Day 1 – ARRIVE IN MOSCOW: Welcome to Russia! An English-speaking guide and driver will meet you outside baggage claim and bring you to your hotel. Your guide will give a mini-tour as you drive into Moscow.
Day 2 – MOSCOW: Today you’ll experience the must-sees for anyone traveling to Russia. You will have a guided tour inside the world-renowned Kremlin, seeing the Armory and its fascinating collection of national treasures. Finally your tour will take you to the New Maiden Convent and a view of the city from Sparrow Hills.
Day 3 – ARRIVE IN NORTH CAUCASUS: After flying into the Caucasus Mineral Waters airport (MRV), settle in for the scenic, 3-hr. drive through the Baksan valley, home of Mt. Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe. your final destination today is the Adir-su gorge. To enter the gorge you’ll need to take a vehicle elevator Here you’ll start your acclimatization as you ski tour through the awe-inspiring landscape. Don’t blink, because you will have risen 7,000 feet above sea level on this 3-hour drive without even noticing! You will meet with your guide tonight and go over the plan for the next 8 days, and a successful Elbrus ascent!
Day 4 – ACCLIMATIZATION SKI TOUR: Afer breakfast you’ll start with some very important mountain safety training: avalanche safety. The basics of using a locator, avalanche probes, shovels, and searching for lost skiers with the help of sensors. Following training will be your first acclimatization ski tour to the Mestia Pass (3,500m/11480O). Before turning in tonight, your guide will check your equipment to determine what (if anything) needs to be rented to complete your Elbrus summit.
Day 5 – ACCLIMATIZATION SKI TOUR: Today you’ll explore a new route on skis to the Koiavganaush Pass (3500 m / 11480 ft). You’ll be back to the lodge around lunch time in order to avoid being on the mountain when the risk of avalanches is the highest.
Day 6 – ACCLIMATIZATION SKI TOUR / TRANSFER TO ELBRUS: This morning you’ll ascend to one more pass on your final day in the Adir-su gorge – Gumachi Pass (3575m/11730O). After lunch, you’ll be driven to Mt. Elbrus, which lies at the head of the Baksan valley and check into your hotel where you’ll stay for just one night.
Day 7 – BASE CAMP: AOer breakfast, you’ll check some of your personal items into storage as you’ll be ascending to basecamp where you’ll stay for the next 4 nights. Take the famous cable car system up
three levels to the climbers’ base camp. Your body will continue to adjust today, as the elevation has doubled. Your mountain guide will daily be walking you through practical precautions for summitingElbrus
safely and successfully. Your private cook on Elbrus will make sure you are gefng the nourishment your body needs
Day 8 – ACCLIMATIZATION SKI TOUR: During your second day on the mountain you’ll get a good feel for the Ascent day route, as you do an acclimatization ski tour up to the Pastukhov Rocks, around 4800m/16,500O, which will be about a 4-5 hour tour. Your guide will also introduce any extra guides that will accompany you to the summit. If you have a chance today, make sure to check out Elbrus’s infamous “World’s worst outhouse”; now you can mark that off your bucket list. 🙂
Day 9 – SUMMIT DAY: It’s Summit Day! You’ve got an 8-12 hour ascent ahead of you, and so will start your climb in the dark between 2:00-3:00 am. The early morning hours of your climb is quite the sight with a long line of climbers ascending Elbrus, lit up by a highway of head lamps. You may never have experienced quite the sunrise as you do on your ascent, as you leave the rest of the Caucasus range behind on the way to Elbrus’s gentle summit. Your climb won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, with altitude sickness, extreme cold temperatures, and unpredictable weather all real possibilities, but it will all be worth it when you reach the top. Once you have a quick celebration of your success, you’ll begin your thrilling almost 2km (over 6,000O) vertical descent back to basecamp.
Day 10 – RESERVE/REST DAY: Rest day! You’ve earned it. Sleep in as long as you want. Today you’ll want to peruse the charming local souvenir markets, full of tempting local goods, including Caucasus Papakha hats, beautiful hand-knit slippers, shawls, and tasty local jams. Enjoy re-living and re-telling your Elbrus ascent with your fellow climbers and guides at your celebration dinner tonight. In case there was inclement weather on Day 7 (yesterday’s planned ascent), today will be your summit day up Elbrus.
Day 11 – DEPARTURE: Pack your bags and say goodbye for now to the North Caucasus, a place we hope you will come back to for another adventure very soon. Fly out of the local Mineral Waters airport
(MRV), through Moscow, and back to wherever you call home.