Mt Elbrus Ski Descent
14 Day Caucasus Ski Tour with Elbrus Climb and Ski
14 Days/13 Nights/$4,250 USD
The Caucasus forms a chain of snowy, high, alpine mountains separating Georgia from Russia to the north. Just north of the main chain, in Russia, lies the Europe’s highest summit – the twin-peaked Mount Elbrus. The main chain itself contains many mountains over 16,000 ft. and tens of summits higher than Mont Blanc.
This trip combines some excellent ski-touring with the possibility to ascend the highest summit in Europe – Mt. Elbrus. In winter time valleys, passes and mountains of the Caucasus offer exceptionally fine ski-touring in virtually undeveloped surroundings. The snow conditions are generally superb in spring and the mountains are beautiful with unspoiled slopes. We will fly to Mineralnye Vody in the northern Caucasus and drive to the Ullu-Tau lodge located at 7,615 ft. in the remote upper sections of the Adyrsu Valley. We will start touring almost from the hotel door generally following glaciers to passes and summits ranging from 11,500 ft. to 12,500 ft. After four days touring in the Adyrsu Valley, we drive to the Baksan Valley. The Baksan Valley is the most important and best-developed valley in the Caucasus, partly because of the minerals and mining located near Tyrnyauz and partly because of Mt. Elbrus head of the valley as well as hundreds of the magnificent mountains which comprise its watershed. At the head of the Baksan Valley, at the foot of Elbrus, lies Terskol – the Chamonix of the Caucasus. It boasts about half a dozen hotels and two ski lift systems. There is a possibility for other several tours in the area viewing the highest peak in Europe – Mt Elbrus, which we attempt at the end of our ski expedition. We use the Elbrus cable car and chairlift system to attain access to the Garabashi huts at 12,400 ft. on the south slopes of the mountain. This is our base for the three nights from where we will make an attempt to the west summit of Elbrus. Depending on the conditions we may use a snow cat for the part of the ascent and then ski up to the summit or we may be required to use crampons and ice axes to reach the summit of Mt. Elbrus.