Dykh-Tau (also known as Dychtau, Dycktau) is Europe's second-highest mountain. It's located at the western end of the Northern Massif in Bezengi. Famous for its technical difficulty and frequent avalanches, it's a huge challenge for any climber. There is no easy route to its summit. The peak is also known as one of "The Brothers of Bezengi". The other one is Koshtan. The two peaks mark the end of the massive wall of mountains – Dykh-Tau in the west and Koshtan in the east.
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Classic Cockin North Ridge Route

  • Postponed until further notice
Cost USD 12,500 (min. group size of 3)
Deposit USD 3,750

Day 1: Arrive Moscow and fly to Mineralnye Vody (“Min-Vody”). After retrieving your bags and clearing customs at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO), transfer to your domestic flight to Mineralnye Vody (MRV). You will be meet at the Min-Vody airport by a Madison Mountaineering representative and transferred to the hotel. Overnight in Min-Vody hotel.

Day 2: Travel to Bezengi Base. From Min-Vody, we travel by motorcoach to the town of Nalchik. In Nalchik, we transfer to 4WD vehicles for the last 20km (about 2½ hours) to Bezengi Base. Accommodation in a modern cottage, double rooms with private facilities.

The famous and very popular in Russia Bezengi mountain base, located in Central Caucasus in the upper part of the Bezengi valley, 18 km upstream of the Balkar village Bezengi in the most interesting mountaineering and historical district of Kabardino-Balkaria, was founded in 1959. Today – this is the only profile mountain base in the Caucasus with a high quality infrastructure and an extensive set of the services offered. Visiting Bezengi base would be interesting both to beginners and to the experienced mountain climbers as well – the potential of the region in which the Bezengi mountaineering base is located is very high – here, in this small geographic area of the Main Caucasian Ridge, are concentrated numerous interesting alpine routes to the summits of the most legendary and challenging peaks of Caucasus. Six of the eight Caucasian five-thousanders are located in the area of the Bezengi mountaineering base – Dykh-Tau (5203 m), Mijirghi (5025 m), Jangi Tau (5058 m), Shkhara (5068 m), Peak Pushkin (5100 m), Koshtan Tau (5152 m). In the Bezengi camp area, in a radius of 1-3 day walk, there are numerous simple and medium difficulty peaks and mountain passes, which can be climbed as useful training and acclimatization objects.

Day 3: Begin Dykh-Tau climb – Russian Camp (3550m/11,647ft). In the morning, we sort and organize our gear and supplies. Then we make the 4 hour hike to the Russian Camp (3550m/11,647ft). Camping in tents.

Day 4: VCSPS Camp (4750m/15,256ft). From Russian Camp, we make the 10-12 hour climb to the high camp, VCSPS Camp at 4750m/15,256ft. Camping in tents.

Day 5: Dykh-Tau Summit Day. We make an alpine start for the 9-10 hour round trip to the summit of Dykh-Tau (5205m/17,077ft) returning to our VCSPS high camp to overnight.

Day 6: Descend to Bezengi Base. We descend from VCSPS to Russian Camp and then continue on to Bezengi Base. Overnight in cottage.

Day 7: Travel to Min-Vody. We travel by 4WD vehicles back to the town of Nalchik and continue on by motorcoach to Min-Vody (~4.5 hours total). Overnight in Min-Vody hotel.

Day 8: Fly from Min-Vody to Moscow and Depart Russia. Fly from the Mineralnye Vody airport (MRV) to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport (SVO) and transfer to your international flight as we bid farewell to Russia and depart for home.

Days 9-12: Contingency. Extra days to account for weather, travel, or other expedition delays.

Dykh-Tau climb

  • Postponed until further notice
Cost: USD 12,500 (min. group size of 3)
Deposit: USD 3,750

Costs Include:

  • Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel upon arrival in Mineralnye Vody, Russia
  • All accommodations and transportation in-country during the program on regular itinerary
  • All hut fees
  • Park entrance fees
  • Tents, ropes, and other group climbing equipment
  • All expedition logistics including climbing permits
  • All equipment necessary to make a strong and safe attempt for the summit
  • All expedition staff including mountain guide and local support staff
  • All breakfast and dinners while climbing (snacks not included)

Costs Do Not Include:

  • Bank and wire transfer fees (if applicable)
  • Russian tourist visa fees
  • International air travel to and from Russia
  • Russian domestic flights
  • Food or dining outside of the climbing period
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Bottled or canned beverages
  • Specialty coffee or espresso drinks
  • Personal clothing and equipment
  • Personal travel insurance, trip cancellation insurance and medical or security evacuation insurance
  • Any rescue costs or costs of early departure from the expedition
  • Costs from arriving early or leaving late
  • Any costs due to flight delays/cancellations
  • Personal excess baggage costs
  • Customary gratuities to local expedition staff, porters and guides
  • Personal climbing equipment (see equipment list)
  • Incidental expenses such as tips, telephone, bar, laundry, or other personal expenses
  • Force majeure / costs for delays that are beyond the control of Madison Mountaineering LLC and the expedition

Cancellation/Refund Policy

  • There are no refunds for the deposit or balance payments for this expedition. This includes but is not limited to, expeditions that conclude without reaching or making progress towards expedition objective(s) (for example, the summit) due to route conditions, weather, insufficient manpower, or any other factor outside the control of Madison Mountaineering.
  • Expedition leader has the final say on the expedition conclusion and will make all best efforts towards reaching expedition objective(s) within our margin of safety.
  • Participants that choose to leave an active expedition for any reason are not entitled to any refunds
  • Madison Mountaineering, LLC highly recommends trip cancellation insurance for all expeditions
  • Due to the nature and heavy costs of government and operator permits, Madison Mountaineering must adhere to a stringent refund policy
  • Deposit due with registration materials
  • All balances are due 120 days prior to departure date unless otherwise specified
  • Participants whose balances are not received by the 120-day deadline as stated above, risk forfeiture of their funds and their place on the expedition

Note: Madison Mountaineering, LLC reserves the right to waive any fees. As we offer personalized service, we will attempt to accommodate changes and cancellations when necessary, waiving certain fees when feasible. Deposits paid by participants acknowledge the above cancellation terms.

