Both mountains are impressive. In fact, both mountains are one of the Seven Summits, the highest mountains in each of the continents. But if you’ve climbed Kilimanjaro, and have your sights set on the highest peak in Europe, you may have some questions. Likely, you’re wondering “Is Elbrus harder than Kilimanjaro?” If you’re planning a similar climb, here’s a post that might help…
Is Elbrus harder than Kilimanjaro?
At Earth’s Edge, we give each of our expeditions a level rating. This makes it simpler for you to suss out how difficult each trek is. Our climb to the top of Kilimanjaro is a level 5 expedition. The expedition to climb Elbrus is a level 8. Which means that yes, Elbrus is harder to climb than Kilimanjaro. But what do those levels mean?
How hard is Kilimanjaro?
As a level 5 expedition, you can expect to trek an average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 6,000 metres. Typically, it will involve one long day of 10 to 15 hours to reach a summit. Typical elevation gain per day would be 500 – 1000 meters, with at least one day over 1000 metres. As a rough guide, you should be comfortable hillwalking for 7 hours per day for two days in a row.
How hard is Elbrus?
When you sign up for a level 8 expedition, you can expect to trek 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.
How they compare
While Elbrus is a much harder mountain to climb in terms of physical endurance, it isn’t a technical climb. However, it does require the use of crampons and an ice axe.