Past Meetup

Climb Mount Elbrus, The Summit of Europe!

This Meetup is past

12 people went

Price: £150.00 /per person
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Details

Climb the highest mountain in Europe!

Similar to all City Mountaineering trips I try to avoid the masses and find an original way in the mountains and Elbrus is no exception.

I will be working with one of the world's leading expeditions companies "360 Expeditions (http://www.360-expeditions.com/)" and have selected a complete North-South traverse of the highest mountain in Europe as our way to tick off one of the coveted 7 summits. This ascent fits in well with the time frame offered by the standard route (and for a similar price) but offers a dimension of climbing not experienced when following the normal route, adding a fantastic taste of an area which few climbers get to experience.

This new approach to climbing the mountain blends elements of ascending a high Himalayan peak with modern techniques of Alpinism to create a mountaineering experience that retains a pure exploratory element.

Mt. Elbrus (west summit) stands at 5,642m, the east summit is slightly lower at 5,621m. The mountain has a twin domed summit which contains a permanent icecap feeding 22 glaciers, these in turn give rise to the 3 main rivers in the valley.

Furthermore Elbrus sits on a moving tectonic area, and although the mountain has been technically termed dormant it sits on top of highly active, deeply sourced magma.

Its relatively easy glaciated terrain allows for mostly trouble-free ascents. However climbers will need to be proficient in the use of crampons and ice axes (or ski-poles) for an ascent of the route outlined below. The major ascent difficulties lie in its notoriously bad weather: strong winds and generally colder temperatures than experienced on mountains of similar altitude.

This itinerary varies greatly from the popular standard approach and retains the level of adventure that an ascent of this mountain deserves. We will tackle this mountain on its own terms and feel the satisfaction of having achieved a summit we worked hard for in a style of those who climbed it on the first ascent.

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This trip will be operated through one of the world's leading expedition companies "360 Expeditions (http://www.360-expeditions.com/)" and is fully ATOL protected

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Itinerary

DAY 1 - Depart UK

Meet at Heathrow airport for our evening flight to Russia.

DAY 2- Mineralnye Vody

Arrive Mineralnye Vody mid-morning. Soak up some local colour before regrouping in the evening a full trip briefing and an introduction to our local Russian mountain guides. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 3 - Mineralnye Vody to Emanuil Valley (2,250m)

Board four wheel drives for early morning start to the basecamp of Mount Elbrus. Fantastic scenery of huge canyons and local villages. The feeling of remoteness is tangible. The last 45 minutes of this 4 hour drive is on a hairy road along the edge of a spectacular canyon. Descend into an alpine meadow and an exciting river crossing before reaching base camp in Emmanuel’s pasture (2,700m). Soaring above are is the twin summits of Mount Elbrus. Afternoon walk to the local hot springs and a huge waterfall.

DAY 4 - Acclimatisation walk to the high camp (3,800m) - 7/8 hours walking

We begin Day 4 climbing to camp 1 at 3,800m (4-5 hrs) and return to Emanuil’s (BC) to sleep. Today’s climb allows us to get into trekking shape and to test our boots and equipment. More importantly, we start acclimatising by “climbing high and sleeping low”. The terrain is a geologist’s delight as we climb through hardened lava contorted into stone mushrooms, volcanic bombs and exotic lava sculptures.

DAY 5 - One way trip to high camp (3,800m) - 4/5 hours walking

Today we retrace our footsteps through a pristine alpine environment to the high camp sitting on the edge of a huge glacier. We strike camp or find space on the bunks of a small hut that is to be used exclusively by our team. The afternoon is spent soaking up the glorious feeling of wilderness at our lofty perch.

DAY 6 - Ascent to Lenz’s rocks (4,600m) - 5/6 hours walking

Today we rope up to commence an exciting climb up on the glacier’s back to a rocky pyramid known as Lenz Rocks. The views open up as we climb higher and reveal many of the lofty summits of the Caucasus range. Your guides will teach you relevant roping up and glacier travel techniques. We have the chance to scramble up Lenz Rocks to reach a cross there and to soak up the amazing views over a picnic lunch.

