Day 1: Arrive Moscow. After retrieving your bags and clearing customs, our representative, identifiable by a Madison Mountaineering sign, will transport you to our hotel. We will gather together as a team for a nice welcome dinner.
Day 2: Moscow city tour. After a leisurely breakfast, we will tour the city of Moscow with a Russian guide. Highlights include Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and the Kremlin Armoury.
Day 3: Travel to Terskol, at the foot of Mt. Elbrus. In the morning, we fly from Moscow to Mineral Vody, then travel by motorcoach to the Baksan Valley arriving at our hotel in Terskol, our base of operations situated at the foot of Mt. Elbrus. After settling in, your guide will conduct a gear check. There are well-equipped climbing shops in the area for those last-minute or forgotten items. Options also exist for gear rental. The village of Terskol is located on the edge of the 60-mile long Baksan Valley at an elevation of 2140 m / 7,021 ft.
Day 4: We spend the day acclimatizing by hiking through the Baksan Valley and touring the Cheget Cupola. We sleep in our hotel in Terskol.
Day 5: We take the ski lift and go for an acclimatization hike on Mt. Cheget (3470 m / 11,385 ft). From here we have a perfect view of Mt. Elbrus, as well as our climbing route.
Day 6: We gather our climbing gear and ride the ski lifts to the Shelter LeapRus huts (3700 m / 12,140 ft), hike up to 4526 m / 14,850 ft. We have dinner in the huts and enjoy the fantastic view.
Day 7: From the huts, we continue acclimatizing and conduct a climbing skills review. Afterward, we make final preparations for our summit attempt.
Day 8: 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 back to the LeapRus huts for the night. *We have an additional cost option to ride a snowcat up to 4550 m / 14,928 ft at the start of the climb; shortening our summit day and increasing our chance for success.
Day 9: We descend from the huts to our hotel in Terskol for a celebration BBQ dinner as we recap our summit success.
Day 10-11: Extra day in case of bad weather or other delays.
Day 12: Travel to St. Petersburg. We depart early morning from Terskol, travel by motorcoach to the airport in Mineral Vody and fly to St. Petersburg.
Day 13: St. Petersburg city tour. After breakfast, we will meet with our Russian tour guide and visit the major sites of St. Petersburg, such as the Hermitage Museum (The Winter Palace), The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood, and the Fabergé Museum.
Day 14: Depart St. Petersburg. After a morning shuttle to the Pulkovo Airport (LED), we bid farewell to Russia and depart for home.
Mount Elbrus climb
- Postponed until further notice
Deposit: USD 2,000
- Airport pick up and transfer to the hotel upon arrival in Moscow and St. Petersburg
- All accommodations and transportation in-country during the program on regular itinerary
- All domestic flights
- 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)
- City tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg
Costs Do Not Include:
- Bank and wire transfer fees (if applicable)
- Russian tourist visa fees
- International air travel to and from Russia
- Food or dining outside of the climbing period
- Alcoholic beverages
- Bottled or canned beverages
- Specialty coffee or espresso drinks
- Personal clothing and equipment
- Trip cancelation insurance or the required medical 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
- 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.
- Synthetic Short Underwear: non-cotton style underwear
- Lightweight Long Underwear: long sleeve shirt and long pants
- Heavyweight Long Underwear
- Short Sleeve Synthetic Shirt
- Soft Shell Jacket: to be worn over other layers
- Soft Shell Pants: very breathable and water repellant
- Lightweight Nylon Pants (optional)
- Hard Shell Jacket with hood: waterproof and breathable shell jacket
- Hard Shell Pants: waterproof and breathable shell pants
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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)
- Country-appropriate power plug adapters and power transformers
- Adventure Sports Watch: such as Garmin fēnix 6
- GPS/Personal Satellite Communicator: such as Garmin inReach Mini
- Personal Power System: such as Goal Zero Nomad 28 Plus Solar Panel and Sherpa 100AC Power Bank
- Digital Entertainment: movies, tv shows, music, books loaded on to smartphone, iPad, Kindle
- Camera: bring extra batteries, charger, and memory cards
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!