Mountain Planet
South route
The South route (the most popular one) is easier, because it offers more infrastructure and access to ski lifts and snow machines for carrying equipment and more developed mountain hut accommodation. There are ski lifts up to 3800 m (Barrels Hut), so you don't have to carry your backpack. Finally, most people hire a snow-cat to ascend from the Barrels Hut (3800 m) up to the Pastukhov Rocks (4600 m) on the summit day.
If it's your first serious summit, then consider choosing this route as it is more safe and less challenging.

Brief info

Technical difficulty:
Length: 50 kms
Best Time
Activity level:
Jan
Feb
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
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: 8-10 days
from the high camp to the summit and back, including all acclimatisation treks
Attitude gain: 1743 m
from the high camp to the summit
8 days - is a standard program, but you can add extra days for better acclimatisation and cases of bad weather
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 Mt Kilimanjaro, with which it is often compared. All neccessary techniques will be explained by the guide during the climb.
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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
"Snow Leopard" - 3-star hotel in the Baksan valley near the foothills of Mt. Elbrus (2100 m / 6,890 ft). All rooms have heating, private bathrooms and flat-screen satellite TV. In addition, all rooms feature a balcony, providing dramatic views of the mountains and the Elbrus area. Shared twin or triple room for standard/comfort options and Lux single or double/ twin rooms for VIP option.

"Heart of Elbrus" refuge - comfortable and modern mountain hut, located at an altitude of 3830 m / 12,560 ft, 50 meters from Gara-Bashi station. Mixed dorm (12 people - for standard option, 4 people - comfort option).

"Leaprus Hut" refuge - accommodation option that is available for VIP option clients. it is more expensive, but it is worth it! Imagine a sunset above mountain peaks that you'll be able to enjoy through wide windows of the hut at 3912m. Here it is clean, cozy and comfortable. From here you can enjoy fantastic views onto Mount Elbrus and 5000-ers of the main Caucasus range.
Meals
Full board is provided during the whole trip.
Example of home-made meals in the menu: porridge, pasta, soups, meat, fish etc.
If you have a special diet, then the products that you don't eat will be replaced by the ones you requested.
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 1:2/3.
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.

Elbrus is often compared to Mount Kilimanjaro, which requires hiking skills, albeit to a higher altitude, but Elbrus requires you to be able to use crampons and ice axe. The weather is significantly colder and windier than Kilimanjaro, and it is permanently snow-covered. A slip on snow or ice could have worse consequences than a slip on Mount Kilimanjaro.

South route is the easiest and safest way to climb Elbrus, because it offers more infrastructure and access to ski lifts and snow machines for carrying equipment and more developed mountain hut accommodation. Which makes it a perfect option for not experienced climbers.
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.

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 €60. Keep in mind, that it takes 3 hours to get from Terskol 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.

You can check out detailed gearlist with photos to have an idea here.

South route options

Don't let Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact your mountain trip!

We at Mountain Planet prioritize safety and not only in the mountains. Thing are changing every day and there is so much that is still unknown. We want you to keep on planning your next mountain trip and not worry about cancellations.
We guarantee 100% refund if your plans have changed due to Coronavirus precaution measures (borders closed, flights cancelled, visa problems, etc).

COVID-19 Cancellation Policy
Standard
Standard 8-day program, including shared twin or triple room in "Snow Leopard" hotel in Kislovodsk and shared accommodation in the "Heart of Elbrus" refuge (12 people, mixed dorm). All main transfers are included, full board meal plan, English-speaking guide services and one climbing attempt.
890 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 "Heart of Elbrus" refuge. You will be sharing a mixed dorm with 4 people instead of 12.
1 150 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.
VIP
For those who want to make their trip to Mount Elbrus really fabulous, we offer VIP tours with a stay at the Leaprus Hut (3912 m). It is more expensive, but more modern and comfortable accommodation. if you want to experience more quiet atmosphere with less people around, then this option is just for you.
Accommodation in the Baksan valley in this category of tours also differs from standart trips. For VIP customers we provide Lux single rooms or double / twin rooms in hotel Snow Leopard at 2100 m near Cheget glade. After tiring hikes you can enjoy sauna and a restaurant on the ground floor.
1 450 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 almost every 2 days. Here you can find a schedule for standard 8-day climbs for 2020 and 2021. But if none of this fits, please, contact us and we will arrange it for you.
Show dates
July 2020
02.07 - 09.07
05.07 - 12.07
09.07 - 16.07
12.07 - 19.07
16.07 - 23.07
19.07 - 26.07
23.07 - 30.07
26.07 - 02.08
28.07 - 04.08
30.07 - 06.08

