Climb Details

Cost:
Deposit:
Length:
Difficulty:
Type:

$4900*
$1500
13 day(s)
Level 2 difficulty 
Mountaineering


* Cost Includes In-Country Flights: Moscow to Mineralnye Vody to St. Petersburg

Availability



Upcoming Climbs

July 3, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT
July 10, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT
July 17, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT
July 24, 2015 - HOLD A SPOT
Climb Elbrus via the Remote Northside

"As a long time client of RMI, I know the difference when I tried this program with another company two years ago. The difference was like night and day, RMI's program is superior in every detail. Casey's management on the mountain with the Russian guides was very well done."

— Wayne M. | Read More Testimonials

Mt. Elbrus is a stunning volcanic peak located in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia and at 18,510' it is Europe's, as well as Russia's, highest peak.

Highlights include:

  • Visit Russia’s greatest cities during the expedition where we stay within an easy stroll of Moscow’s Red Square and in the heart of St. Petersburg.
  • Climb Mt. Elbrus with an experienced RMI Guide, benefiting from the background, training, and expertise of our guides as you venture to higher altitudes.
  • Improve your chances of reaching the summit with time spent training and acclimatizing and with an itinerary that has the flexibility to accommodate for the uncertainties of Mt. Elbrus’ weather.
  • Base out of the Garabashi Huts on Mt. Elbrus, enjoying the hot meals prepared by the hut’s cooks and allowing us to climb one of the Seven Summits carrying only light daypacks.
  • Take part in an RMI adventure and see why we continue to set the standard in guiding excellence.

Mt. Elbrus Climbers

Situated between the Black Sea to the west and the Caspian Sea to the east, Mt. Elbrus rises majestically from the high green plains that stretch northward into the heartland of Russia. Just to the south of the peak lies the main body of the Caucasus Mountains, a range that rivals the Alps with its stark rugged beauty. Our adventures begin several thousand miles to the north of Mt. Elbrus in Moscow - the political, economic, and cultural heart of Russia. We walk across the cobblestones of Red Square, beneath the shadows of St. Basil's onion-shaped domes, and cross through the thick walls of the Kremlin to visit the seat of Russian power.

We then fly south to the town of Mineralnye Vody, known for its abundant mineral springs. A three-hour drive brings us to the Baksan Valley, sitting at the foot of Mt. Elbrus and surrounded on all sides by the soaring peaks of the Caucasus. After adjusting to the altitude while hiking in the valley, we move to the Garabashi Hut at 12,000’ on Mt. Elbrus’ flanks. We use the mountain’s rolling glaciers surrounding the hut to review our mountaineering skills and continue our acclimatization in preparation for our summit bid. The route takes us up the broad flanks of Mt. Elbrus southside to the West Summit, the mountain's highest point. The ascent is a moderate snow climb that presents minimal technical difficulty but the altitudes to which we go make climbing Mt. Elbrus a challenging undertaking. This is an ideal trip for climbers aiming to build their altitude experience while climbing one of the Seven Summits.

We end our expedition in St. Petersburg. Sitting on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, this beautiful European-styled city is often described as the "Venice of the North". We spend a full day exploring St. Petersburg's stunning architecture, amazing museums, and many canals. Our time there is the ideal way to end our Mt. Elbrus adventure.

THE RMI DIFFERENCE

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. was established in 1969 and is one of America's oldest and most-trusted guide services. We are the largest guide service on Mount Rainier and Mount McKinley and leaders in guiding climbs and treks around the globe. Our years of leading mountain adventures give us the experience and knowledge to create the best possible trips. We work hard to live up to our reputation as an industry leader.

Our Mt. Elbrus climb is led by RMI’s foremost U.S. guides who bring years of climbing experience in the mountains around the world and an intimate familiarity with the region to the trip. Working closely with our local partners, these mountaineering veterans make climbing Mt. Elbrus an unforgettable experience. Our trip preparation before departure takes care of the details for you, from hotels and airport transfers to arranging in country flights, so that you can focus on preparing for the climb instead of the distraction that comes with coordinating logistics.

Elbrus Summit DaySt. Petersburg Church

In Moscow and St. Petersburg we stay at hotels that have been hand-picked by our guides for their location and amenities, staying in the heart of the cities within easy walking distance of their greatest sites. While on the mountain the Garabashi Hut provides us comfortable lodging and enjoyable meals, keeping us content, healthy, and strong throughout the climb. We use RMI's own climbing equipment brought from the U.S., ensuring that our expedition standards of safety, quality, and reliability are met. Our exceptional focus on detail, our unparalleled level of guest attention, and our genuine love of these adventures are what make our programs truly memorable.

ELBRUS NORTHSIDE ALTERNATIVE

We also lead climbs of Mt. Elbrus' more remote Northside. This program is slightly longer and entails expedition style climbing as we move camps up the mountain. Our Northside Expedition is ideal for climbers seeking a more remote experience away from the busier standard route and interested in building their expedition climbing skills.

