Climbing Elbrus with skis
The given 8 days program is for climbers, with experience in high mountaineering and ski touring. Eight days tour has minimal duration in order to have enough time for acclimatization of trained tourists.
Its an optimal program for climbing Elbrus in cold spring season and provides the necessary acclimatization for the ascent: first – climbing to maximum point (Pastukhov rocks 4800 m), then skiing down to Azau glade (2350 m). And after it – climbing to the top of Elbrus.
Skiing on Elbrus is possible all year round. But the best time for skiing down from the top of Elbrus till the end Azau glade is April – the beginning of May.
We are glad to offer our ski tour programs to Elbrus in spring for active tourists, climbers and, most importantly, lovers of skiing and snowboarding. A ski tour is an opportunity to ski on such slopes that cannot be reached by lifts. Ski touring skis are equipped with special anti-slip devices (skins) and special bindings that allow the heel to come off the ski when walking uphill. The descent is carried out in the traditional way.
Ski-tour or Ski-mountaineering is a popular type of outdoor activity. Conventionally, there are 2 directions: freeride-ski touring and ski-touring route. In the first case, this is a way to get to the beginning of the descent, climbing on skis, or to go out into civilization after the descent. The main interest in this case is just skiing, and ski touring is just a means of transportation. In the second case, the interest is the entire route, most of which is walking, and riding is a great bonus, but not the only goal. Our programs combine both directions, both freeride and route walking. In Alps, ski touring has become widespread, there are many routes in the Alps. In Russia, the first descriptions of ski touring routes appeared in the early 2000s.
With the advent of improved ski touring bindings in 2007, our mountains have become increasingly popular and every year more and more groups and guides come from all over the world and mainly to Elbrus. We are proud to be one of the first to offer and organize such tours.
Climbing Elbrus with skis makes it possible to ski down from the top to the very bottom, and this reduces the climbing time in half. No exhausting descent on foot.
Ski-mountaineering started in the Elbrus region not so long time ago. But every year it becomes more and more popular, as there are many wild places with fresh good snow cover. There are combined tours along the routes in the Elbrus region in various options and for any number of days. There are great opportunities for ski touring in the Elbrus region — we have chosen some of them ourselves, based on previous practice and experience. In the area of the Adyl-su and Adyr-su gorges, to the mountains of Cheget and Kogutai. The best time for a ski touring program is April — May.
Ski touring programs may vary depending on the weather, snow conditions and avalanche danger.
On the 8 day tour (depending on weather conditions) we may stay on the barrels without going down to the hotel. We recommend a one-day descent to Azau for full acclimatization. We follow the forecast and taking this into account, we decide on the spot.
Day 1. Meeting in Min Vody airport. Transfer to Elbrus area. Accommodation in hotel on Azau glade.
Day 2. Climbing to tourist’s hotel “Gara Bashy” (3800 m) by cable-ways “Elbrus” and “Gara-Bashi”.
Acclimatization hike till base “Priut 11” (4200 m). Returning to Gara-Bashi.
Day 3.Climbing for acclimatization to Pastukhov’s rocks (4800 m). Returning to hotel “Gara Bashi”.
Day 4. Skiing down to Azau glade (2350 m). Acclimatization is over.
Day 5. Climbing to tourist’s hotel “Gara Bashy” (3800 m) by cable-ways “Elbrus” and “Gara-Bashi”.
Day 6. Climbing to a top of mount Elbrus. Skiing down to Gara-Bashi.
Day 7. Spare day for climbing. Skiing down to Azau glade.
Day 8. Transfer to Min Vody. Departure to Moscow.
Our advantages :
- Guaranteed meetings and transfers from Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik any day and time.
- No additional fees for transfers.
- The most experienced and professional guides on Elbrus english speaking.
- We have been in the service since 2003 and therefore have a great experience of successful climbing trips and satisfied tourists.
- You can join the group later or leave early with the return of unused nights from the hotel.
- Convenient number of tourists in groups from 4 pax to 10 pax (not more).
- Support from our KavkazSkiTour office around the clock in the city of Nalchik, with a close location to Elbrus, which allows us quickly resolve any issues that arise during the trip.
- Safety support and quick contact with medical, emergency and insurance agencies.
Day 1: Transfer to Elbrus area.
Arrival to airport Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik from Moscow (St. Petersburg, Istanbul etc). Meeting and transfer to Prielbrusye. Accommodation in hotel on Azau glade, dinner. The road from Min Vody to hotel takes about 3 hours, from Nalchik about 2 hours.
Day 2: Ascent to base camp “Gara Bashy” (3800 m) by cableways.
From the Azau Glade up by the aerial cable-ways “Elbrus-1” and “Elbrus-2” and the chair-cable lift “Gara-Bashi”.
Accommodation in base “Gara-Bashy”, lunch.
Training ski tour till base “Priut 11” 4200 m (“To the Shelter of Eleven”).
