Mt. Elbrus Expedition

With an elevation of 18,510 feet (5,642 meters), Mt. Elbrus in the Caucasus Range that spans Asia and Europe, stands tallest in the European continent and is one of the Seven Summits. She has two summits, both are dormant volcanos. West summit is at 5,642 metres and the east summit is 5,621 metres (18,442 ft)

OVERVIEW:

There are two routes for Elbrus climb. North route and South route. Generally the south route is more preferred for its easy access and magnificent facilities such as cable cars, snow cats etc. (at some of the camps) On the other hand, the north route is more pristine yet rugged, inviting accomplished mountaineers to test their endurance limits.Unique feature of accommodation on Elbrus at one of the camps is The Barrel Huts.Yes! Literally the barrels, you can see in the images. They are located at 13,600 feet (3,962 m).

On south route, the lack of crevasses can deceive climbers into a false sense of safety. It is important to remember that, this route is challenging due to too much snow, high winds and a high elevation gains. About 10-15 climbers die each year. Although the climb is easier, fundamentals of ice and snow climbing are the prerequisite here. One must train not only on endurance training but also practice basic usage of ice ax, crampons etc.

WHY GGIM? 

Mt. Elbrus is not a new mountain at least for climbing fraternity. Highest mountain of Europe, one of the seven summits, twin dormant volcano.. So much of credentials for popularity. Each day during the peak season, it is not unusual to find 100 members making a summit push. In a way its a good scene to see so many mountain lovers chasing this beautiful mountain summit. But what is disheartening is the fact that 10-15 members die during these seasons due to unorganized and poor guidance on the mountains. Commercial operators tend to forget that the mountain holds the last authority and allows well trained and well acclimated climbers to embrace her only in her best times

GGIM puts paramount focus on Thorough Preparation, Absolute Safety and Sufficient Acclimatization of  the team. For that purpose, we have kept 2 additional days in the itinerary as opposed to typical 8 days expedition, so that the climbers get used to the local climate.

SCHEDULE: 

Batch 1: 31st Jul  to 9th Aug 2018

Batch 2: 8th Aug  to 17th Aug 2018.  

We can conduct a customized batch for your group as per your convenience. 

DAY WISE ITINERARY: 

DAY

PROGRAMME OVERNIGHT

MEALS

1 Arrive in Mineralnye Vody airport. Drive ( 3-5 hours) by private vehicle to hotel in the Baksan Valley in Mt Elbrus area at the altitude of 2100 m. Hotel D
2 Walk up to Irik-chat Valley at the altitude of 2800 m., descent. Transfer to the hotel. Hotel BLD
3 Acclimatization walk to Cheget Peak, 3600 m. Descent to the hotel. Hotel BLD
4 Trek to Terskol Valley hotel BLD
5 We take the cable car up to the Mir station, 3500m, then the chair lift up to Garabashi station, 3800m, and walk to the Priut hut at 4100m, ca. 1,5 hrs walk. After lunch at Barrels, return back to the hut. Barrels BLD
6 Acclimatization walk to Pastukhova Rocks, 4800 m. Descent. Overnight in the Barrels. Barrels BLD
7 Attempt on Mt. Elbrus, 5642 m. (optionally you can use a snowcat up to ca. 4650 m.). Barrels BLD
8 Spare day to attempt on Mt. Elbrus. Barrels/ Hotel BLD
9 Return to Baksan Valley, accommodation in a hotel. Hotel BLD
10 Transfer to Mineralnye Vody airport. Trip ends. depart B

B-breakfast, L- lunch, Lb- lunch box, D- dinner [/expand]

COST DETAILS: 

Total cost for the expedition per person is INR 96,500 plus GST at actual. (Ex Mineralnye Vody) 

  1.  Transfers as per itinerary
  2.  Accommodation according to the itinerary
  3.  Full board throughout the trip
  4.  Experienced English-speaking Mountain guide for the entire trip
  5.  Additional summit guide(s) starting from the group size of 7. On the Summit day the guide/client ratio is 1/3.
  6.  Outdoor cook
  7.  Visa support, passport registration

Following services are NOT included in above cost

  1. Flights to/from Mineralnye Vody airport
  2. Insurance
  3. Equipment rent
  4. Porters for personal equipment
  5. Personal expenses, alcohol
  6. Visa costs
  7. Extra beverages and mineral water during the trek
  8. Personal expenses during trek like wi-fi, battery charging, hot water bath, etc
  9. Emergency Medical Evacuation
  10. Tips for guides and porters.

HOW TO REGISTER:

You can register for this trek throughout the year. The initial booking has to be done latest by 3 months of the reporting date. Following are simple steps for registration. 

Enrollment Procedure:

Step 1: Fill up Online enrollment form. (The form should be filled only once. If you have filled it already you need not to refill.)

Step 2: Download, print and fill up Medical form from a medical practitioner.

Step 3: Download Indemnity bond. Print first page of the form on 500 Rs. stamp paper, fill the form and get it notarized by a legal practitioner. (Please note that the indemnity bond should be submitted only once)

(Please note that there are separate indemnity bonds for adults and minors. In case of minors, participant has to procure a consent letter from parents. We will share the format once you register.

Document Submission:

Medical Form

Indemnity Form

Photocopy of Valid Passport

Confirmed Air ticket

Minors (below 16) should provide parent's consent letter.

We will help you regarding obtaining the Visa. The fees should be paid at actual.

