Alpine Ascents Elbrus Expedition Itinerary
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The location of Elbrus provides a look into the cultures of the Turkish, Georgian, Azerbaydzhani, and Russian people. Our expedition begins in the city of St. Petersburg, a traditional vanguard of European culture. It is one of the few cities in the world that has retained its charm amid great change. Downtown sprawls with exquisite architecture that canopies streets of shops, small restaurants and an active nightlife scene. Following our climb, we return to Moscow, the focal point of commerce and politics in Russia. Moscow is ever-changing, with markets and state shops dominating street life. Depending on schedules, we’ll take time to visit the Kremlin, stroll Red Square along the Moscow River, and tour the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts.
For travel arrangements call Charles Mulvehill at Scan East West Travel: 1-800-727-2157 or 206-623 2157. firstname.lastname@example.org
Depart home country.
Arrive in Moscow (DME or SVO). Climbers should arrive no later than 4 p.m. Climbers will be met at the airport, and an orientation and an introductory dinner will follow in the evening.
Tour of Moscow and night is free for climbers (meals not included). Our tour will include Sparrow Hills, Church of the Redeemer, and onward to Kremlin. We then visit Red Square, a viewing of St. Basil’s, and on to Gum Department Store. Time permitting, we visit the Novodevichy Covenant and Cemetery.
Flight to Mineral Vody. After breakfast in Moscow, we’ll fly south to Mineral Vody (mineral water), and travel by bus to our hotel in the Baksan Valley. The Baksan is known for its Russian climbing camps. Mountaineers from all over the world come here to train and climb in the Caucasus. It is also a great location for them to develop the technical skills necessary to climb great peaks around the world. Full gear check.
Baksan Valley. The acclimatization process begins by hiking in the beautiful Baksan Valley as we tour the Cheget Cupola.
Acclimatization hike to Cheget observatory. This is a long day of walking with good altitude increases. By the end of this day, most climbers feel strong and accustomed to the altitude.
Move to the newer ‘Leaprus Hut’ where we’ll lodge at above 11,000 ft. We often use the tram and ski lift to help move our gear. Lodge in Leaprus Hut.
“The huts were fantastic and well worth the extra cost!” – 2017 Climber
“The Leaprus huts were amazing and way better than I could have expected given that we were at 12,000 feet on the mountain.” – 2017 Climber
Hike to Pastukov rocks (15,416 ft.) and return to barrels.
Brief skills review and rest day before summit.
Summit day. We’ll leave camp via Sno-Cat at 3 a.m. and ride to the Pastukov Rocks area. From the rocks, we’ll begin our summit ascent. It is a long day; look for a 12-hour round-trip climb. From the summit, we’ll have excellent views of the Caucuses, including Ushba, the Matterhorn of the region.
Extra day at huts for inclement weather. We’ll take a glacier tour or return to the valley if we already have summited.
Hiking and barbecue and celebration (we can use it as summit day if needed).
Fly Mineral Vody to St. Petersburg.
Tour of St. Petersburg and night is free for climbers (meals not included). We begin our tour at the world-renowned Hermitage, considered one of Europe’s finest museums with vast collections of Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin, and Picasso displayed amidst architectural splendor. Then we continue to the Aurora, the military ship which fired the first shot that started the Bolshevik revolution. We overnight in a St. Petersburg hotel.
Depart St. Petersburg (LED) for home country.
As I have mentioned, the biggest strength of the Alpine ascents programs are the skills, enthusiasm and dedication of the guides. Vern is an exceptional guide because he is interesting and interested, yet always commands respect with a wicked sense of humor and a laugh.