SAFETY

Safety has always been RMI's top priority and we strive to create the safest mountain experience possible. RMI's experienced team of guides focus on leading a fun and successful climb without compromising safety. We apply the same standards of safety we bring to Alaska and the Himalayas to our Mt. Elbrus guided climbs. Careful planning, precise ascent profiles, flexibility in our itinerary, daily weather forecasts via satellite, and diligent attention are taken as we venture into high altitudes. Comprehensive medical kits, rescue equipment, and radio and satellite communication equipment are carried with the team throughout the climb.

As you prepare for your upcoming adventure please feel free to contact our office and speak directly to one of our experienced guides regarding equipment, conditioning, the route, or any other questions you may have about our programs. We are available Monday thru Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at (888) 89-CLIMB or info@rmiguides.com.

Mt. Elbrus Southside Equipment List

Whittaker Mountaineering Whittaker Mountaineering

The following is a list of required equipment. We may encounter a variety of weather conditions throughout our climb, including rain, wind, snow, sleet and extreme heat. Skimping on equipment can jeopardize your safety and success, so we want you to think carefully about any changes or substitutions you are considering. If you have questions regarding the equipment needed for your upcoming climb, give us a call and speak directly to one of our experienced guides.

Most of the required equipment is available for rent or purchase from our affiliate Whittaker Mountaineering. RMI climbers receive a 10% discount on new clothing and equipment items ordered from Whittaker Mountaineering. This offer excludes sale items. For internet orders, please use the discount code RMI2014.


Pack & Bag Guides' Pick

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2 DUFFEL BAG(S): A 120+ liter bag made of tough material with rugged zippers.


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BACKPACK: A 65-70+ liter pack large enough to carry all of your personal gear, food and water is the recommended size for this climb.  A separate summit pack is not needed.


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DAY PACK: A 25+ liter day pack to use as carry-on, while traveling or sightseeing.


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SLEEPING BAG: A bag rated 0° to 15° F. Either goose down or synthetic.


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SLEEPING PAD: Not required for this trip.  Climbers' hut(s) are equipped with pads.


Technical Gear Guides' Pick

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ICE AXE: The length of your axe depends on your height. Use the following general mountaineering formula: up to 5'8", use a 65 cm axe; 5'8" to 6'2", use a 70 cm axe; and taller, use a 75 cm axe. If you hold the axe so that it hangs comfortably at your side, the spike of the axe should still be a few inches above the ground.


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CLIMBING HARNESS: We recommend a comfortable, adjustable alpine climbing harness. Removable, drop seat or adjustable leg loops are convenient for managing your clothing layers over the course of the climb and facilitate going to the bathroom.


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1 TRIPLE-ACTION LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for clipping into the climbing rope.


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1 NON-LOCKING CARABINER(S): Used for pack ditch loop, etc.


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HELMET: A UIAA (Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme) or CE (European Committee for Standardization) certified climbing helmet. Bicycle or ski helmets are designed for a different type of impact and will not substitute as a climbing helmet.


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CRAMPONS: The 10 to 12 point adjustable crampons designed for general mountaineering are ideal. We highly recommend anti-bot plates to prevent snow from balling up underfoot. Rigid frame crampons designed for technical ice climbing are not recommended.


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AVALANCHE TRANSCEIVER: A digital transceiver is preferred; analog will work as well. If you rent a transceiver, one set of new batteries will be provided.


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TREKKING POLES: Lightweight and collapsible poles are preferred. Larger baskets work well with deep snow. Ski poles will also work.


Head Guides' Pick

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WARM HAT: Wool or synthetic. It should provide warmth but also be thin enough to fit underneath a climbing helmet.


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BUFF / NECK GAITER / BALACLAVA: One item for face protection is required. Our primary recommendation is the Buff. A neck gaiter or balaclava is also acceptable.


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GLACIER GLASSES: You will need protective sunglasses, either dark-lensed with side shields or full wrap-around frames. Almost all sunglasses block UV-A, UV-B and infrared rays adequately. Pay attention to the visible light transmission. The darkest lenses (glacier glasses) only allow approx. 6% visible light to get through, while lighter lenses (driving glasses) let in as much as 20+ %. A good rule of thumb is that if you can see the wearer’s pupils through the lenses, they are too light for sun protection at altitude.


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GOGGLES: Amber or rose-tinted goggles for adverse weather. On windy days, climbers, especially contact lens wearers, may find photochromatic lenses the most versatile in a variety of light conditions.


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HEADLAMP: Be sure to begin the program with fresh batteries.


Hands

Each glove layer is worn separately as conditions change during the climb.


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HEAVY WEIGHT INSULATED GLOVE OR MITTEN: Wind/water resistant, insulated gloves or mittens. These also serve as emergency back-ups if you drop or lose a glove.


Upper Body

We recommend a minimum of five upper body layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Two of these should be insulating layers, one light and one medium, that fit well together. Today there are many different layering systems to choose from, including fleece, soft-shell, down and synthetic options.


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LIGHT TO MEDIUM WEIGHT BASELAYER: Long-sleeve wool or synthetic top. Quarter zip styles will allow for better temperature regulation. We recommend light colors, which best reflect the intense sun on hot days.


