- Reviews 288 Reviews4.9/5
- Vacation Style High Altitude Trek
- Activity Level Moderate
All about the Elbrus Expedition.
Sitting on the irregular terrain of the Caucasian ranges is the mountain Elbrus, which unites the two states of Asia and Europe, by keeping one of its foot on both sides. It is the highest peak in Europe and can be climbed via two trails, first the standard and second the northern. If you are someone who likes detoxing from the busy city life and sit near nature, then the northern route is something you must try as there will be no modern means of food, transportation or track laying vehicles to assist you during the climb on the asphalted path. This actual path towards the summit peak was mapped many years ago.
The mountain was a volcano which last erupted near 50 AD. The crater could be viewed, once on the summit. It’s about 250 meters in diameter and is now extinct, stacked with snow. The ridge is at 14,816 ft, below the summits, Western and Eastern summit (15,230 ft and 18,441 ft respectively). It is considered to be the same mountain where the great God Zeus manacled and punish Prometheus.
You’ll be taught walking on the crampons, using ice-axes and reaching the crevasses using ropes during the trek. Day or two will be spent adapting and adjusting to the cold climate of the peak. A contingency day would also be there in case of an emergency like poor weather conditions.
Maximum Altitude – 18,442 ft.
Duration – 10-11 Days
Difficulty Level – Moderate-Difficult
High and Low Camps, Mikelchiran Glacier, Lenz Rock
Complete cut-off from the pleasures of modern civilization
Day 1 Gather at Kislovodsk town (2,660 ft)
Reach the Mineralyne Vody Airport and from there take some ride to reach Kislovodsk town, where the whole group will gather, through Dzhily-Su. Kislovodsk is known as a spa town in Stavropol Krai, Northern Caucasus Russian region between Caspian sea and Balck sea. We will prepare for the next day and spend our night at the respective hotel.
Altitude – 2,660 ft
Day 2 Drive to Base Camp (8,064 ft)
The next morning we will take a ride to the Mount Elbrus Base Camp, through the lower green foothills of Caucasus region. After reaching the base camp, we will go hiking towards the isolated valley so as to acclimatize our bodies. We will come back to the campsite, where we will spend our night.
Altitude –8,064 ft
Day 3 Acclimatizing Day (10,170 ft)
Today, we will spend the entire day hiking and adapting the climate of our surroundings, We will climb upwards and you’ll be able to capture almost after covering 16 feet, the mushrooms. We will continue walking for another 10,128 ft climbing and will again walk down, back to the Base Camp.
Altitude – 10,170 ft
Day 4 Ferry to High Camp and Back to Base Camp (10,170 ft)
We will get a ferry to reach the high camp the next morning. The high camp is at 12,300 ft and during the journey, you’ll be able to see some extremely beautiful views. We will get back to the base camp. It’ll be night by then and we will spend our night again at the Base Camp.
Altitude – 10,170 ft
Day 5 Climbing back to High Camp (12,300 ft)
The next morning we will cross the narrow ravine, climbing towards the high green pastures, reaching the Alpine region, from where we will be able to see the sights of Mt. Elbrus glaciers and downwards at north, the Caucasus. The last climb of the day will be walking at the side of Mikelchiran Glacier via a rocky moraine and finally cresting down a steep surface and reaching the High Camp where we will stay overnight.
Altitude – 12,300 ft
Day 6 and Day 7 Hike to Lenz Rock (Acclimatizing) and back; A rest day
We will go a day hiking to the Lenz Rock and coming back to the high camp. Lenz Rock is 15,200 ft and a moderate glacier terrain. You’ll be made to rope up being cautious about the various crevasses that we will come across. We will spend our nights at the high camp. Next day will spend preparing for the Summit Climb next day and resting.
Altitude – 15, 200 ft
Day 8 and Day 9 Summit Day (and Contingency Day)
The next morning we will ascend from the peaceful High Camp region towards the saddle that divides the two summits on the Mountain Elbrus, at the above region of Mikelchiran Glacier. This will be at around 17,700 ft. We will reach the Caucasus ranges, enjoy the amazing sights from the summit and descend back to the high camp. Day nine is allotted in case of an emergency like poor weather.
Altitude – 17,700 ft
Day 10 Climb down to Base Camp (10,170 ft)
The next day we will start our journey from the high camp, back to the base camp where we will spend our night. In case we had an extra day to spare and the group agrees, then we can carry on our trekking, spending an extra day climbing towards another summit.
Altitude – 10,170 ft
Day 11 Driving back to Kislovodsk (2,660 ft)
This will be our last day together. We will drive back to the town of Kislovodsk. It is advisable to take rest and spend the night in a hotel at Kislovodsk itself. The next day you can departure early for your hometown.
Altitude – 2,660 ft
Who can go for this trek?
If you are someone who likes to explore the natural terrains and can stay without leisures of the cityscape, then this trek is for you. Also, if you are someone who has minimal prior experience on the mountain climbing, then to this trek is a good choice. You just need to have good physical health and a positive attitude at times of adverse circumstances.
What will we learn during the trek about mountaineering?
Although, this trek doesn’t require prior mountaineering experience, but it demands certain technical skills and more than usual hours of walking on the rocky and glacier spread terrains. You’ll learn to walk on crampons, will be using ropes, harnesses, descenders etc to cover the distances.
Is this trek challenging?
You’ll be climbing on the glaciated and uneven path, on the high altitudes for most of the time. Acclimatization is one of the prerequisites in these kinds of treks. Also, weather can turn bad, because of snow-capped mountains and that’s the reason the itinerary includes a spare day for any kind of contingency.
Can I take my favorite gadgets along?
The beauty of this trek is that we reach the summit, not through the standard but the northern trail. This trek can become a life-changing experience for you. The best part is that you’ll be far away from both physically and mentally from the daily life stressors of the modern world. It’s the best way to detox from the virtual and wired world. You can best experience this trek without a lot of gadgets and also, as we will climb for most of the time, it’ll just serve as an extra load at your back. If you still wish to take along the gadgets with you, then it\'s a choice.