Caucasus is a region found at the border of Europe and Asia, situated around Russia to the north, the Black sea to the east, Turkey to the southwest and Iran to the south. The Caucasus includes the Caucasus Mountains along with plains which surround the former. The Caucasus Mountains are often used as the dividing line between Europe and Asia; territories which occupy the Caucasus are considered to belong to both continents. The northern part of the Caucasus is known as Ciscaucasia, while the southern as Transcaucasia.
Elbrus (5642m) is the highest peak in the Caucasus, found in west Ciscaucasia, territorially belonging to Russia. It is also considered to be the highest point in Europe. ‘’The normal route’’ is considered to be the easiest and most accessible climbing route. Most groups utilize the gondola lift from the Azau station in order to get to Mir station, from where they would usually proceed on foot towards camp Garabashi (3800m). Above Garabashi, it is possible to rent a snowcat and reach Priut 11 or the Pastukhov rocks. If a group decides to proceed from Garabashi on foot, it would take 90 minutes to get to Priut 11 and an additional 2 hours to reach the Pastuhov rocks. From there, it would take around 3 to 4 hours of walking in order to get to the Saddle, and another 4 to 5 hours to reach the summit.
West summit is the highest point of this massive, two-peaked volcanic cone known as Elbrus. Asia, along with the border between Russia and Georgia, lies down the main Caucasian reef which is around 10 kilometers south from the summit of Elbrus. East summit (5621m) is around 1.5 kilometers away from its western counterpart, separated by ‘’the Saddle’’ (5416m). Over 70 glaciers are to be found sliding down the frozen cone of Elbrus whose icy surface covers around 130 square kilometers.
Arrival in Mineralny Vody. Transfer from Mineralny Vody to Terskol. Arrival in Terskol. Accommodation in a hotel. Regulation of permits necessary for the ascent with the local authorities. Rest in a hotel, in Terskol.
Ascent to the observatory in the vicinity of Terskol, for acclimatization purposes. Accommodation at a camp found at an elevation of 3380m. Rest.
Return to Terskol in the early morning. This day is primarily designated for rest and preparation for the expedition to come. Rest in a hotel, in Terskol.
Transfer from Terskol to Azau station. Arrival in Azau. Ascent to Mir station with a gondola lift (3500m), following it up with a light trek to base camp ‘’Garabashi’’ (3800m). Setup of the camp. Rest.
Ascent to camp ‘’Diesel hut’’ (4157m) for acclimatization purposes. After a short break, we will proceed with our climb until we reach the peak of Pastukhov’s rocks. Return to camp ‘’Garabashi’’ (4600m). Rest.
Arrival in camp ‘’Diesel hut’’ (4157m). Setup of the camp. Rest.
Ascent to Elbrus’ west summit (5642m). Return to camp ‘’Diesel hut’’. Rest.
Departure from camp ‘’Diesel hut’’ towards Mir station. Arrival in Terskol. Lodgings in a hotel.
Day for rest and relaxation in Terskol. In the case of bad weather this is the extra day for summit.
Transfer to Pyatigorsk. City tour. Transfer to Mineralny vody. Departure day.