Difficulty analysis

Climbing Mt. Elbrus via the classical route from the south, during good, summer weather, is not difficult technically, though it requires good physical shape and, of course, acclimatization. However, due to certain circumstances, the climb can become more challenging and dangerous, since, just like on every stand-alone mountain, the weather can change quickly. Fog, snowfall and thunderstorms are frequent even during summer, and orientation in bad weather can be very hard. The glaciers on Mt. Elbrus are huge, covering about 145 square km, the thickness of the ice can reach 200 m in certain areas, and there are lots of big crevasses. Snow and ice slopes to be dealt with are moderate (up to 45 degrees).
To summit Mt Elbrus, climbers will need to use ice axes and crampons and have basic knowledge on progression on snow and ice, self-arrest, crevasse rescue and glacier travel. Although it is preferred that all climbers already have such experience, the first days of the climb will be used for further, relevant training.
Also, as mentioned above, climbing Mt Elbrus requires great physical shape, since it is an extreme, high-altitude climb. There will be an average of 5-7 hours of hiking per day for several consecutive days, while, at the same time, gaining altitude (i.e., oxygen in the air decreases as one comes closer to the top) will affect one’s breathing, fatigue levels, eating habits and sleep quality. Finally, the summit day, as always is expected to be particularly long, up to 10-12 hours.
To further assist you in understanding whether you are fit enough to participate in this adventure, Rahhalah’s expert team will assess your fitness levels before your registration and, once you register, will help you prepare a training routine to guarantee the success of your trip.

Itinerary Details

Upon your arrival at Mineralnye Vody, a Rahhalah representative will greet you and transfer you to Terskol (a 3-4-hour drive). Terskol is a small mountain village (at an altitude of 2,100m) and you will spend the night in a hotel there, preparing for upcoming hiking adventure.

Note: Only one group transfer is included in the price. Additional transfers can be arranged at an extra cost.

Accommodation: hotel in Terskol.

Today you will take the gondola up to the Mir station (3000 m). From there, you will hike up to the barrel camp (3600 m) and a little higher on the glaciers of Elbrus (appr. 800 vertical m, 2 hrs). You will return to Terskol for the night (at 2100 m).

Accommodation: hotel in Terskol.

After breakfast, you will leave the hotel for a few days and take the gondola and chair lift up to the top station Gara-Bashi at 3600 m, where you will stay for the next 4 days in a simple mountaineering camp.
After a light lunch, you will hike up to Prijut Hut (4050 m, 450 vertical meters, 2 hrs) and practice ice techniques. After a little rest there, you will descend to the camp for lunch, relaxation, and dinner.

Overnight at the hut (3700 m).

After breakfast, you will hike up to the Pastukhov Rocks (4700 m, 1000 vertical meters, 4 hrs).

Overnight at the hut (3700 m)

Today, you will go through some technical training: use of crampons, ice-axe, self-arrest, rope techniques. In the afternoon, you will have time to relax, which will give you power for an extra push on the upcoming summit day. You will enjoy an early dinner, as you will have to get up very early the next day.

Overnight at the hut (3700 m).

On a typical summit day, you will have breakfast at 2 am. and leave at 3 am. It is possible to take the snowcat or skidoo up to Pastukhov Rocks which makes the ascent 3 hours shorter (this is an extra service, which can be booked in advance). The hike to the West summit of Mt. Elbrus (5,642 m) normally takes 8 to 10 hours (1959 vertical meters from the camp, 1,150 vertical meters from Pastukhov Rocks). The descent to the camp takes another 4-5 hours, so you should expect to arrive at the camp between 3 to 6 p.m.

Overnight at the hut (3700 m).

In the morning, you will descend to Terskol. If today is used as a reserve summit day (in case of bad weather on day 6), you will have to go down to Terskol in the evening (with lifts or on foot). In the evening, you will have a well-deserved celebration dinner.

Accommodation: hotel in Terskol (2100 m).

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport in Mineralnye Vody for your flight back home.

Note: Only one group transfer is included in the price. Additional transfers can be arranged at an extra cost.