well we have been getting news of another outbreak of violence in
Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia. Do we need to worry about this?
Has this violence ever occurred where we are going?
We've been doing the tours to the Caucasus for over 20 years. We
sent people and visited this region ourselves even when the situation
there was much more intense. There was no problems ever. Caucasus
is an huge area Elbrus region is located about 500 miles away from
Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia.
As a state border area Caucasus is specially guarded by the military
and that is why the going there requires correct paperwork like
the passport registration and border permit.
we spend any nights in tents during the trip? If so, do you provide
those or do we need to supply?
All accommodation at Elbrus is in Barrels hotel.
we need to bring sleeping bags (lightweight silk liner) when staying
in Mountain Huts/Barrels. What is provided in this accommodation?
Yes, you need to bring sleeping bags. They provide beds without
blankets and white lines, it is not warm enough there and most prefer
to sleep there in own sleeping bags.
we really have to take with us an ice-axe?
It's impossible to know in advance ice and snow situation on the
slopes of Elbrus. Sometimes it's possible to ascent by ski and sometimes
you can only go with crampons and ice axe. It will be a shame not
to be able to climb the summit due to the lack of equipment.
is the best time to go to Elbrus?
The best period to climb Elbrus is from July till the September.
But one should mention, that for the period ~15.07-20.08 there are
lots of tourists in the region and the slopes are very crowded.
All hotels and in Barrels hut are full, so we should book them in
advance to be sure to get the places. September seems to be a good
time. It is a bit colder, but the weather is stable and there are
not much people at that time.
are the main problems we can find on the way to the summit?
-AMS — Elbrus is higher than the other mountains of the region by
about 1000 m and it requires good acclimatization, so unprepared
tourists may have problems with it.
-Cold — we wake up at about 2-3 o'clock in the morning on the summit
day and it's the coldest time. The temperature can be -30 C, so
the equipment should be suitable for such conditions.
-Ice fields. Sometimes on the way to the summit there are ice fields
about 300-500 m long with very hard ice, so one should use crampons.
your mountain guide have any medical and rescue equipment in case
Our guide has a piep and a shovel. He also has a first-aid kit.
We also advise the clients to take their own medical kits with the
medicaments they normally use.
it possible to climb Elbrus without any experience on ice?
It is possible, but not easy. And we should add 2-3 days to the
program for training.