Print Gear List

Base Layers

  • Synthetic Short Underwear: non-cotton style underwear
  • Lightweight Long Underwear: long sleeve shirt and long pants
  • Heavyweight Long Underwear
  • Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt

Mid Layers

  • Soft Shell Jacket: to be worn over other layers
  • Soft Shell Pants: very breathable and water repellant
  • Lightweight Nylon Pants (optional)

Windproof/Rain Layers

  • Hard Shell Jacket with hood: waterproof and breathable shell jacket
  • Hard Shell Pants: waterproof and breathable shell pants

Insulation Layers

  • Insulated Down or Synthetic Jacket with hood
  • Insulated Pants (optional)


  • Warm Hat: synthetic or wool hat (ski hat)
  • Balaclava: to protect your neck and face in high winds
  • Baseball Cap or other sun hat: to shade your face/neck from the sun on a hot day
  • Bandana or Buff: to protect your neck/face from the sun


  • Glacier Glasses: full protection with side covers or wrap around
  • Ski Goggles: to be worn in the event of high winds


  • Lightweight Synthetic Liner Gloves: for wearing on warm days
  • Soft Shell Gloves: to wear for moderate cold/wind
  • Shell Glove with Insulated Liner: to wear for severe cold/strong wind


  • Liner Socks (3 pairs)
  • Wool or Synthetic Socks (3 pairs)
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Hiking Shoes/Boots: comfortable hiking boots
  • Gaiters

Sleeping Equipment

  • Sleeping Bag: rated to at least 20°F
  • Self-inflating Sleeping Pad: full length is preferred
  • Closed-cell Foam Pad: to be used in conjunction with the inflating pad for warmth and comfort when sleeping
  • Earplugs

Mountaineering Gear

  • Expedition Backpack: approximately 65L
  • Compression Stuff Sacks: for reducing the volume of the sleeping bag, down parka, etc. in your pack
  • Trash Compactor Bags: to line backpack and stuff sacks as well as for separating gear
  • Backpack Rain Cover (optional)
  • Trekking Poles with Snow Baskets: adjustable
  • Ice Axe: general mountaineering tool (~60cm)
  • Crampons: general mountaineering crampons
  • Climbing Helmet: must be able to fit over your warm hat
  • Alpine Climbing Harness: mountaineering harness, with adjustable leg loops. Not a rock-climbing “sport” harness
  • Carabineers: 2 regular and 4 locking
  • Belay/Rappel Device
  • Headlamp: with 2 extra sets of new batteries

Travel Items

  • Large Duffel Bag with Lock: for transporting gear and storing street clothes, etc. at hotel/car
  • Travel Clothes: for days in cities and towns
  • Lightweight journal, sketchbook, pencils, pen

Additional Food Items

  • Snack Food: bring a few days’ supply of your favorite climbing snack food such as bars, gels, nuts, beef jerky, etc. variety of salty and sweet is good

Other Equipment

  • Cup: plastic 16 oz. minimum cup or mug
  • Bowl: large plastic bowl for eating dinner or breakfast
  • Spoon: plastic spoon (Lexan)
  • Water Bottles (2): wide mouth bottles with 1-liter capacity
  • Water Bottle Parkas (2): fully insulated with zip opening
  • Thermos (optional): 1-liter
  • Water Treatment
  • Sunscreen: SPF 40 or better
  • Lip Screen (2 sticks): SPF 30 or better
  • Toiletry Bag: include toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, baby wipes and hand sanitizer (2 small bottles)
  • Pee Bottle: 1-liter minimum bottle for convenience at night in the tent
  • Female Urination Device (FUD)
  • Knife or Multi-tool (optional)
  • Small Personal First-aid Kit: include athletic tape, band-aids, Ibuprofen, blister care, etc.
  • Medications and Prescriptions: bring antibiotics (Azithromycin, etc.), and altitude medicine such as Diamox, etc.
  • Handkerchiefs/Bandanas (optional)

Optional Electronics

Madison Mountaineering is recognized for well thought out strategy in leading high altitude climbing expeditions, as well as high-quality service throughout. We have two decades of experience in the planning and coordination of mountaineering expeditions, our reputation is excellent. We strive to make each expedition the best possible experience for our climbers and focus on our 3 primary goals of success in reaching the summit, returning safely, and having fun! Safety is always our number one priority.

Our guides are some of the best and most experienced in the industry, having a strong grasp of technical climbing, expedition, and high altitude experience, along with strong interpersonal skills. Our teams are small and equipped with the best support available to ensure the highest chance of success. We are renowned for our comfortable base camps, high-quality food, first-rate communications, and medical support services, all of which are overseen by a professional member of our team.

Most of our climbers have either climbed with us before, been referred by a friend who has climbed with us, or met one of our teams while attempting another peak and decided to join us for their next expedition. We work hard to facilitate safe, successful, and enjoyable expeditions for all of our climbers. Our track record and past climber testimonials prove we are highly competent experts in our field and love what we do!

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