Day 1 : Arrival – Mineral Waters Airport to Elbrus Region
Today you will arrive to the Mineral Waters airport (MRV) in Southern Russia. We will meet you at the airport. We will then drive to the neighboring Pyatigorsk and grab lunch on a mountainside café. If the weather is clear we will take a gondola to the top of the long extinct volcano Mashuk where there are amazing views of the Caucasus range with Mount Elbrus crowning them all. After stretching our legs in Pyatigorsk we will settle in for the three hour drive from Pyatigorsk to the village of Azau, which lies at the foot of Elbrus. Lodging for the night will be in a comfortable hotel where we can shake off our jet lag.
Day 2 : Acclimatization Day – Hiking in the Baksan Valley
Today is the first day of acclimatization. We will go on a hike on one of the smaller mountains surrounding Elbrus. Today will be moderate to allow ourselves to continue recovering from travel and to start adjusting to the higher altitude.
Day 3 : Acclimatization Day – Ascend to Elbrus Basecamp
Today we will rent any gear that we did not bring with us before jumping on the Gondola system that will take us up to Elbrus Base Camp. After we have all of our gear stowed in the renowned Barrel Huts, we will head out on another acclimatization hike to reach the historic Priyut 11 hut. We will then descend back to our barrel huts for the night.
Day 4 : Acclimatization Day – Climb to Pastukhov Rocks
Today is our biggest acclimatization day. We will hike from our barrel huts up to the Pastukhov Rocks. This will be the point where we start climbing on summit day. During this hike we will train on important climbing skills, such as ice axe self arrest and movement in crampons. We will then return to the barrels for the night.
Day 5 : Acclimatization Day – Rest Day
Today is for rest and preparation. There are no hikes or activities but if any of your gear does not seem to fit or work well, now is our chance to head down the mountain and make sure we have everything for the coming summit day. We will eat dinner and head to bed early because we will be starting our ascent shortly after midnight.
Day 6 : Summit Day
Plan to wake up around 1 am and be out the door by 2 am. We will jump on a snow cat that is going to take us up to the Pastukhov rocks where we ended on Day 4. From here we are on foot to the summit! We plan to reach the summit 10 am. After celebrating our success we will begin the descent back to base camp.
Day 7 : Reserve Day
Just in case the weather is bad on Day 6 we have built in Day 7 as a reserve summit day. If we summit on Day 6, today we will head back down to Azau and spend the day exploring the local villages and markets.
Day 8 : Depart – Elbrus Region to Mineral Waters Airport
Today we will depart from the Elbrus region and return to the Mineral Waters airport for flights back to Moscow and beyond.