In previous years the base camp for climbing Elbrus was hotel Priut-11. It was burnt in August 1998, during the sudden night fire. Constructed near former Priut Diesel hut (4000 m) can accept climbers now.
Now the main sumit camp is situated on mountain hotel “Gara-Bashi” (3800 m). It represents 10 “barrels” for 6 persons each, of cylinder form (in Russian so-called “Bochki”). There are two dining-rooms for 15 persons each, including gas stoves on liquid gas. Every barrel has electricity with electric heating.
From Gara-Bashi to the “Shelter of Eleven” the path is made over the snowfields. The motion direction is the north. Don’t deviate of the path because the glacier on which the path is made has many crevasses covered by snow. The route to the “Priut 11″ is marked with poles and sticks. There are masked cracks, therefore it is not recommended to go aside the path. An altitude of the Priut-11 is 4200 m. The transition takes 2 – 3 hours.
From here you can see the wonderful views of the mountains of the Central and West Caucasus. The both summits of Mount Elbrus are seen on the north. On the east, southeast and south you can see the Greater Caucasian Range and its northern spurs. The ranges of Svanetia (Gorgia) are seen behind the Greater Caucasian Range, on the Southwest, behind the Hotu-Tau Range, the West Caucasus and its ranges are seen. More to the left of the ascent way on the rocks between Gara-Bashi and Terskol glaciers there is seen the “Ice Base”.
After the rest skiing down to the Gara-Bashi along the ascent line. Dinner in the huts.
Day 3: Climbing to Pastukhov’s rocks (4800 m).
Training and acclimatization ascent to the Pastukhov rocks (4800m) along the snow-ice field, between two rocky ridges. To obtain an acclimatization effect, it is necessary to spend day and nights at a height of about four thousand, while on the first day a training ski tour to the Pastukhov rocks is made. Return to the Gara-Bashi base.
Day 4: Acclimatization is over. Descent to Azau.
Skiing down to hotel on Azau glade (2350 m). Rest day.
Day 5: Ascent to barrels Gara-Bashi 3800 m.
Ascent to the Gara-Bashi base-camp (3800 m): ascent on the Elbrus cable cars, first from the station Azau — st. Stary Krugozor, then on the second st. Stary Krugozor — st. Mir and then on the chairlift to the upper station of Gara-Bashi.
The cable car ascents lasts a little more then an hour.
Accommodation at the base-camp, lunch. Preparation for the summit. Early dinner and sleep.
Day 6: Summit day.
Climbing to the top of Elbrus (5642 m). Early morning begins the ascent to mount Elbrus. The start of the ascent is scheduled for 2 am. The way goes in direction of the Pastukhov’s Rocks (4,800 m) over the snow-ice field. Then to the saddle of Elbrus, here tourists have one hour rest and go to the Western or Eastern summit.
There is a snow tractor – special mountain tractor, which can take till Pastukhov’s Rocks 4800 m in several minutes.
From the Pastukhov’s Rocks the ascend route directly ups 300-400 meters and then smoothly turns left across the slope and reach the saddle.
It takes 6 or 8 hours from the barrels Gara-Bashi to the saddle. On the left side of the saddle, under the west summit slopes, near the beginning of the snow mould the hut construction is situated. At the distance of 250 – 300 meters above the hut the route turns left from the saddle and over the snow slope with the simple rock places up to the rock shoulder. From the shoulder over the wide horizontal plateau comes to the round on the Mount Elbrus west summit (5,642 meters). It takes 1,5 or 2 hours from the saddle to the summit. It takes 5,5 or 6 hours for the descent to the Gara-Bashi going along the ascent line.
Day 7: Reserve day.
Spare day for climbing. Skiing down to Azau glade. Accommodation in the hotel.
In case of free day we can transfer to resort Nalchik – capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, with visiting of hot springs. Hotel accommodation 3* in park area. Evening excursion around the city. Dinner in the park.
Day 8: Departures.
Transfer to airport MinVody or Nalchik. Departure flights.
|Airport transfer (railway station) Nalchik/Minvody — Elbrus region — airport (railway station).|
|Accommodation in a hotel in the Elbrus region, according to the program 3 days (breakfast, lunch packages, dinner).|
|Accommodation at a mountain summit camp Gara-Bashi, according to the program 4 days.|
|Three meals a day in high camp + lunch packages.|
|Ascent by cable cars to summit-camp Gara-Bashi (according the program). Gondola and chairlift cable cars.|
|All internal transfers.|
|Guide instructor throughout the route (english speaking).|
|Extra guides for the day of climbing, one guide for 3-4 climbers.|
|Cook at the mountain base of Gara-Bashi.|
|Resort fees, Elbrus National Park.|
|Visa support letters and visa registration.|
|Rental of personal equipment.|
|Ratrak/snowcat for the day of ascent to the Pastukhov rocks.|
|COST||48 000 rubles.|
|REQUIRED EQUIPMENT FOR EXPEDITION — ELBRUS SKI TOUR CLIMB|
|Skis, snowboard, alpine equipment: