Got the summit bug? Mt. Elbrus stands proud at 5642 m making it the highest in Russia, and all of Europe! It is also fifth among the 7 Summits of the World. If you summited mountains like this before, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The itch to push yourself to that limit once again, to conquer yourself before the mountain, the fact that once it’s all said and done, you just can’t stop thinking about when and where your next one will be. If you haven’t summited a mountain before, then this is your chance to feel that rush; you do not need any mountaineering experience to attempt Elbrus although we strongly recommend that you trek something like Kilimanjaro or Toubkal first, in order to gain some experience.
WHY TREK MT. ELBRUS WITH GRASP THE ADVENTURE:
We've got countless reasons but here are some.
Besides it being a great achievement and another one of the seven summits of your list, the hike up Elbrus is a beautiful and humbling experience. You’ll constantly be surrounded with jaw dropping views of the Caucasus Mountain Range. On summit day, you will have to challenge yourself more than you ever have before, you will have to conquer your weaknesses and push through exhaustion despite every braincell demanding that you turn back. When you stand there at the summit amongst your new formed family, staring down at the clouds, you will understand why we do this, how it reshapes you forever… and you will fall in love with it.
To increase our chances of summiting, our itinerary features up to two reserve days to account for weather conditions. Moreover, we will be using the Snowcat on summit day to take us up to Pastuckhov rocks, this saves us a lot of time and preserves our energy for the remaining push from 4200 m to the summit; after all, it is a 1450 m altitude gain! When you’re feeling exhausted, we all support and encourage each other to keep us going as ‘One Team with One Dream’!
At Grasp The Adventure, our number 1 goal is to promote the spirit of adventure and the love of nature while forming bonds as strong as the mountains we hike on. We sincerely view all the hikers that joined our previous trips as friends and family, this is why we do our best to keep them safe and happy at all times. So besides going on awesome hikes to jaw-dropping sights, you’ll also be making new, like-minded friends.
IS THIS HIKE FOR YOU?
Remain calm and read on!
So you want to join but you’re also freaking out that you may not be experienced enough for this trek, well here are some things to consider:
Summiting Elbrus requires no technical or mountaineering experience
The day to day acclimatization hikes are easy
We will be hiking high and sleeping low to help acclimatize
You will be staying in huts everyday, no need for tents and camping
The huts have toilets, hot water, electricity, beds and more comfortable amenities
Altitude sickness can hit anyone, but taking altitude sickness pills like Diamox significantly reduce the chances of that happening
Summit day will be very challenging physically and mentally
You will need strong will power and mental strength to push through summit day
You will need to be fit for the summit push, an active lifestyle and exercise are required
Weather conditions are unpredictable and will add to the challenge
The good news is that you have more than four months to increase your fitness, strengthen your cardiovascular system and prepare for this trek. We will help you do so by sending out our Grasp The Fitness training regime. We are committed to helping you expand your comfort zone, all you need to do is to keep a positive mental attitude. Here are some factors that will help you make it to the summit:
We will have a 1 guide to 3 hikers ratio on summit day, this ensures that everyone has sufficient support
You will only be required to carry your day pack which will include whatever you may need during the hike, such as raincoat, snacks, camera and water
Staying in the huts every day before the summit push will ensure that we are well rested and acclimatized
Our guide will conduct a training session on using crampons and ice-axes to get everyone comfortable with them before the summit attempt
We will take a Snowcat up to Pastuckhov rocks on summit day which saves us time and energy
Trek Guides are all professionally trained to handle any emergencies or evacuations under the unlikely circumstances should they occur
PRICE INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
Our price includes all the essentials from the moment you set foot in Mineralnye Vody to the moment you depart. Please refer to the table below for more detail:
Return Dubai-Mineralnye Vody flight on Aeroflot Airways
Comfortable hotels & huts (double room basis)
Guides and chefs for the hike
All transportation in Russia
Tips for guides and chefs
Snowcat for summit day
3 meals per day, throughout hike
Summit celebration party
Professional photography of the trip
Training regime for hike
One Grasp The Adventure t-shirt
One free local hike
Support with visa invitation letter
Russia visa if required
Altitude sickness tablets (Diamox)
Personal expenses (souvenirs, snacks)
Paid activities on extra day as per itinerary
Clothing (check packing list for details)
Sleeping bags (can be rented)
Specialized/ Extra hiking gear
MT. ELBRUS RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST
Prepare for temperatures lower than -20 C on the summit!
Backpack or duffle for clothes and equipment
Day Pack with rain cover
Insulated Water Storage (bladder or canteen)
3-4 wicking t-shirts (we’ll be giving you one Grasp The Adventure hiking t-shirt)
2-3 hiking pants
4-5 sets of undergarments
4-5 sets of socks
1-2 sets of winter socks
1 fleece jacket (temperatures as low as -20 C on the summit)
1 down jacket (temperatures as low as -20 C on the summit)
Thermal base-layer top
Thermal base-layer trousers
Thermal glove liners
Mittens or heavy snow gloves
1 rain jacket
Warm, winter hat
Waterproof plastic bags to put clothes in
Sandals or slippers or sneakers
Microfibre face towel
Microfibre body towel
Toiletries kit (soap, shampoo, conditioner, nail clippers, toothbrush, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, Fresh Buzz, toilet paper, hairbrush, feminine products)
Personal First-Aid (Vitamins, hydration tablets, sleeping pills, altitude sickness pills)
Day 1: Friday, Aug 21: Dubai – Mineralnye Vody Airport – Mt. Elbrus Hotel
Meet in Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 at 7:00 am sharp for check-in and airport procedures. We will be flying on Aeroflot Airways via Moscow to arrive in Mineralnye Vody Airport at 6:55 pm. The team in Russia will be waiting at the airport to transport us to our mountain hotel at Mt. Elbrus which is at an altitude of 2100 m. After a late night dinner, we will retire to our double rooms for the night.
