The expedition was great right from the time Vern picked us up at St. Petersburg till we left Moscow for home. The sightseeing both in St. Petersbug and Moscow was well organized and informative. Meals arranged everywhere were of a high quality and in restaurants with a respectable and pleasant ambience. The climbing part of the expedition which is what we really signed up for was very well-managed. We were subject to a comprehensive gear check at the beginning. Our skills were reviewed throughout and relevant advice was conveyed to us as and when we required it. Extra effort was made by the guides with clients who required it. On our first attempt at the summit the team could not progress beyond the saddle due to inclement weather and I must commend Alpine Ascents for giving their full support in going the xtra mile to ensure we made it to the summit in our 2nd attempt.
Alpine Ascents Elbrus Expedition Itinerary
A richly detailed confirmation package will be sent upon signing up
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
Day 1: Depart U.S.
Day 2: Arrive in St. Petersburg. Climbers should arrive between 1 to 3 p.m. or make special pickup arrangements with Alpine Ascents.
Day 3: We'll begin our tour of St. Petersburg by meeting our Russian friends. We visit the world renowned Hermitage, considered one of Europe's finest museums, with vast collections of Rembrandt, Monet, Van Gogh, Rodin and Picasso paintings displayed amidst architectural splendor. We'll also visit the Aurora, the military ship that fired the first shot of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. We'll overnight in a St. Petersburg hotel.
Day 4: Flight to Mineral Vody. After breakfast in St. Petersburg, 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.
Day 5: Baksan Valley. The acclimatization process begins by hiking in the beautiful Baksan Valley as we tour the Cheget Cupola.
Day 6: 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.
Day 7: Move to the newer 'high hut' where we'll lodge at above 11,000 feet. We often use the tram and ski lift to help move our gear. Lodge in high hut.
Day 8: Hike to Pastukov rocks (15,416 ft.) and return to barrels.
Day 9: Brief skills review and rest day before summit.
Day 10: 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.
Day 11: Extra day at huts for inclement weather. We'll take a glacier tour or return to the valley if we already have summitted.
Day 12: Hiking; and barbecue and celebration (we can use it as summit day if needed)
Day 13: Fly from Mineral Vody to Moscow
Day 14: Tour of Moscow and night is free for climbers (meals not included)
Day 15: Depart Moscow for U.S. on Alpine Ascents' scheduled morning flight