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Mountaineering in West Summit, Mount Elbrus, Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya Russia

West Summit altitude:
5642 m/18510 ft
Best season for highest peaks:
Easter, May, Early June
Duration:
13 days
Mount Elbrus or Adyge 'Waschhemaxwe' or Karachay-Balkar is a dormant volcano situated in the western Caucasus mountain range, in the Republics of Karachayevo-Cherkesiya and Kabardino-Balkariya, Russia, near the Georgian borders.

In Russia there is a huge wealth of mountaineering opportunities. The only place that is popular at the moment though is the area around Elbrus in central Caucasus. Mount Elbrus with a height of 5642 m/18510 ft is the highest mountain in Europe.

The Caucasus mountains get heaps of snow in winter and have some extensive glaciers. The adventure of mountaineering in Mount Elbrus meets many routes and each one of them has something unique to offer. One of the routes is West Summit with the beginning in Baskan Valley.

The valley sits at the foot of Mount Elbrus and is surrounded on all sides by the soaring peaks of Caucasus. While hiking in the valley, you adjust to the altitude and then move to Garabashi Hut at 12000 ft/3658 m, on Mount Elbrus’ flanks.

This route takes you up the broad flanks of Mount Elbrus south side to the West Summit, which is the highest point of the mountain. The ascent is a moderate snow climb, which presents small technical difficulty, but the altitudes you reach make mountaineering a challenging undertaking.

It is an ideal trip for mountaineers, aiming to build their experience on altitude, while climbing one of the Seven Summits. The expedition ends in St. Petersburg and it is the best way to end such an amazing adventure.

Bear in mind that you need an invitation from a Russian tourist organization and a special permit to travel in the Russian Caucasus.

How to Get to Destination

BY CAR FROM Sochi
454.4 miles/731 km, 10 hours 54 minutes
Head southwest toward ул. Несербская. Turn left onto ул. Несербская. Take the 1st left onto ул. Советская. Turn left onto пр. Курортный/М27. Continue to follow М27. Turn right onto ул. Виноградная/М27. Continue to follow М27. Slight right toward ул. Б. Хмельницкого/Р254. Slight right onto ул. Б. Хмельницкого/Р254. Continue to follow Р254. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Р254. Go through 1 roundabout. Turn right onto ул. Партизанская/Р254. Continue to follow Р254. Turn right onto ул. Ворошилова/Р254. Continue to follow Р254. Continue onto ул. Шоссейная. Continue onto ул. Гагарина. Turn right onto ул. Пушкина. Turn left onto ул. Железнодорожная. Turn right onto ул. Хакурате. Continue onto M29/М29. Turn left onto Кавказ/M29/М29. Turn right to stay on Кавказ/M29/М29. Continue to follow M29/М29. Turn right to stay on M29/М29. Make a U-turn. Continue to follow M29/М29. Slight right toward Кавказ/M29/М29. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto Кавказ/M29/М29. Turn right to stay on Кавказ/M29/М29. Continue to follow M29/М29. Go through 2 roundabouts. Slight left to stay on M29/М29. Go through 1 roundabout. Slight left to stay on M29/М29. Go through 1 roundabout. Continue straight onto А158.
BY CAR FROM Moscow
1.076 miles/1.732 km, 19 hours 30 minutes
Head northeast toward пл. Революции. Restricted usage road. Turn right onto пл. Революции. Restricted usage road. Take the 1st left to stay on пл. Революции. Restricted usage road. Continue onto пл. Театральная. Restricted usage road. Turn right onto Театральный пр-д. Slight right onto пл. Лубянская. Continue onto пл. Новая. Continue onto пл. Старая. Turn right onto ул. Варварка. Continue onto ул. Большой Москворецкий мост. Continue onto ул. Большая Ордынка. Continue onto ул. Люсиновская. Continue onto ул. Большая Тульская. Continue onto М2/М4. Continue to follow М4. Turn right onto пр. Пролетарский/М4. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto Кавказский б-р/М4. Turn left onto ул. Бакинская/М4. Continue to follow М4. Partial toll road. Continue onto автодорога Дон/М4. Partial toll road. Take the ramp onto автодорога Дон/М4. Slight left onto the ramp to автодорога Дон/E38/А144/Е115/М4. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for РОСТОВ and merge onto автодорога Дон/E38/А144/Е115/М4. Continue to follow М4. Go through 1 roundabout. Take the ramp onto М4. Go through 1 roundabout. Continue onto Кавказ/M29/М29. Continue to follow M29/М29. Slight left to stay on M29/М29. At the roundabout, take the 1st exit. Continue straight onto А158.
BY AIR
Nalchik Airport,
78.1 miles/127 km
BY TRAIN

Russian Railways serve almost the entire Russia. The nearest train stations in Elbrus are Минеральные воды, Нальчик, Пятигорск, Прохладный (Mineral water, Nalchik, Pyatigorsk, Cool). The most convenient ones are Nalchik and Mineral water. Check the website for train schedule.

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