Ascent of Elbrus from the North side

Elbrus from the North BC

CET Neva agency in St. Petersburg organizes guided ascents of Elbrus (5642, 5621 m), the highest European peak, from its North side. Participants climb up the summit via pioneering way of 1829. July 10 of that year, Kabardinian Kilar Khashirov, indigenous guide in Russian expedition headed by general Emmanuel, first reached the Eastern Summit of Elbrus (5621 m). Anyone who wants the taste of the great untouched outdoors should be pleased with the ascent because its route passes far away of the civilizations. There are no highways, cable lifts and comfortable mountain huts in the area to the North of Elbrus. Neither there are good paths in that region sparsely visited by tourists' or climbers' groups. This is why the Northern Elbrus Region preserves till the present its native, virgin look. Ascent of Elbrus from the North side is more challenging enterprise compared with that from the South.
Over the plateau of the Northern Elbrus Region to the double-headed giant.


Dzhili-Su terrain, Sultan cascade.

From Kislovodsk-city the way goes across a spacious waste plateau cut with deep canyons of Kuban tributaries (Black Sea basin) and rivers flowing into Terek (Caspian basin). By bad enough earth roads one goes through Kichbalyk village and valley and, passing by tourist camp "Narzan valley", Kharbaz-river valley, mountains Tuzluk (2585 m) and Sirkh (3098 m), arrives to Dzhili-Su place. At the end one descents into the Kizyl-Su valley where Base Camp is installed on the General Emmanuel Glade. Close by the Camp, the "Silver Spring" wells out but only for two weeks during a year – at the end of July and beginning of August.

Base Camp on the General Emmanuel Glade (2570 m above the sea).

Camp 1 and North Refuge hut (3730 m).

The way leads us through the silence of the rocky desert looking like a moon landscape to the end moraine and glacier lake. Camp 1 is organized up there, at 3730-meter altitude in the immediate vicinity of the North Refuge hut apt to house 12-14 persons. The hut had been constructed for seismologists about 14 years ago by students of a teacher's training college. The construction materials were delivered with helicopter. An acclimatization ascent from here up to the Lentz Rocks – a rocky ridge at 4750-5100 m – and back down to the hut is considered to be reasonable.

View from the Camp 1. The route is marked with red.

Upward from the Camp 1.

The further way passes on crevassed ice-snow slope upwards to the Lentz Rocks and then along the Rocks to the East Summit or on firn fields with dangerous snow-covered crevasses up to the Saddle and from there, on steep ice-snow slope, to the West Summit.

A broad outlook is opened from the summits to majestic panorama of the Main Caucasian Range stretching from the Black Sea to the East-South-East to the Caspian Sea. All the horizon is fill up with mountains. The descent follows the ascent way.

View to the South from Elbrus, evening panorama of the Central Caucasus. From the left to the right: Schurovsky peak with Chatyn-Tau behind, Ushbinskoe plateau with small black triangle of Little Ushba, legendary two-horned Ushba with Shkhelda in front, Donguz-Orun massif and Nakra-Tau with horizontally cut top in the right part of the photo.

Program of 10-day tour
(period June to August)

Day 1 Arrival to Mineralnye Vody (Mineral Waters) airport. 1-hour, 45 km bus transfer to Kislovodsk city. Accomodation in rescue team base.
Day 2 6-hour, 80 km bus transfer to the Emmanuel Glade. Setting of the Base Camp (2570 m). Overnight in tents.
Day 3 Acclimatization ascent up to rock formations Pyramid and Mushrooms (3200 m above the sea). Return down to BC, 5-6 h. total.
Day 4 Ascent up to Camp 1 (3730 m) on the end moraine of the Mikelchiran Glacier near the North Refuge (6-8 hour). Setting of the tent camp. Overnight in tents.
Day 5 Acclimatization ascent up to the Lentz Rocks (4800 m or higher). Return down to Camp 1, 5-6 h. total.
Days 6 Summit day. Ascent of Elbrus West (5642 m) or Elbrus East (5621m). Leaving for the ascent at 2-3 a.m., 14-16 hours total. Night in Camp 1.
Day 7 Descent down to BC, 3-4 hours.
Day 8 Reserve day.
Day 9 Return to Kislovodsk.
Day 10
Bus transfer to the Mineralnye Vody airport, flight home.

Price per person for guided groups

number of participants 5-6 7-8 9-10
price per person, € 630 575 525

The price includes:
lodging in rescue team base in Kislovodsk;
setting of tent camps and overnights in them;
full board during stay in the Elbrus region;
all transfers in the Elbus region according to the program;
CET Neva guide-organizer;
cook in the Base Camp and in Camp 1;
group's equipment (tents and ropes);
pots and pan;
necessary permits and registration;
administrative fees in Kabardino-Balkaria.

The price does not include:
internal regular flights to Min. Vody airport and back (€150 to €210);
luggage air transportation;
unexpected premature evacuation;
cost of Russian visa;
rent of mountaineering equipment;
drinks and personal expenses;
extra pay due to change of the appointed departure time.

Necessary personal equipment:
sleeping bag;
double plastic boots;
warm clothing for high altitude climbing;
ice axe;
karabiners (2-3 per person);
ski poles;
jumar (ascender);
shovel (2-3 per group).

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