The Caucasus forms a chain of high alpine snowy mountains separating Georgia from Russia. Just few kilometers north of the Main Caucasus chain lays Europe's highest summit - the twin-peaked Mount Elbrus. The main chain itself contains many mountains over 5000 m and tens of summits higher than Mont Blanc. In the valleys clear streams tumbling down from the mountain sides mix with the rushing melt waters from the glaciers at the head of the valleys, passing through dramatic scenery, alpine meadows and beautiful forests.
The Baksan Valley is the most important and the best developed valley in the Caucasus. Almost at the end of the Valley, at the foot of Elbrus, lies Terskol - the Heart of the Caucasus. It boasts about half a dozen hotels and two ski lift systems. These facilities make it the best developed mountain sport center in the 1000 km length of the Caucasus - a range that could swallow up the Alps!
The trip will start with a 3,5 hours bus journey takes us to the base hotel in Baksan Valley. We will twice get to the height of almost 5000 m and spend few nights in Garabashi huts at 3800 m to gain some acclimatization before going on to Elbrus. Garabashi Huts are situated on the south slopes of the mountain. This is the base from where we will attempt the west summit of Elbrus (5642 m) - the highest summit in Russia and in Europe. The actual program depends on the group condition and availability of a Snow Cat which we use to help us up the lower slopes of the mountain.
Day 1: Arrive in Mineralnye Vody, in the north of the Caucasus. Drive 3,5 hours by private bus to the hotel in the Baksan Valley, near Mt.Elbrus.
Day 2: Short drive to Azau cable car station. We take the cable car/chair lift system up to the Mir Station at 3600 m. Acclimatising off-piste skiing. Ski pass for the entire day is included. Overnigh in the hotel in the Valley.
Day 3: We take the cable car/chair lift system up to the Garabashi Huts at 3800 m from where walk up to Pastukhovaya rocks at 4800 m. Ski down to the Garabashi Huts. Overnight.
Day 4: In the morning we walk up to Pastukhovaya rocks and get the altitude of 4800 - 5000 m. Ski down to Mir cable car station, 3500 m. Return to the hotel in the Baksan Valley. Relax.
Day 5: We begin in the small hours of the morning for the ascent to the highest of the Elbrus' twin peaks - the West Summit 5642 m. Ski down to Garabashi. Overnight.
Day 6: Spare day to climb Elbrus if the weather on Day 5 was bad.
Day 7: Return to the hotel and relax.
Day 8: Drive to Mineralnye Vody for the flight home.
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Europe Russia Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Skiing & Snowboarding Mountain/Rock Climbing
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