Step 4 : Payment of trek fees

Option 1 : Pay the trek fees by cheque in the name of “Guardian Giripremi Institute of Mountaineering”

  1. Option 2 : Transfer fees in our bank account
    Bank details are given below 
    A/c Name- Guardian Giripremi Institute of mountaineering
    A/c No. 35422707432 (current a/c)
    IFSC Code SBIN0013530
    Branch Karve Nagar, Pune 411052 
    Payment Terms –
    Rs. 30,000/- to be paid at the time of initial booking and balance 60 days before the expedition date.  
    Cancellation Policy –In case of any unavoidable reason if you happen to cancel your booking, please send the
    cancellation request through email.Rs. 15,000/- will be deducted and balance amount will be refunded, if cancellation is made 30
    or more days prior to the reporting date of your selected batch.Rs. 25,000/- will be deducted and balance amount will be refunded, if cancellation is made
    15 to 30 days prior to the reporting date of your selected batch.No refund will be made if cancellation is made within 15 days prior to date of departure.  

CHECKLIST:

Official Documents:

Valid passport

2 Copies of first page + visa page of passport

Airline tickets

Visa invitation (we will generate it for you once your booking is confirmed)

Insurance (We can suggest you for insurance policies)

Camping Gear:

Sleeping bag rated to -5 °C

Sun screen lotion (30 - 40 SPF)

Sun glasses (UV Polaroid)

Toiletry kit

Personal medication

Clothing:

Insulated parka/jacket, down or synthetic, rated to -10°C and able to fit over other sweater layers

Rain jacket and pants(side-leg zippers are helpful), roomy and water repellent

Midweight fleece jacket

Thermal underwear tops and bottom

Hiking pants/skirt

Long-sleeve shirts/blouses

T-shirts

Underwear

Hiking socks, Liner socks

Hiking boots, floaters/ snickers (for camping)

Mountaineering Gear:

Plastic boots (mountaineering boots)

Cramp on

Mountaineering ice ax (long and straight. No technical ice ax)

Head torch with spare batteries

50-55 L rucksack

1 Harness, 1 self anchor

Gloves, balaclava, pair of gaiters

FITNESS GUIDELINES: 

To be able to comfortably enjoy climbing and summit the mountain you should have not only good number of hikes, walks or any other cardio workouts but also some exposure to mountaineering skills and experience under your belt

Technique:

You should have learnt some degree of glacier walking, snow and ice climbing. While Ice climbing may not be a prerequisite on Elbrus but being able to confidently walk with crampons and ice ax will be a lot helpful.

Basic knowledge of mountaineering knots, equipment usage (rope, harness, carabiners) is advisable. Team GGIM will guide you in training your technical as well as physical skills.

Stamina:

Activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, spinning could be great ones to put in force. If you are lucky to have hills and mountains nearby, they are your best weekend hiking destinations.

Strength:

Along with cardiovascular training, it is equally essential to put in strength training in your workout regime. Particularly, lower body, back and core muscles. Thrice a week you can engage in doing pushups, crunches, squats, lunges etc. Suryanamaskaars & Yog will give maximum benefits.

Stretching:

After every workout, and even after the treks, never forget to stretch your muscles to relieve the stresses and pulls created during the activity. This will help you keep injuries at bey.

ELBRUS WEATHER: 

The weather in Elbrus region is changeable, and conditions can deteriorate rapidly in case of a storm. Be prepared for temperatures between -7C  to 21C with a chance of rain or snow. Temperatures could fall to -20C higher up on the mountain and you may encounter severe winds. Like any large mountain, Mt. Elbrus creates its own weather. There can be serious storms on the mountain, while the next valley is in bright sunshine.

KNOW MORE ABOUT ELBRUS: 

Highest mountain in the Caucasus Range in southern Russia near the border with Georgia.

Mount Elbrus was formed more than 2.5 million years ago. The volcano is currently considered inactive.Lava flows cover the mountain as well as 100 square miles of volcanic ash and debris. Pyroclastic flows of ash and mud, indicative of a powerful eruption that melted ice, also drain off the mountain. An 800-foot-wide snow-filled volcanic crater is on the mountain’s western summit. Elbrus last erupted around 50 A.D.

Mount Elbrus lies on the geographical dividing line between Europe and Asia, but most geographers consider it to be the highest mountain in Europe. Mount Elbrus and the Caucasus Range also divide Russia from the Middle East to the south. Mount Elbrus lies near the Georgia border.

Mount Elbrus is throughout the year snow-covered with an icecap and 22 glaciers. Three major rivers—Baksan, Malka, and Kuban—arise from the glaciers.

A cable car and chairlift, built between 1959 and 1976, ferries climbers up Mount Elbrus to 12,500 feet. From there, most ascend the Standard Route up the south flank to the summit. The route is mostly free of crevasses, making it relatively safe. The Standard Route, however, is not easy with lots of snow, high winds, and a high elevation defeating many attempts. Many climbers attempting the mountain are inexperienced and ill-equipped. Most climbers take the cable car, operating from 9 a.m to 3 p.m., and stay overnight at the Diesel Hut. An alpine start at 2 in the morning allows enough for climbers to reach the summit and descend to the cable car/chairlift in time for the last ride down.

In 1997, Russian adventurer Alexander Abramov led an expedition that, ahem, drove a vehicle to the top of Mount Elbrus, making it the highest mountain climbed by a vehicle. The 10-man team drove a Land Rover to the Barrels, a group of huts on a rocky road. Above that they struggled for 43 days using tire chains and winches to haul the Land Rover to the summit. The vehicle literally broke apart so the team constantly descended for parts. On September 13 they reached the top and drove around the summit plateau. Then they left to celebrate their success, returning a couple weeks later to get the Land Rover down. Instead of waiting for tire chains and cables, one of the drivers attempted to drive down but lost control and had to bail out. The vehicle plummeted down and came to rest on rocks where it still sits

I enjoyed the expedition to the fullest and the facilities were out of the world.

Jay Kolhatkar
Summiter, Mt. Elbrus

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