Day 2: Saturday, Aug 22: Mt. Cheget Acclimatization Ascent
Maximum altitude: 3450 m
We do not have to be up too early today in order to get a chance to rest from yesterday’s travel. After breakfast, we will take the ski lift up Cheget Mountain; the ski lifts are useful since they enable us to spend longer at high altitude without being exhausted, this greatly increases our chances of summiting successfully. From the upper ski lift station, it is a short hike on the mountain edge to the summit of Cheget at an altitude of 3450 m. If the weather permits, we will spend some time here for photos and sightseeing. Next, we go back down to Cheget village for lunch at a local café at around 3 pm. Tonight is our last night in the valley, so we’ll prepare all our equipment for the hike and hire anything that we don’t have.
Day 3: Sunday, Aug 23: Base Camp at the Pilgrim Huts
Maximum altitude: 4300 m
Well rested, we will have our breakfast at the mountain hotel and then head off with all the necessary equipment, you can leave anything that you don’t need for the hike at the hotel. We will have to carry our own equipment and clothes from the hotel to the ski lifts (5 minutes) and from the lifts to our base camp, The Pilgrim Huts (5 minutes).
The Pilgrim Huts, at an altitude of 3840 m, is not the highest base camp but is the most comfortable one. There is electric power, light, heaters, personal beds, separate dining room and kitchen. Not being the highest also allows us to hike high and sleep low, giving our bodies better sleep. This ultimately leads to us being well rested and better prepared for the summit push.
After a short tea break at the huts, we will embark on our second acclimatization hike up to the beginning of the Pastuckhov Rocks and probably even a little higher to an altitude of 4200 – 4300 m. Depending on the weather and time, our guide may offer us a short snow/ice/rope/self-belay techniques course. We’ll be having lunch and dinner at the huts.
Day 4: Monday, Aug 24: Acclimatization Hike
Maximum altitude: 4300 m
Tomorrow is the big day! So it is important not to overexert ourselves today. We will go for another acclimatization hike not higher than 4300 m and then return back to the huts for rest. Our guide will give us some training to make us feel more comfortable with crampons and ice axes before the summit push. Climbing experience is not needed for this summit though, in case of any emergencies, the guides will rope us up and make proper belay.
Day 5: Tuesday, Aug 25th: The Summit
Maximum altitude: 5642 m
This is it, this is when the going gets tough and the tough get going. Wake up call at 2 am to get ready and have breakfast. We’ll be sitting around the dining table nervously laughing at the memories we’ve formed so far, anxiously waiting for the push. At 3 am, we head out to take the Snowcat up to the Pastuckhov Rocks. This will save us a great deal of time and preserve our energy for the push to come. It takes around 5 more hours (depends on the group’s pace) from there to get to Mount Elbrus’s Summit at an altitude of 5642 m. You are now at the Roof of Europe, the clouds quickly passing below you, take it all in and enjoy your great achievement.
From the summit, it takes around 3 hours to descend back to the Pilgrim Huts. We will spend the rest of the day relaxing and sharing stories of how we each felt up there.
Day 6: Wednesday, Aug 26: Summit Reserve Day
In case we got hit with bad weather yesterday, today will act as a reserve day to summit the mountain. Otherwise, we will have breakfast early in the Pilgrim Huts before descending back to the mountain hotel in the valley.
We cannot visit Russia without immersing ourselves into its deep culture. So the rest of the day will be spent in cultural experiences and tours while also visiting the wool market for some shopping. We will have lunch at an Azau Café and finally celebrate reaching the summit with a dinner party at a local café in the evening.
Day 7: Thursday, Aug 27: Mineral Springs & Shopping
In case we got hit with bad weather and summited yesterday instead, then the descent to the mountain hotel and dinner party will be held today.
Otherwise, today will act as a free day to relax at the mineral springs, do some shopping or even hike to a side valley if you still have some energy left in the tank! You may even choose to just kick back and chill at the hotel with some walks nearby.
Today also acts as a reserve day in case we couldn’t summit because of bad weather. In this case, it will be a tough one since we’ll have to summit and then descend all the way down to the hotel without a night to rest at the huts.
Day 8: Friday, Aug 28: Mt. Elbrus Hotel – Mineralnye Vody Airport – Dubai
We will have breakfast at the hotel and spend some time relaxing before it is time to check-out. The bus will transport us back to Mineralnye Vody Airport in time to catch our flight back to Dubai. As we always say, this may be the end of the trip but definitely not the end of our new formed family. With Grasp the Adventure, we think it is very important to continue meeting up after the trip, to go over the photos and laugh over the memories and eventually grasp many more adventures together.