Why Climb with Us

Why Climb Elbrus with Alpine Ascents?

As the highest peak in Europe, Elbrus is a premier ascent for climbers who wish to test their skills at increasing altitude. Although only basic mountaineering skills are required, high-altitude and unpredictable weather make this a challenging and enticing ascent. An Elbrus expedition is logistically demanding and we offer several key elements that separate our climb from other outfitters.

As one of our most popular climbs, this trip has filled five to six months in advance for the past five years.

Our Elbrus expeditions are all-inclusive. We use a high-quality lodge on the mountain where most outfitters use a simple hut. This is an important distinction as poor weather days while at this camp can be extremely wearing when using basic accommodation. For 2020 we will again use the Heart of Elbrus Lodge before the summit attempt as this has proved the best accommodation on the mountain.

I think the strengths for this trip include both the guides and the planning and logistics provided by Alpine Ascents. Both guides were very knowledgeable and seemed to thoroughly enjoy what they were doing and in making sure that the expedition was enjoyable and satisfying for all the team members.  – 2019 Climber

Key Elements of our Climb and Success

Summit success

We have had a 95% summit success since 2000, with most teams having 100% success.

Logistics

Russia is a challenging country in which to operate. Our years of experience have helped us iron out many of the wrinkles. We are able to deal with issues as they arise (and they will!).

Lead guides

There will be two guides from the US. We always send a guide from the United States, generally an experienced Himalayan climber. 2019 saw nearly 100% success with Ben Jones  and Carole Tejas leading our teams. Our 2020 trips are scheduled to be led by Ben Jones and Carole Tejas.

Flexible schedules

We have three extra built-in days for bad weather and acclimatization to give our team the best chance of summiting. This includes extra days reserved for High Camp, which is not common as most outfits try to save costs by having limited days at High Camp.

Russian guides

We have been working with the same Russian staff for the past ten years and our guiding systems are extremely compatible. We hire extra guides for summit day (and often earlier) to keep climber-to-guide ratios low.

Hotels, lodging and transportation

We offer quality hotels and meals throughout the climb, including staying at the Heart of Elbrus Lodge on the mountain. The cost of the internal flight to/from Mineral Vody is included.

City tours

Our departure and return dates are set to give us access to as many cultural activities as possible. We offer tours of Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Costs

We try to be up front about all costs. Note our cost inclusions, which cover internal flights and most meals.

The expedition was very well handled especially by Vern. All needs were met. It isn’t my first time to climb with AAI but it is the first private group we put together with them and I must say Vern and Carol did a great job in making our experience unique.

Mount Elbrus double-coned summit. Left summit is the highest at 18,510 feet
Russian Orthodox Cathedrals in the Kremlin, Moscow.
Cultural Museum on Red Square, Moscow.
Climbers on an acclimatization hike, with Elbrus in the background.
Looking outside out hotel window at the Caucasus Range. Lucky 7
View from the new Elbrus Huts.
Relaxing at the top of an acclimatization hike, Elbrus in the background.
Snow Cat used to transport gear to our highest hut.
Sunrise on Elbrus summit day.
The last 400 feet to the summit.
High on summit day with the shadow of Elbrus under the full moon.
Ushba, one of the most famous mountains of the Caucasus.
Celebration party after summiting Elbrus.
Climbers high on summit day.
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts
View of the new Elbrus Huts
Eugene and Nicolai, two of our Russian guides.
Sunflower fields outside Mineral Vody, southern Russia.
St. Isaacs Cathedral, St. Petersburg.
Peter and Pauls Fortress, St. Petersburg
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the greatest mueseum of Russia.
View of one of the new Elbrus Huts

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