Everyone has that one bucket list trip that they’ve dreamt about forever. For many people, climbing Mount Elbrus is that trip. The highest mountain in Europe (and one of the Seven Summits), Elbrus is an absolute dream of a climb – challenging, but oh so rewarding. If this is a trip that you’ve got on your mind, this is the post for you. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to climbing Mount Elbrus, with the answers to every question you might have….
The ultimate guide to climbing Elbrus
- How hard is it to climb Elbrus?
- How long does it take?
- Is it safe to trek Elbrus?
- How much does it cost?
- How do I cope with altitude sickness?
- Do you need special equipment to climb Elbrus?
- What is summit day like?
- How do I train for Elbrus?
How hard is it to climb Elbrus?
Elbrus isn’t an easy mountain. There are two ways to get to the summit – the South Side, and the North Side. The South Side uses cable cars, car lifts and piste machines, but the North Side is a proper adventure… which is why that’s the route we choose! We give all of our expeditions a difficulty level, and our expedition to Elbrus is a level 8. That means you can expext to trek an average of 6 to 8 hours per day at altitudes not usually exceeding 7,000 metres. To give you an idea of levels, Kilimanjaro is a level 5, and Everest Base Camp is a level 4.
Read more about how hard it is to trek Elbrus in our blog post.
How long does it take?
The Earth’s Edge expedition is 14 days long. This includes a couple of rest and skill days, where we practice our snow and ice skills. We also have a spare summit day, in case bad weather prevents a summit attempt. The weather in this region is notoriously tricky, so a spare summit day gives us the best chance of reaching the top.
Read more about how long it takes to climb Elbrus in our blog post.
Is it safe to climb Elbrus?
Safety is the number one priority at Earth’s Edge. Every decision we make is based on the safety of our guests and our team. We also use a dedicated team of local porters, as well as our own international guides and doctors. This makes the expedition as safe as it can be.
Read more about if it’s safe to climb Elbrus in our blog post.
How much does it cost?
The Earth’s Edge expedition currently costs €3,999. This includes all your flights from Dublin, too. When you’re booking an expedition, it’s important to know exactly what is covered. Our expedition covers basically everything, bar travel insurance, vaccinations, visas and a bit of spending money.
Read more about how much it costs to climb Elbrus in our blog post.
How do I cope with altitude sickness?
The summit of Elbrus is at 5,642m (Kilimanjaro is 5,896m, for reference), so you need to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness. We send a doctor on every single one of our expeditions, who is trained to deal with the effects of altitude. We also take the climb at a considered and sensible pace, including rest days and acclimitisation hikes. What can you do? Drink plenty of water, go slowly, eat plenty and be sure to tell our expedition doctor the second you feel unwell.
Read more about coping with altitude in our blog post.
Do you need special equipment to climb Elbrus?
Unlike some of our other expeditions, you need slightly more specialist equipment to climb Elbrus. You’ll need Synthetic double mountaineering boots, crampons, a harness and ice axe, as well as some other pieces. The good news? A lot of this is available to rent.
Read more about the special equipment you’ll need to climb Elbrus in our blog post.
What is summit day like?
Summit day on Elbrus is a long one, at around 16 hours. We set off early in the morning, and the journey goes over snow and ice, glaciers and rocky approaches. So it’s tough, but the feeling at the summit is incredible.
Read more about summit day on Elbrus in our blog post diary.
How do I train for Elbrus?
Climbing Mount Elbrus is an extreme physical challenge. It’s hugely important to make sure your physical fitness is at a very good level before you take it on. The best way to do this is a combination of hillwalking and cardio workouts.
Read more about how to train for Elbrus in our blog post.
So there you have it! The ultimate guide to climbing Mount Elbrus. If you want to read all about our expedition to climb Elbrus, click the link go to our expedition page.