August 2020
01.08 - 08.08
02.08 - 09.08
04.08 - 11.08
06.08 - 13.08
08.08 - 15.08
09.08 - 16.08
11.08 - 18.08
13.08 - 20.08
16.08 - 23.08
20.08 - 27.08
23.08 - 30.08
30.08 - 06.09
September 2020
02.09 - 09.09
06.09 - 13.09
09.09 - 16.09
13.09 - 20.09
16.09 - 23.09
20.09 - 27.09
27.09 - 04.10
October-December 2020
04.10 - 11.10
11.10 - 18.10
18.10 - 25.10
26.11 - 03.12
April-May 2021
18.04 - 25.04
25.04 - 02.05
03.05 - 10.05
09.05 - 16.05
16.05 - 23.05
23.05 - 30.05
30.05 - 06.06
June 2021
06.06 - 13.06
10.06 - 17.06
13.06 - 20.06
17.06 - 24.06
20.06 - 27.06
24.06 - 01.07
27.06 - 04.07
29.06 - 06.07
July 2021
01.07 - 08.07
03.07 - 10.07
04.07 - 11.07
06.07 - 13.07
08.07 - 15.07
10.07 - 17.07
11.07 - 18.07
13.07 - 20.07
15.07 - 22.07
17.07 - 24.07
18.07 - 25.07
20.07 - 27.07
22.07 - 29.07
24.07 - 31.07
25.07 - 01.08
27.07 - 03.08
29.07 - 05.08
31.07 - 07.08
August 2021
01.08 - 08.08
03.08 - 10.08
05.08 - 12.08
07.08 - 14.08
08.08 - 15.08
10.08 - 17.08
12.08 - 19.08
14.08 - 21.08
15.08 - 22.08
17.08 - 24.08
19.08 - 26.08
22.08 - 29.08
24.08 - 31.08
29.08 - 05.09
September-December 2021
05.09 - 12.09
12.09 - 19.09
19.09 - 26.09
26.09 - 03.10
03.10 - 10.10
10.10 - 17.10
17.10 - 24.10
26.11 - 03.12
Dates for 8-day climb (standard option) in 2020
Dates for 8-day climb (standard option) in 2021

Each option is available for customization

It is possible to add 1-2 extra days to every option for a better acclimatization and chances for success. If it's your first serious climb and you have never been to the altitudes above 4000-5000 m, then we suggest you to add at least 1 day for a smooth acclimatization.
9-day program: + €100 (standard option), €120 (comfort option), €140 (VIP option).
10-day program: + €200 (standard option), €240 (comfort option), €280 (VIP option).
What's included
Accommodation
  • 3* hotel Snow Leopard (shared twin or triple room)
  • Mountain refuge at 3800 m "Heart of Elbrus" (mixed dorm)
Transfers
  • Group airport transfers airport - Terskol - airport
  • Cable car tickets for one ascent and one descent
Meals
  • Full board during the whole trip
Visa support
We will send Invitation letter for 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 1:2/3
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 - €30
  • Cost of additional night at hotel when you decide to descend to the valley on the reserve days, because these days are already paid for at the refuge. The cost of an extra night is about €25 (double or triple room) or €45 (single room).
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.
Snowcat ride on the route
Snowcat (ratrak) is a vehicle, transporting people along the snow slopes. The exact cost depends on altitude of ascent: up to 4700 m - €700, up to 5000 m - €1000 per vehicle. Basic capacity of the snowcat is 12 people, including 3 guides, who don't pay. You also can hire a snowcat on your way down and this will be cheaper than on the way up.
Additional summit attempt
Taking an additional attempt after the first expected attempt. This doesn't include cases when the weather was bad from the beginning and the group hasn't started the climb. Additional attempt costs €300 for the guiding services + hut fee and meals for you and your guide (€60 each).
Personal gear equipment
Hire of personal equipment (such as sleeping bag, boots, crampons etc)
Mountaineering Insurance
It is highly recommended for climbing Mount Elbrus
Good to know
Is it necessary to hire a snow-cat?
It is not necessary, but it will save you about 4 hours of climbing on high altitude. Also if one of the participants of your mini group won't be able to continue - the whole group has to go down. Please note, that body feels totally different after 3000m and higher, so we would recommend to decide on the spot.
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 need to rent a mat or they are provided in huts?
You don't need mats on the South Route, you will be sleeping on bank beds with pillows. However you will need a light sleeping bag in case you get chilly.
How long would it take to get down in the event of an emergency?
It takes about 30 minutes to descend the mountain, and the emergency car will be waiting for the client. The nearest medical centre is in Terskol, it is approximately 5 km from the cableway.
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?
You can leave all not necessary stuff at the hotel. The group will reach the refuge using ski lifts, so there will be only a short distance to walk from the cable cars to the hut.
What is the success rate for climbing Elbrus from south?
Our partners' statistics states it's about 93%
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