The Caucasus Mountains are a magical place and certainly off the beaten track. The region is home to incredibly scenic mountains and home to the Balkar people who are native to the area and are a proud mountain people, with their own language and history. This is the chance to get away from it all and work as a team to fulfill your goals. We are working with LGBT friendly and experienced Russian and British guides who will provide logistical support to our ascent of Mount Elbrus.
The Northern route on Elbrus is more beautiful and wild than the Southern route. There are no hotels, restaurants, cable cars and snow cats, so climbers reach the summit by walking from the beginning to the end under their own steam. The tour starts in the SPA-town of Kislovodsk where an off-road vehicle will pick us up and take us the 100km to Elbrus basecamp.
Climbing Elbrus is achievable for strong walkers with the ability to adapt to the rigours of mountaineering at over 5,000m. A good level of fitness and stamina are required as is a positive attitude. The technical skills required can be imparted as we proceed. If you do not have previous winter mountaineering experience and you are not experienced in the use of winter equipment you must learn to use of crampons and a walking ice axe.
Arrival to Mineralnye Vody, Russia. We will be met in the airport and transported to our overnight accommodation in Kislovodsk.
We depart for basecamp. With the vehicle loaded with all of our gear, a four-hour drive takes us into the heart of the lush foothills of the lower Caucasus to Mt. Elbrus basecamp at 2500 m. Once we have established our basecamp, we take a short acclimatization hike to explore the remote valley and stretch our legs
Acclimatization hike up to the fascinating stone mushrooms at 3100 m. Overnight in the basecamp.
Carry kit to high camp. We pack up a portion of our supplies and make a carry to high camp at 3,800m. After depositing our cache and enjoying the views, we descend back to basecamp for the night.
Move to high camp. An early start gives us ample opportunity to enjoy the climb up to high camp. The route from basecamp takes us above a narrow gorge and out of the high grasslands into the alpine zone, affording stunning views of the glaciers of Mt. Elbrus and the lower steppes of the Caucasus to the north. The last stretch of the climb leads through the jumbled rock moraine along side the Mikelchiran Glacier before cresting a steep ridge to camp.
Acclimatization hike to the Lenz Rocks at 4,800m. The route brings us onto some moderate glacial terrain. We will rope up in order to protect ourselves from the several crevasses we must cross.
Relaxation day. We will relax and prepare for our forthcoming summit day.
Summit Day. After a very early start we climb from the high camp across the upper portion of the Mikelchiran Glacier until we reach the Saddle at 5300. Mount Elbrus has two large summit domes and the saddle separates the East Summit from the West Summit. Both are comparable in size and height. After enjoying the summit and its impressive views of the Caucasus mountain range, we descend back to high camp.
Today we descend back to Basecamp for the night. This day can also be used as an extra summit day in case we encounter bad weather or need additional time for acclimatization.
Transportation from basecamp to Kislovodsk where we will enjoy hot showers and a good night's sleep.
After breakfast we'll take you to the airport to be in time to check-in for your flight departure.