This trip combines some excellent ski-touring with the possibility to ascent 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 and unspoilt. We will fly to Mineralny Vody in the northern Caucasus and drive to the New Jailyk Hotel located at 2350m 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 3572m to 4230m. The last touring day will involve crossing the Gumachi Pass (3582m) and descending to the Adylsu Valley. The transport will be waiting for us there to transfer us to the Baksan Valley for two nights in a comfortable hotel. The Baksan Valley is the most important and best developed valley in the Caucasus, partly because of the mineral wealth located near Tyrnyauz and partly on account of Elbrus at its head and the hundreds of magnificent mountains which comprise its watershed.
Almost at the end 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 another tour with the help of the Cheget ski lift system (if we have enough energy), otherwise a day of rest is possible. The next day we use the Elbrus cable car and chairlift system to transfer to the Garabashi huts at 3850m 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. We will use a snow cat for the part of the ascent and then ski up as far as possible. Crampons and ice axes may be required on the upper slopes which are easy angled but often icy in the morning hours.
Day 1: Arrive in Mineralnye Vody. Drive to Adyrsu valley. "Ullu-Tau" Camp. Overnight at a lodge (2350 m).
Day 2: Ski-tour from the hotel towards Garvash Pass up to 3400 m, 4 hours. Descent to the lodge.
Day 3: Ski-tour to the Chot-chat summit (3550 m), 5-6 hours. Descent to the lodge.
Day 4: Ski-tour to the Gumachi Pass (3582 m), 5-6 hours. Descent to the lodge.
Day 5: Ski-tour to the Gronovsky Pass (3870 m), 6-7 hours. Descent to the lodge.
Day 6: Drive by bus to Terskol town in the Baksan valley. Hotel in Terskol (2100 m).
Day 7: Ski-tour to the the Cheget Karabashi summit (3400 m), 4 hours. Descent to the hotel.
Day 8: Drive to the Adyl-su Valley and ski tour to the toward to the east Jantugan Pass (3600 m), 5-6 hrs. Descend to the Adyl-su Valley and drive back to the hotel.
Day 9: From the hotel about 30 min walk through woods and then ski tour to the Maly Kogutai Peak 3800 m (7 hours). Descent to the hotel.
Day 10: Use the Elbrus lift system to reach Garabashi Huts (3800 m). Overnight at the huts.
Day 11: Acclimatisation ski tour up to the Pastuckovo Rocks, 4700 m. Descend to the huts.
Day 12: Ascend Mt Elbrus. Overnight at the huts.
Day 13: Spare day to attempt Elbrus.
Day 14: Drive to Mineralnye Vody. Flight to Moscow, move to the international airport for the return.
Also see tour packages in:
Europe Russia Outdoor: Mountain Ranger Skiing & Snowboarding Mountain/Rock Climbing
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