Posted on

Choose the route to climb Elbrus. Acclimatization. 

Since 2001 we have been taking people to Elbrus and other mountains. In this text we will mainly focus on the climb Elbrus from South and North. At the same time, East and West routes to Elbrus can hardly be recommended for the first ascent. People who usually climbs Elbrus from East and West do not ask questions, they are only interested in technical and logistical details. Concerning the equipment, we can say that the East and West routes are fully equal to the ascent Elbrus from the North, but from the North the crevasses and terrain are “small copy”, and on East and West Elbrus routes it is much more “real”.

Climb Elbrus: guides, tours, price

Recently the cable car in the South of Elbrus was made further – the third section finishes now at 3860m. There are many different discussions: should a real athlete use a cable car or not? Here everyone should answer for himself. We will not touch the ethical theme of climbing of Elbrus from the South, it is personal thing for everybody. I find it useless to walk having the cable car of ski resort above my head, though I am mountain guide, strong, fast. Also, many people who walks this step than use a snowcat on the summit day and/or the heated houses which are a lot in the south side of Elbrus. 

The climbing routes of Elbrus from North and South and the acclimatization heights are almost absolutely similar – just base camp from the South of Elbrus is 2000-2350m (depending on the hotel you choose), while it is 2600m from the North. The highest shelter from the South of Elbrus is slightly higher (almost 4100m, while most people still live at 3720-3900m), and from the North side is a series of shelters at 3860m. It used to be one hut on the North side of Elbrus, but over the past five years a lot of new have grown and tuned in. From the South side of Elbrus, too, most teams start from the same height, this is the mark of “Gara-Bashi” – 3750 meters. “Barrels” are known to be located at an altitude of 3720 meters, not 3800 as many write. And it is very strange for commercial companies to mistake in the elevations, because it can affect your acclimatization. The mistakes are quite big. For example, “Priut-11” is 4050 meters, although many indicate it as old Soviet maps of the 1930s did – 4200m. Pastukhov rocks are usually said to be 4800m, though most people climb to the bottom point, which is exactly 4550m. The beginning of the “Traverse” is considered 5000 meters, while for 4 years – 5100 meters. Snowcats try to get people higher and higher, and the “Traverse” changes its angle. It is constantly at different angles. The path is trampled. And it all depends on who was the first to break the trail to Elbrus summit after the last big snowfall. And this may change quite specifically over the summer. Of course, in recent years, with the Red Fox Elbrus Race festival, all paths are considered sufficiently marked, but in practice the trail deviates up to 100 meters from theirs. You always see the flags far below and no one wishes to follow them, except of cases of very bad weather, when you do not see anything at all.