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Mt. Elbrus, which is a dormant, double-coned volcano, rises to 18,510 feet (5,642 meters), and is the highest Mountain in all of Europe.
While climbing Elbrus, you’ll be experiencing one of the renowned ‘Seven Summits’. The summit offers breathtaking views of the Caucasus Mountains and the impressive tributary valley systems feeding the raging waters of the Baksan River. Add a descent on skis or a snowboard, and you have a complete adventure!
Although Elbrus is not technically demanding, participants should be prepared to climb nearly 5,000 vertical feet (1,500 meters). This will include carrying a pack with standard mountaineering gear in addition to a pair of skis or a snowboard. Although most of the descent will be on moderate slopes of less than 30 degrees, we will encounter a variety of snow conditions; including powder, ice, breakable crust, and spring corn. We will have several contingency days in order to take advantage of the best snow and weather, but participants should be able to ride down in a controlled and efficient manner regardless of conditions.
Our trip begins in Moscow. We then travel to Mineral Voldy and begin our acclimatization and climb. The first few days are focused on day trips that allow us to acclimatize and develop glacier climbing skills. After that we move up to a mountain hut known as the Barrels. Thanks to our local Russian support team, we will continue to eat well and carry only light packs, even at this camp high on the mountain.
Summit day on Elbrus is strenuous and long. We wake at around 3am and breakfast before boarding a snowcat to take us to our previous high point on the mountain at 15,000 feet (4,572 meters). From there we use crampons, rope, and ice axes, and begin the climb. As the sun rises we will be high on the mountain, with the sun giving us energy for the final push. From the summit we will enjoy well deserved views of the surrounding peaks before making a quick descent back to the hut.