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7 summits and other mountain stuff => Questions => Topic started by: Jesper on May 22 2004, 20:56

Title: Fitness needed for Elbrus
Post by: Jesper on May 22 2004, 20:56
I am really at a loss, trying to figure out how fit I need to be to climb Mt. Elberus?

I know that altitude sickness is a different matter altogether and that even the most physically fit people can get it. But how fit do I need to be just to endure climbing to the summit?

At different websites I have seen pictures of families with 10-year old children supposedly at the Elberus summit. And tour compagnies state that "any fit person" can climb the top.

On the other hand, a couple of days ago six friends of mine, who all run the marathon, tried climbing Mont Blanc, which is considerably lower, and only two of them made it and they say it was the toughest thing they ever did!!

Now, I run 6-8 kilometers 2-3 times a week but cannot run a marathon. Am I kidding myself thinking that I can climb Mt. Elberus? I am 27 years old and of average height and weight.

;-) Jesper from Denmark
Title: Re: Fitness needed for Elbrus
Post by: 7summits on May 22 2004, 21:29
Hi Jesper,

actually Mt Blanc is quite comparable with Elbrus, only Elbrus is 800m higher and the summitday is longer, but less exposed. (On Elbrus you walk on a wide slope, on Mt Blanc a large part is on a ridge.)

You are right about acclimatisation, how long did your friends acclimatise before going to the summit of Mt blanc? Should have been at least 3 nights above 3500m. There is actually not much difference in acclimatisation needed for Elbrus vs Mt Blanc although most people think they can just walk up Mt Blanc in 2 days...

For Elbrus you need endurance and most of all mental fitness. It's a really long trip as teh altitude difference is about 1500m and the slopes are not steep, therefore you stay on altitude a long time. It will surely help if you already have been to the Pastukhov rocks in the days preceding the summit attempt.

Try to train in long sessions for endurance. Long hikes uphill if possible, try to walk or cycle 10 hours on one day and see how you feel. The mental aspect is very important.

Good luck  8)