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RAIN JACKET (HARD SHELL): A jacket made of rain-proof material with an attached hood.  We recommend a thinner lightweight jacket rather than a heavier insulated jacket.


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INSULATED PARKA with HOOD: This expedition-style heavy parka should extend below the waist and must have an insulated hood. While the parka is worn primarily at rest breaks on summit day, it serves as an emergency garment if needed. We recommend down rather than synthetic fill as down weighs less. The parka does not have to be waterproof, though that is a nice feature.


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HIKING SHIRT: Lightweight, synthetic shirt with either long or short sleeves. The long sleeve is preferred for sun/bug protection.


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SPORTS BRA: We recommend a moisture-wicking, active-wear bra.


Lower Body

We recommend a system of four layers, all of which can be used in conjunction with each other. Products which combine several layers into one garment, such as traditional ski pants, don’t work well as they don’t offer the versatility of a layering system.


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CLIMBING PANT: Soft-shell climbing pants offer a wide range of versatility. You can wear them in combination with the base layer on colder days, or alone on warmer days.


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RAIN PANT (HARD SHELL): A waterproof pant with 3/4 side zippers (sometimes called 7/8 or full side zips) are required for facilitating quick clothing adjustments over boots and crampons.


Feet Guides' Pick

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MOUNTAINEERING BOOTS: Insulated double boots are the preferred choice on Mt. Elbrus - Southside. They provide the best insulation as well as a more rigid sole for kicking steps and holding crampons. Leather mountaineering boots that have completely rigid soles are also adequate, but they will need to be insulated and may still result in cold feet on summit days. Bring one pair of chemical foot warmers if you are using the leather mountaineering boots.


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HIKING BOOTS: A pair of lightweight boots for approaches and hiking on rugged terrain.


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LIGHTWEIGHT HIKING SHOES: Great for travel, day hikes, and camp.

 
Garmont Zenith Trail
 
La Sportiva Exum Pro
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GAITERS: We recommend a knee-length pair of gaiters, large enough to fit over your mountaineering boots. This will protect you from catching your crampon spikes on loose clothing.


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3 PAIR OF SOCKS: Either wool or synthetic. Whatever sock combination you are accustomed to wearing during your training or previous adventures (whether single medium weight socks, a medium weight with a liner sock, two medium weight socks together, etc), should work just fine for this climb.


Miscellaneous Items Guides' Pick

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LIP BALM: We recommend SPF 15 or higher.


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SUNSCREEN: We recommend small tubes of SPF 15 or higher, which can be carried in pockets for easy access and to prevent freezing.


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MEALS: See the Food tab for suggestions and quantities.


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2 - 3 WATER BOTTLES: Hard-sided, screw-top, one-liter water bottles with wide mouths are required.


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AQUAMIRA: Chlorine Dioxide water purification drops.


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2 - 3 GARBAGE BAGS (LARGE): We recommend lining your backpack with garbage bags to keep items in your backpack completely dry.


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2 SETS ALKALINE BATTERIES: For avalanche transceiver.


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LUGGAGE LOCKS: For your duffel bags. Must be TSA approved.


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Travel Clothes

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2 CASUAL PANTS


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4 SHIRTS: For hotel dinners and while traveling.


Toilet Articles

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TOOTHBRUSH


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HAND SANITIZER(S): Personal size (2 oz.) bottle.


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PEE BOTTLE (PEE FUNNEL FOR WOMEN)


Personal First Aid Kit

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BAND-AIDS


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ASPRIN / IBUPROFEN / TYLENOL


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BLISTER TREATMENT

 
Dr. Scholl's Blister Cushions and Moleskin
 
Spenco 2nd Skin

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ANTACIDS


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IMODIUM (ANTI-DIARRHEA)


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PEPTO-BISMOL (STOMACH RELIEF)


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SMALL ROLL OF ADHESIVE TAPE


Personal Medications

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ANTIBIOTICS: Broad spectrum antibiotics for Traveler's Diarrhea.


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TYLENOL #3: Tylenol 3 for pain


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ACETAZOLAMIDE: For Altitude Illness


Utensils Guides' Pick

Optional Items

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READING MATERIAL / JOURNAL


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iPOD or MP3 PLAYER


Travel Documents

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PASSPORT: Valid for six months beyond your return date.


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COPY OF PASSPORT: The first two pages of your passport.


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COPY OF FLIGHT ITINERARY


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2 EXTRA PASSPORT PHOTOS


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COPY OF VISA INVITATION LETTER


Pre-Trip Checklist

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Purchase travel insurance.


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Return the Registration Packet to the RMI Office.


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Purchase airplane tickets.


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Reserve rental equipment.


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Be in the Best Shape of Your Life!


Provided Equipment

RMI provides the following equipment for your program: huts, stoves, group cooking equipment, fuel, climbing ropes, climbing anchors, avalanche probes and shovels.

Every guide on your climb will carry rescue equipment and a first aid kit. Each climb has two-way radios and a satellite phone for emergency contact.