A solo climber traverses into the saddle on Elbrus at 5300m

Elbrus (North)

Mt Elbrus 5642m is Europe’s highest mountain and the perfect first big alpine peak. Technically straight forward Elbrus presents a fantastic objective as one of the world famous 7 summits!

Situated in the quiet western Caucasus mountain range (Russia) we gradually gain height and acclimatise well before making an attempt to the highest point in Europe. Once acclimatised, our route follows the northen snow slopes to the col between Elbrus’ twin summits, before ascend to the West Peak – the true summit of Europe’s highest mountain!

Expedition key points

  • Led by M.E. Leader – Tom Lawfield 
  • Smaller teams & personal approach (Max 10)
  • Very high summit success rate
  • Fully inclusive 11 day itinerary
  • Extra summit day window
  • Perfect first big alpine peak
  • Accommodation: hotel/mountain huts

Expedition Video

Whats included/not included:

The price is for a fully inclusive land only package. The expedition starts at the in-country airport (Min Vody) where you will be greeted and transferred to our mountain hotel in the Elbrus region, and finishes by being taken back to Min Vody at the end of the expedition. For our Elbrus expeditions we send out a recommended flight but we leave it up to you to arrange and book your own flights. Almost everything is included once you arrive, however the short list of things NOT included in the price are:

  • International flights
  • Insurance
  • Visa application
  • Souvenirs
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Recommended spending money US$75 

Experience required

Whilst trekking/mountaineering experience would be beneficial, having previous use of ice axe/crampons is not essential. Elbrus would be ideal for people who have done Mt Toubkal or Kilimanjaro and are looking for their next expedition. However, it would equally suit those with an adventurous spirit and an aptitude for pushing their limits!

Why not join one of our Scottish Winter Courses and learn the winter skills before the expedition.

Current FCO Advice

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office currently advise against “all but essential” travel to the Elbrus Region. Whilst it is possible to obtain travel insurance for this climb, you should read the FCO advice and must yourself accept the risks associated with travelling to this region. Our itinerary is based on Mountain Expeditions own experience of the south side of the mountain and the team will be led by Jonathan Gupta himself. Local mountain guide(s) will assist the team, team members need to carry their own personal gear above base camp.

From Jon

“I first organised a trip to Elbrus in 2008 and we were hugely successful with all 6 reaching the summit safely. Since then more than 80 members over 11 expeditions have reached the summit & had lots of fun along the way!” — Jon Gupta

To book your place on the expedition please read the Bookings & Payments page or simply Contact us.


Date From Date to (if applicable) Description
19/06/2019 Arrive into Min Vody Airport (via Moscow). Over night in Kislovodsk.
20/06/2019 3-hours drive to the base camp (2500 m)
21/06/2019 25/06/2019 5 acclimatisation days up to 5000m
26/06/2019 27/06/2019 Summit attempt(s)
28/06/2019 3-hours drive to Kislovodsk, celebration dinner!
29/06/2019 Depart and arrive UK


Is it safe in the Elbrus region?

Firstly we always take the advise from the FCO website, but during all our previous expeditions we have never come across any problems, just helpful friendly people. We will monitor any change prior to the expedition and keep members up to date.

What back up does Mountain Expeditions have in the Elbrus region?

Mountain Expeditions works closely with our local agent – highly regarded as one of the best on the mountain. We have 24/7 contact them during the expedition and our summit guide will more than likely have 100+ summits of Elbrus!

Do I need a Visa?

Yes – The visa application is comprehensive but straightforward, however you require an ‘invitation letter’. We will send you a personalised invitation letter once you have signed up to the expedition.

What sort of insurance do I need?

The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) is a good source of information. You require insurance in order to join our expeditions. There are many providers that will cover Elbrus.

What is the food like?

In a word – amazing! In the valley we are half board at our hotel, and lunches are BBQ in the valley. On the mountain, Mountain Expeditions supplies your breakfast, lunches and mountain snacks, however team members are required to bring 5 boil in the bag meals for evening dinners. This way you get to eat what you want to and its quick and easy – this has worked very well on all past expeditions.

If Jon and other members ski off the summit do we come down on our own?

Absolutely not – on our summit attempt we are joined by our local guide. If Jon (and others) get to ski down then the local guide will ensure your safety during the descent. The team, the local guide and Jon will always be in radio contact.

Do I need to have crampon experience?

Whilst some crampon experience would be beneficial it is not essential. Your Mountain Expeditions leader will check and run through crampon session with the team and there is plenty of time to master the basics before you make your summit attempt.

Does Mountain Expeditions use a Snowcat on summit night? Is this cheating?

Yes we do (on summit night). During our acclimatisation climbs will be sleeping at ‘The Huts’ at 3700m and aim to reach an altitude of 5000m. On summit night we take the snowcat to 4600m to ensure the attempt is realistic to the team. We don’t see it as cheating – its simply part of the logistics and after discussions with the previous Mountain Expeditions Elbrus teams they all decided that they had no problem with it, given they had all climbed that section 2 or 3 times during the previous days prior to the summit bid.

How does the ski/climb option work?

If you have the experience and the kit to ski/split board up and/or down Elbrus then definitely bring your skis/board! It is a very straight forward ski. It is all off-piste but it is no steeper/harder than a red run, although it is more committing due to the nature of the surroundings. 

Can I snowboard on Elbrus?

Yes – If you snowboard you are very welcome to carry your board up and then strap in to come down. You could also carry up your board boots, but previous boarders have just strapped in with their mountaineering boots and been fine.

What are the mountain huts like?

Really cool! The Huts are containers that have been converted into mini caravans. They are warm, dry and basic and have between 6 – 8 beds with mattresses.

How cold will it be?

This really depends on the weather, but you should always be prepared for the worst. If you follow the kit list you won’t be far off. A down jacket is essential and a good set of gloves/mitts.

Can I hire kit?

Yes – Mountain Expeditions has plenty of hire kit available. It is possible to hire a few items locally.

What sort of boots do it need?

Elbrus can be cold and snowy so good boots are essential. Ideally you need a 6000m boot – Scarpa Omega, Sportiva Spantik, Nepal Extremes etc. You need to be able to wear nice thick mountain socks and still have plenty of room to wiggle your toes. If you are unsure about the boots you have then just ask!

Do I book my own flights?

Yes – for this expedition we need to arrive in Min Vody together. Mountain Expeditions will suggest a flight and send out the details for members to book onto. The flight goes via Moscow so members can meet here (if coming from other destinations) or start from the UK.





Jon Gupta & ME Leaders

Expedition Dates

From To Notes
31/05/2019 08/06/2019 Private
19/06/2019 29/06/2019 Open

Expedition Downloads