Mountain Planet
Traverse (from north to south)
The north to south traverse is an incredibly interesting and honest way to climb Elbrus. You climb to the top from the north side, where there are neither cable cars nor snow groomers, and walk down the southern slope. This way of ascent is more difficult than the traverse of Elbrus from south to north, since the sleeping bag and a minimum set of personal belongings will have to be carried by yourself or entrusted to the porter. During this 11-day program all the arrangements will be made for you: this tour includes accommodation, meals and transportation during the whole climb with the guidance of a highly qualified mountain leader.

Brief info

Technical difficulty:
Length: 30 kms
Best Time
Activity level:
Jan
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May
Jun
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Apr
Mar
High degree of strength endurance, high-altitude tolerance and strong cardiovascular conditioning is required. Start training at least a month before the climb.
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Duration: 11 days
Attitude gain: 1 832 m
from the high camp to the summit
11 days - is a standard program, with two days included in the schedule for better acclimatizatoin.
July and August are the best months since it is warm and the weather is rather stable. Winter ascent is also possible, but it can be very cold, up to -40 on the top.
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Technically not difficult climb, but harder than South route. Many crevasses and slots ont he way. Group needs to clip into a climbing rope on the summit day for safety.
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1. Easy
1-day or multi-day climbs at an altitude up to 3000 meters. Easy, mostly walking terrain. Good for most fitness levels. Also suitable for children and elderly people. Perfect for those who have never climbed a mountain and who want to try it out.

2. Moderate
1-day or multi-day climbs at an altitude of up to 3000 meters with some technical elements. Mostly walking terrain. Requires an average level of physical fitness.

3. Challenging
Multi-day climbs with longer and more exposed climbing areas at the altitude up to 5000-6000 meters. Requires high endurance to walk several days for about 4-6 hours a day. Steeper slopes, many crevasses. Requires an average to above average fitness level.

4. Strenuous
Strenuous climbs at altitudes of 5000-7000 meters. Requires high endurance to walk and climb on a moderate snow and ice slopes for several days for up to 8 hours a day. Continuously steep terrain, wall passages that require great commitment. Requires an above average fitness level and high level of stamina.

5. Extreme
Extremely challenging climbs for experienced mountaineers, high altitudes up to 8848 meters. Requires extremely high level of physical fitness and stamina, as well as great practical experience of technical mountaineering.
CLIMBING/MOUNTAINEERING ACTIVITY LEVELS
What intensity you should expect from this activity and what fitness level is required for this activity
0. No requirements/ minimal requirements
Easy climbs with non-technical elements. No certain knowledge or experience is required for this activity.

1. Beginner
Climbing sections clearly arranged and unproblematic. Might include short steep passages and a few crevasses. Increased step safety is necessary. No prior experience is required, all necessary techniques will be explained by the guide before or during the climb.

2. Intermediate
Good navigational skills and efficient rope handling required, long climbing sections. Basic experience in using crampons and ice axes is required.

3. Advanced
Good sense of orientation en route, efficient rope handling, long climbs, requires securing at halting-points. Requires proficiency in basic mountaineering skills including: cramponing, walking on snow, self-arrest, crevasse rescue, and glacier travel on a rope team.

4. Professional
Extremely steep, partly overhanging wall passages, ice climbing sections. Requires proficiency in basic and advanced mountaineering skills including: cramponing, walking on snow, self-arrest, crevasse rescue, and glacier travel on a rope team.
CLIMBING/MOUNTAINEERING: TECHNICAL DIFFICULTY LEVELS
Some activities might envolve technical elements for which certain practical experience or training is needed.

Itinerary

Important details

Accommodation
In Kislovodsk you will be staying in a comfortable hotel (Le Bristol, Blagodat, Skala or others) with HB (breakfast and dinner), double and triple rooms. Hotel is just about 1 hour drive, so you will have plenty of time to relax after the flight. You will stay in the same hotel after the climb for one night before departure.