DAY 7 - Rest Day

Today won’t all be about resting however as the guides once again get busy conducting “Ecole de Glace”. For a few hours today you’ll enhance your Alpine skills and learn how to self-arrest, crampon and ice-axe techniques as well as have a session on how to set up crevasse rescue systems. The afternoon is dedicated to chilling out, hydrating, eating and sleeping. All of these are important as soon the summit attempt begins.

DAY 8 - Summit Day (5,642m) - 10/12 hours walking

The climb to reach Europe’s highest point begins around midnight. We retrace our steps to Lenz rock in the light of our head-torches and the stars and moon. Then as the sun creeps over the horizon we exit the glacier to gain a rock band through which a safe path zig-zags to just under 5,000m. By now we can see far over the plains of Russia and the enormity of the Caucasus Mountains. Soon we reach the saddle dividing the twin peaks of Elbrus and cross it to reach the final steep slopes of the west summit. After a break we continue up virgin snow to gain the final ridge to the top.

This day is a tough day, but as we reach the summit we are rewarded not only by tremendous views but by the ultimate satisfaction that we have accomplished this amazing achievement by climbing the mountain from the basecamp to the summit under our own steam. There is no finer feeling than this.

To reward ourselves for our hard work we descend only 850m and are met by a PistenBully that will take us down to the ski lifts which drop to the valley floor on the South-side. From here we board a final transfer to the village of Cheget and our hotel. This night of summit celebration is always memorable!

DAY 9 - Contingency Day

Reserve day in case of bad weather at summit camp or if people are in need of further acclimatisation. If the traverse is successful we stay in hotel accommodation (not included in the price).

DAY 10 - Mineralnye Vody

Rest day and a celebration lunch in an iconic Caucasus restaurant where you’ll be presented with your summiteer certificate. Shopping and enjoying the hospitality of this Alpine village and its good range of restaurants and local markets.

DAY 11 - Return to UK

Breakfast in hotel. Transfer to Mineralnye Vody airport for your day flight home.

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An 11-day trip to one of the most breathtaking areas in the world for just £2,650! (or £2,250 - excluding flights)

To Join this once-in-a-life-time trip, simply click on the RSVP, pay the initial £150 holding deposit (which I will be transferring over to 360 Expeditions) and I will be in contact with further details.

Payment plans are available with 360 Expeditions in order for you to pay in affordable monthly instalments.

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Included in the price

• International flights

• Scheduled hotel nights, based on double or triple occupancy

• Food while on the mountain

• Scheduled group restaurant meals

• Group climbing and cooking gear

• Airport transfer to hotel

• National park, and other permit fees

• An experienced and qualified Mountain Leader

• Local guides

• PistenBully descent after summit from 4,800m

• All accommodation based on two people sharing

• All food whilst on trek and breakfast when city based

• Training plan

• 10% discount on all UK-based City Mountaineering trips prior to the departure date

Not included

• Personal equipment and excess baggage

• 1 night of accommodation on day 9 in the event of an early summit

• Supplement for single accommodation

• Lunch and dinner when city based

• Staff/guide gratuities

• Items of a personal nature: phone calls, laundry, room service, etc.

• Alcoholic beverages

• Visas

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The Legal Bit

360 Expeditions will be booking flights on our behalf. They will provide confirmation of flight times and departure terminal approximately eight weeks before the departure date. Please be aware that flight schedules are subject to change. Please ensure that you have checked flight details before setting out for your flight.

You must carry individual travel insurance to take part in the trek. I cannot take you on the trip without proof of insurance.

All monies paid by you for the air holiday package shown are ATOL protected by the civil Aviation Authority. 360 Expeditions ATOL number is 10132 - For more information see their booking terms and conditions (http://www.360-expeditions.com/terms-and-conditions).

360 Expeditions is a registered Limited Company trading under the name “Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees Expeditions” (Company no. [masked])

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Attendees (12)

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