, as well as other specific requests related to the itinerary, amenities, and group size. Please contact us if you would like to know more about custom programs.

Day 1. Depart USA

Day 2. Arrive in St. Petersburg usually in late afternoon. You will be picked up at the airport and then arrive at the hotel in St. Petersburg for a nice dinner with the team.

Day 3. City tour of St. Petersburg with Russian guide. This marvelous city offers many spectacular sightseeing opportunities. We will tour the famous museum Hermitage, with many important paintings. We also tour the Aurora Navy vessel, the ship that fired the fist shot starting the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. We stay in a St. Petersburg hotel.

Day 4. Fly from St. Petersburg to Mineral Vody airport. Travel by bus to the Baksan valley, arrive in our hotel and conduct our gear check. Overnight stay in hotel. The hotel is situated in the edge of 60 mile Baksan valley, almost on the slope of Mt. Elbrus. In the village of Terscol we have some equipment shops and rentals options, as well as a few internet cafes.

Day 5: Acclimatization day hiking through the Baksan Valley and tour the Cheget Cupola.

Day 6. We take the ski lift and go for an acclimatization hike to Mt. Cheget (3470m). From here we have a perfect view of Mt. Elbrus, as well as our climbing route.

Day 7. Ride ski lifts up to huts (3720m), hike up to 4500m. We have dinner in the huts and enjoy the fantastic view. Overnight in huts.


Day 8. Acclimatization day and climbing skills review. Afterward we make final preparations for the summit attempt the following day. 


Day 9. Summit day! We awake early for an alpine start and depart camp before dawn. We climb to the summit of Europe’s highest peak and then descend to our camp and sleep in the hut.
*We do have the option to use the snow cat that can bring us up to 4550m if desired.

Day 10. Descend from the huts to the hotel. Celebration dinner and BBQ over a recap of our successful summit day.

Day 11. Extra day in case of bad weather. We have the option for short hikes if this day is free. 


Day 12. Fly from Mineral Vody to Moscow.

Day 13: Tour of Moscow and free evening.

Day 14: Depart Moscow for USA.

Mount Elbrus Climb: $5,590
Deposit: $500

2017 Departures:
July 19 – August 1
August 1 – 14

Costs Include:
‌• All meals and domestic flights
• All American and Russian guide fees
• All hut fees
• Park entrance fees
• All group equipment such as tents, stoves, etc.
• All food while trekking and climbing
• All accommodations and transportation in country during the program on regular itinerary
• City tour of St. Petersburg and Moscow

Costs Do Not Include:
• Wire transfer fee
• Russian visa
• Any expense in the event of early departure from the mountain
• Personal items (see equipment list)
• Option to upgrade to single room
• Bottled beverages

Please inquire about our cancellation and refund guidelines.

• Ice Axe: A 65 cm ice axe.
• Crampons: A general mountaineering crampon
• Climbing Harness: An alpine harness rather than a sport climbing harness
• Carabineers: 2 locking
• Trekking Poles: Adjustable poles
• Trekking Boots: comfortable trekking boots or mid top hiking shoes.
• Climbing Boots: A double plastic or insulated synthetic boot.
• Gaiters: To keep snow out of your boots
• Socks: Minimum 3 pair thick mountaineering socks and 3 pair liner socks
• Short Underwear: 1-2 pair of synthetic short underwear
• Long Underwear: 1-2 pair lightweight long underwear pants and shirts. 1 pair of heavy expedition weight long underwear.
• Trekking pants: Nylon pants worn during warm days.
• Soft Shell Jacket: A hooded jacket
• Soft Shell pants: For trekking and climbing
• Insulated Jacket: PrimaLoft or Down
• Expedition Down Parka: A hooded down jacket with 800 minimum down fill.
• Insulated Pants: PrimaLoft or Down, these should have full side zippers.
• Hard Shell Jacket: To be worn in wet conditions
• Hard Shell Pants: To be worn in wet conditions, these pants should have full side zippers.
• Headlamp: Bring extra batteries
• Warm Hat: A warm fleece or wool hat.
• Balaclava: to cover your face and neck on windy days.
• Sun hat: A baseball style sun camp.
• Buff: 1-2 of these to wear around your neck & face to block the wind, UV rays, dust.
• Glacier Glasses: wrap around style sunglasses with dark lenses
• Goggles: With dark lenses.
• Soft Shell Gloves: 1 pair
• Shell gloves with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Shell mittens with insulated liner: 1 pair
• Backpack: A 40 liter back pack.
• Sleeping Bag: Rated to at least -20 °F. Down is preferable over synthetic.
• Compression stuff sacks: for reducing volume for your sleeping bag and down jacket.
• Self Inflating pad: A full length air mattress
• Closed Cell foam pad: Full length is best
• Headlamp: Bring a spare set of batteries
• Sunscreen: SPF 50 or stronger
• Lip screen: SPF 30 or stronger
• Water bottles: 2 bottles with 1 liter capacity each
• Water Bottle Parkas: To keep your water from freezing
• Pee Bottle: 1+ liter capacity recommended
• Pee Funnel: For Women
• Knife: Optional
• Toiletry Bag: Toothpaste, Toothbrush, baby wipes, etc.
• Hand Sanitizer: 2 small bottles
• Hand warmers / Toe warmers: 1-2 sets of each for summit day
• Trash Compactor bags (3): To line stuff sacks and separate gear
• Camera: lightweight with extra batteries
• Travel Clothes: For days in St. Petersburg and in Moscow.
• Large Duffel Bag with lock: for transporting all personal gear during the climb, waterproof is best.
• Small duffel bag: To store items in the hotel
• Small Personal First Aid Kit: Athletic tape, band aids, Ibuprofen, Moleskin, blister care products, personal medications, cough drops.
• Water purification system: Steripen or tablets
Medications:
  ‣ Acetazolamide (Diamox) for altitude illness
  ‣ Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxin or Azithromycin for gastro intestinal or respiratory illness
  ‣ Ibuprofen for muscle soreness
  ‣ Pepto Bismol for loose stool
  ‣ Excedrin for headaches
  ‣ Anti-nausea medications.
Climbing Snacks:
  ‣ Electrolyte Replacement Drink Mix: Bring a supply for 6 days.
  ‣ Energy Gel: Single serving gel packs such as GU, Clifshot, Powergel, etc.)
  ‣ Energy Bars: Power bar, Cliff bar, etc.
  ‣ Candy Bars: Snickers, Mars, Twix, Milkey Way, etc.

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