Elbrus with Earth's Edge 1

How hard is it to climb Elbrus?

How hard is it to climb Elbrus

If you’ve climbed Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp and fancy something more challenging, Mount Elbrus is perfect. At 5,642m high, Mount Elbrus is Europe’s highest peak and one of the ‘Seven Summits’. If you’re ready for a challenge, you might be wondering, “How hard is it to climb Elbrus?” There’s no denying it’s a next level expedition. But if you’re up for a next level trek, Elbrus is perfect…

So, how hard is it to climb Elbrus?

The trek up Mount Elbrus is a serious climb. At Earth’s Edge, we give all of our expeditions a level. Everest Base Camp is a Level 4, Kilimanjaro is a Level 5. We have ranked Mount Elbrus as a Level 8. This means…

“An average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 7,000 metres. Typically, it will involve one extremely long and/or tough day to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would be 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1200 metres. Added to this will be the remote location of the expedition and the fact that you will typically need to carry your own equipment. You should be comfortable withstanding harsh mountain conditions for several days in a row. The itinerary is likely to change due to weather conditions. As a rough guide, you should be comfortable walking for 8 hours per day carrying a 20kg pack for two days in a row.”

What are the conditions like on Elbrus?

On our expedition, we ascend the mountain from the Northside, unlike a lot of other companies. This means we avoid the Southside, which feels more like a ski resort, with “climbing” via cable cars and lifts. The Northside is properly remote definitely more of a real challenge. The route from Camp 1 to the summit is completely covered in snow and ice, making it different to other expeditions. However, it’s not technical. We recommend you have experience hiking on snow and ice, but we also hold a training day within our expedition.

What’s the weather like?

Extremely fickle. Getting a clear window is the key to a successful summit attempt, which is why we allow plenty of room for adjustments in our 14-day itinerary. The nature of high altitude peaks such as Elbrus means that sometimes we don’t get a window of good weather, which allows us to attempt the summit. But that doesn’t mean the experience is anything less than incredible. It’s just the nature of the beast. Climbing Mount Elbrus with Earth's Edge

What is summit day like on Mount Elbrus?

In a word – tough! The highest place we can sleep on the mountain is at 3,700m, which makes the summit day extremely tough with 1,900m elevation gain. It takes around 16 hours in total, but we do take a rest day the day before, you’ll be good and ready.

Is it worth it?

Absolutely. This is an expedition that will challenge you to your very core, but the feeling of accomplishment you get is incredible. If you’ve climbed mountains before and want to go to the next level, Mount Elbrus is the way to go. Once you’ve conquered Elbrus, you can conquer anything!

To read more about our expedition to Mount Elbrus, click here.

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