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Author Topic: Elbrus  (Read 4231 times)

ccc

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Elbrus
« on: May 12 2002, 08:24 »

Anyone know how safe it is in the Elbrus region?  Also, do you enter it from Georgia or Russia?  Are leather boots enough, or do I need plastics?  Any suggestions for guides?

Thanks for your assistance!
ccc
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Harry

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Re:Elbrus
« Reply #1 on: May 13 2002, 04:23 »

Hi CCC,

Elbrus is at the South western end of the Baksan Valley and you normally enter it from the North (Russia).

The border with Georgia is where the valley eventually ends, but not many people go there.
That border area has been dangerous and sometimes there are still some robbers and smugglers around, but if you climb Elbrus there is no need to go there.
From the valley floor it's about 4-5km uphill and when you climb Elbrus you actually go North west from the valley and therefore away from the border.

The war zone in Cheznya is a few hundred kilometers away, but there are many mountains in between, so you will not notice a thing...

A guide is really recommended as Elbrus is famous for it's sudden whiteouts and storms. Although not too steep (40 degrees max) summit day is very long and it's easy to get lost in a white out and enter the crevasse area you would normally avoid.

When you book a trip with 7summits.com you we supply an experienced Russian guide who knows not only the mountain, but also the people, the language and the area and any (political) unsafety there might be.

Plastic boots are recommended: they are the best crampon proof and will keep your feet warm. It can be quite chilly on the mountain and leather boots (when wet or when they are thin) can not protect your feet from the temperature.

If you have any more questions about Elbrus or the  7 summits trips, just let us know on this forum or mail us!  :)info@7summits.com

Thanks and keep climbing,

Harry
The 7summits.com team
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MoT

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Re:Elbrus
« Reply #2 on: Sep 10 2002, 22:29 »

I went with www.pilgrimtours.org this year

Good service, they are very helpful and the guides we had (Oxanna and Marina) were both excellent, especially given that we had to climb in whiteout that lasted from 5am until we arrived down at the barrels again.

Only criticism is that the barrels (3700m) is as high as we slept. All our acclimatisation hikes ended back down at the barrels. I'd have liked a chance to sleep higher on at least one or two occasions, maybe even in a tent at 4300m or nearer the Pashtukova rocks. It seems the Diesel Hut is used by other companies. The guides were happy with our acclimatisation, I guess us mountaineers (or wannabe mountaineers) are just a fussy breed. When I go back to finish the job I think I'll be bringing a tent

Of course, we had to turn around 80m from the summit due to poor weather - we climbecd in whiteout all night and all day... :( This is where the guides come in REALLY useful. They did a very proffessional job, even helping a group of Austrians from another group who got seperated from their own guides as well as helping us.

Ah well, next time I'll be back to claim the last few metres. I know I have the stamina...

As for safety, I had NO problems with police or army in the region, only in Moscow where the police try to exhort money out of unwitting tourists. I just kept telling them my passport was in the hotel being registered and showed my registration card from the hotel. When they said 'you come to Police station' I kept saying passport was ok, visa was ok, no need for police statio. Eventually they got bored when they realised they could make money off 10 tourists in the same time it would take to bring me to the station, so they let me go with a warning!

The region of the Baksan Valley was fine as far as I could see. No bandits, no shooting, nothing. The guides were useful though for translations and the likes - very few people in Russia speak good English
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