On route you will be living in camps:
- Base Camp (2500 m) - tents with beds in summer (2-3 person in tent) or huts in summer, spring, autumn (6-8 person in the room).
- High Camp or Severny refuge (3800 m) - huts with various conditions of accommodation. There are 2 dining rooms and toilets in the camp.Toilet, kitchen and dining room are located separately from the huts. You can stay in the dining room as long as you want to. Available services: meals, hot boiled water free of charge, Wi-Fi, electricity.
Meals
Full Board during the whole trip with lunch or lunchbox on acclimatization days or summit day. Hot boiled water is always avalable free of charge.
Your guide
We have selected the best guiding companies for this activity. All of them are certified by Mountain Planet experts for their experience and quality services. We made sure that all guides speak English and can be trusted to bring you to the top and back safe and sound.
We work with several companies and will offer you the best one that suits your needs.

Usually it is one guide for the group throughout the tour and the guide assistant(s) for the summit day in ratio of 1:3. If a group is big enough and there are several guides, the chief guide can decide to split the group in two. On Summit day chief guide decides who goes to the East summit and who goes to the West summit. He is responsible for safety of the group and every climber and he is experienced enough to estimate physical and mental state of every participant, so his decision is ultimate.
How hard it is
Although Elbrus is not a technical climb, it should not be underestimated. It may be hard enough because of the altitude, rarefied air, variable weather, violent storms and low temperature. You will climb to the top from the north side, where there are neither cable cars nor snow groomers, and walk down the southern slope. This way of ascent is more difficult than the traverse of Elbrus from south to north, since the sleeping bag and a minimum set of personal belongings will have to be carried by yourself or entrusted to the porter.

The summit route is a long ascent with a big elevation gain from 3800 m to the summit at 5642 m. The north side has an average incline of 35 degrees but there are some sections of 40 degrees, which require careful movement on crampons if the ground is hard and icy and the wind is strong. That's why it is important that you and your group have some experience with crevasse rescue and are comfortable using short-rope techniques. You will be practicing these techniques a day before the climb.
Transfers
All the main transfers are sorted for you. In order to catch the group transfer on the 1st day of the trip you need to arrive to Mineralnye Vody not later than 14:15. If you arrive later we can arrange an individual transportation for you. That will cost about €20 for 1 - 3 people.

Please, notice, that on the last day of the trip we'll bring you to the airport to be in time for check-in for the flight which departs after 11.30. If your return flight is earlier or much later than that and you don't want to wait at the airport, you can order an individual transportation to/from airport for additional cost. It takes about an hour to get from Kislovodsk to the airport.
Medicine & Insurance
Our partners hire professional doctors to work at the high camps and they collaborate with helicopter company Heliaction for prompt evacuation in case of emergency to hospitals of Elbrus region. Every group is being registered and followed up by the mountain rescue service.

Mountaineering insurance is highly recommended for climbing Mount Elbrus. Insurance must include helicopter rescue and climbing up to 6000m.
We recommend Liberty Insurance from SAVEPROLIFE insurance company that specialises in extreme sport. They cover not only the residents of Russian Federation, but also foreigners. You can contact them independently or we can sort it for you.
Equipment
Clothes
Winter jacket designed for strong wind and frost -15, pants from rain and snow with a membrane, polar pants, warm hat and headgear covering ears and neck, balaclava, rain jacket, ski gloves and mittens, lightweight shirt with long sleeves, thermal underwear, warm jacket, light and warm socks, flip-flops, sunglasses or ski mask

Equipment
- Mountaineering boots and gaiters (!)
- Ice axe, harness, crampons, carabiners, helmet
- Sleeping bag, spoon, cup, plate, knife, headlamp with extra batteries, thermos

All essential equipment and pieces of clothes can be rented at the spot. We will send you detailed checklist before your climb with descriptions and rental prices of every piece.

Traverse (from north to south) options

Standard
Standard 11-day program, including shared twin or triple hotel room in Kislovodsk and shared accommodation in the camps (mixed dorm). All main transfers are included, full board meal plan, English-speaking guide services and one climb attempt.
€1 190 per person
You are just sending a request, no payment is needed at this point. Our Expert will get in touch with you to answer all your questions and help you book the best option for you.
Comfort
The only difference from Standard option is more comfortable accommodation in the High Camp (also mixed dorm, but less people sharing).
1 395 per person
You are just sending a request, no payment is needed at this point. Our Expert will get in touch with you to answer all your questions and help you book the best option for you.
There are scheduled departures for group climbs. Here you can find a schedule for 2020 climbing season. But if none of these dates fit you, please, contact us and we will arrange a climb for you.
Show dates

03.08 - 13.08
17.08 - 27.08
Traverse from north to south in 2020

31.08 - 10.09
07.09 - 17.09
What's included
Accommodation
  • Hotel in Kislovodsk (shared twin or triple room)
  • Base camp - tents (summer) or huts (spring, summer, autumn)
  • High Camp - various modern huts with all conviniences (mixed dorm)
Transfers
  • Group airport transfers airport - Kislovodsk - airport
  • Transfer from the north base camp to Kislovodsk
Meals
  • Full board during the climb (cook services included)
  • Breakfasts in Kislovodsk
Visa support
  • We will send Invitation letter for the visa to you as soon as we get your deposit and passport copy
Climbing crew
  • One guide for the group throughout the tour and the guide assistant(s) for the summit day in ratio 1:3
  • Porters for group equipment and food
  • Group equipment (ropes, ice screws etc)
One expected summit attempt
  • Expected attempt - group starts ascending with good weather conditions, but later it changes and becomes dangerous (like storm/ heavy snowfall/ dense fog), and guide makes decision to descend. Or if you suddenly started feeling bad and guide decides that you should descend.
Climbing certificate
Park fee
What's not included
Airplane tickets
  • Transfer to and from Russia (Mineralnye Vody)
Visa
  • Russian visa fees
Accommodation
  • Single occupancy supplement in hotel - €40-60
  • Single occupancy supplement in tent - €40
  • Cost of additional night at hotel in Kislovodsk (from €20). Keep in mind, that it can be difficult to find a free room in a mid-range hotel, especially in July and August.
Meals
  • Lunches and dinners in Kislovodsk
Transfers
Individual transfer from or to the airport if you:
  • arrive to Mineralnye Vody after 2 PM on the first day;
  • your return flight on the last day is before 11:30 AM or much later than that, and you don't want to wait at the airport. That will cost about €20 for 1 - 3 people.
Porter services for personal belongings
  • Food, gas, tents and public equipment will be carried by our porters. You will have to carry your personal belongings from the Base Camp up to the High Camp. This will be done in two carries. Normally, active acclimatization is very helpful and enhances your chances to reach the summit. But if you feel tired you can hire a porter for only €50 per 15 kg. You can make decision on the spot and ask your guide to find a porter before you leave the Base Camp.
Prescheduled return to Kislovodsk
  • Because of an illness or in case of successful climb when the reserve day was not used. This will raise some additional expenditures: €30 per person. When there are no vehicles at the Base Camp, but you still want to leave, you can order a car and that will cost €100.
Personal gear equipment
  • Hire of personal equipment (such as sleeping bag, boots, crampons etc)
Mountaineering Insurance
  • It is highly recommended for climbing Mount Elbrus
Additionally
  • Additional summit attempts (€350 per person)
  • Riding a snow-cat (around €120 each person)
Good to know
Which summit we are going to ascend (East or West)?
Initially, all climbers are striving to the West summit since it is 21 m higher than the East one. But the way to there is 3 hours longer and not everybody can manage this. If a group is big enough and there are several guides, the chief guide can decide to split the group in two. This takes place at the altitude of about 5000 m and it is the chief guide who decides who goes to the East summit and who goes to the West summit. He is responsible for safety of the group and every climber and he is experienced enough to estimate physical and mental state of every participant, so his decision is ultimate.
How are accidents managed on the north side of Elbrus?
Because this route has none of the infrastructure of the south side like cable cars and snow machines, any accident on the north must be self-managed by the team and with the guides. Any descent would have to be man-managed all the way to base camp and then a vehicle ordered to evacuate the person to the nearest town.
What does a mountaineer insurance cover that a normal travel insurance doesn't? And where can I get it?
Mountaineering insurance covers evacuation by helicopter in case of emergency. Elbrus can be very tricky when it comes to weather.
We recommend to use www.saveprolife.ru - insurance company, that covers not only the residents of Russian Federation, but also foreigners. We can help you out with that too.
Do I have to carry all equipment the whole time? Or is there a possibility to give away a duffle bag with e.g. my sleeping bag and other stuff I wont be needing for the day time?
Yes, it is possible to hire a porter for carrying your personal belongings (€50 per 15 kg). But if you decided that you need a porter at the Base Camp, there is a possibility that there will be no available porters, so it is better to be ready for that.
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