If you’re like many climbers from around the world, Mt. Elbrus is on your bucket list to summit. Whether or not you have a goal of climbing the world’s 7 summits, you are like many thousands of Russians and foreigners who descend on the Caucasus Mountains every year to conquer this beautiful peak.
Many climbers are single-minded and come to the “Caucasus” with one goal in mind: conquer Elbrus and go home. But if you’re like others, you want to maximize your time in Russia while you’re already here. For many, that means touring Moscow & St. Petersburg, which are great in their own right. This tour offers you a delightful option of climbing the Mt. Elbrus as well as exploring the beautiful cities of St. Petersburg and Moscow
Classic / Mid range
(modern chain hotels in Moscow/St. Petersburg)
(Historic 5-star hotels in Moscow/St. Petersburg)
* All prices are in US Dollars, per person.
* Leaprus reservations subject to availability.
* For single rooms, a single supplement fee will be applied.
* Contact us for larger group pricing.
- All transportation, including airport pick-ups/drop-offs
- Full Board at Elbrus – All Meals included
- Unlimited Coffee/Tea at Elbrus
- Elbrus Lodging – 3 nights in hotels and 4 nights in barrel huts during acclimatization
- Tickets for Mountain Chair Lifts
- Rental of group climbing equipment
- Professional English-speaking Mountain Guide (one ascent attempt included in cost)
- Additional Mountain Guide on day of ascent (1 guide per 3 climbers)
- Safety precautions (registration with Russian emergency services, walkie-talkie system, first-aid kit)
- Entrance fees to national park
- 03 nights accommodation in St. Petersberg
- 02 nights accommodation in Moscow
- English-Speaking Guide in St. Petersberg
- English Speaking Guide in Moscow
- Domestic flights between Caucasus (MRV) and St. Petersburg (LED)
- Train between St. Petersburg and Moscow
- All Excursions and Museum Entrance Fees
Climb participants are required to provide the following gear not included in your price:
- Gore-text Waterproof Jacket & Insulation Layer (down “puffy” jacket)
- Synthetic trekking pants, insulated pants, and rain/snow pants
- Fleece layer
- Mountaineering boots and camp shoes
- Undergarments: socks, underwear, undershirt
- Top Base Layer Thermal Underwear (non-cotton)
- Bottom Base Layer thermal underwear (non-cotton)
- Midweight gloves and expedition mitten
- Balaclava and beanie (preferably wind-resistant
- Heavyweight or expedition weight socks
- Backpack for ascent with volume of 25-30 liters
- Sunglasses (100% UV protection) and Ski Goggles
- Sunscreen lotion
- Head lamp (with extra batteries
- Climbing equipment: harness, slings, ice axe, 3 locking carabiners
- Insulated water bottle
- Personal first-aid kit: personal medications (i.e. inhaler, epipen, etc.)
- Personal toiletries
- Trekking poles
- Sleeping bag for temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius
***Any climbing equipment not brought with the climber can be rented at Mt. Elbrus.
WHAT YOUR TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE
- Cost of International Air Ticket
- Cost of deviation – In case you wish to deviate from the group departure dates mentioned in the brochure i.e. either travel before the departure date of your tour or would like to come back on a later date after the tour ends, there will be an additional charge that will be applicable which will be advised to you by our sales team. The same is subject to availability of seats & class for the given dates & ticket validity. Kindly also note, the deviation request is to be made at the time of booking.
- Cost of Transfer: The individual arrival & departure transfer in case you are not arriving / departing as per group ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE timings.
- Cost of visas to travel on the tour.
- Medical/ Travel insurance.
- Any expenses of personal nature such as porterage, laundry, wines, mineral water, food and drink not in the regular menu provided by us, mini bar, telephone calls, pay channels, cruise shore excursion and any type of beverages in cruise etc. Anything not specified under inclusions.
- Meals other than what is mentioned in your itinerary
- Cost of excursions, city sightseeing, entrance fees and local guides availed of by the passengers, other than that mentioned in ‘What your tour price includes’
- Departure taxes except where included.
- Check for detail cancellation rules in our booking form.
- Updating of Mileage is subject to Airlines terms & conditions in group fare.
- We request the airlines for your preferred seats however this is as per their policy and at their discretion to confirm the same.
- Keeping in view of Luggage compartment of coach & Internal Flight regulations, we strongly recommend you to carry only medium size Bag of 20kg and 1 carryon bag of 5 kg per person.
- The dates and granting of Visas is at the sole discretion of the concerned consulate. Air Tours Holidays are not responsible for granting of visas and are only a facilitator in the visa application process and any situations arises out of delay in granting visa by the consulate/embassy.
VISAS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL ON YOUR TOUR
To travel on your tour, you would be required to possess the following visas:-
- Single Entry Russia Visa
Cost of above mentioned Visas is not included in your Tour Price.
Points to be noted
- We shall not accept any liability or responsibility for any delay in flights or change in Schedule by the airline and any situations arising out of the same.
- Any damages caused to the hotel rooms/coach during your stay, shall be payable by the passengers. We will not be liable for the same.
- The Company shall not accept any liability or responsibility for any damages, loss, injury, accident, death, delay, breakdown or irregularity which may occur in carrying out of the tour arrangement.
- Management reserves the right to claim any additional expenses due to delay or changes in train, plane, bus, ship or other services, weather conditions, strikes, war, quarantine and any other cause whatsoever and all such loss or expenses must be borne by the passengers.
- We reserve the right to amend, alter, vary or withdraw any particular departure, excursion advertised or substitute a hotel of similar class if deemed advisable or necessary.
- For the convenience of our passengers, we will sometimes amend the itinerary, however all the other services will remain the same.
- The Tour Cost is combination of all the arrangement and hence cannot be calculated on individual service basis. Tour cost is one component and not calculated on individually.
- Single Room Supplement charges will be applicable in case any of the guest cancel the reservations sharing room together.
- We will not be liable in any loss of baggage by the Airline.
- Please refer to the booking form for detailed ‘Terms and Conditions’.
- Please refer to our brochure for further details, terms & conditions.
It’s very important to find out BEFORE you leave whether or not your medical insurance will cover you overseas. Your regular U.S. health insurance may not cover doctors’ and hospital visits in other countries. ALWAYS LOOK INTO THE ASPECTS OF COVERING YOUR TRIP FOR UNFORESEEN EVENTS.
DAY 1:: ARRIVAL TO NORTH CAUCASUS
After flying into the Caucasus Mineral Waters airport (MRV), settle in for the scenic, 3-hr. drive to Mt. Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Brush up on the history of the Balkar people along the way, among whom you will be spending the next week. Once you have completed the breathtaking drive to Mt. Elbrus, check into your hotel and enjoy some free time to explore the area and take in the views around you. Don’t blink, because you will have risen 7,000 feet above sea level on this 3-hour drive without even noticing! You will meet your guide tonight and go over the plan for the next 6 days, and a succes!
DAY 2:: ACCLIMATIZATION HIKE
Your acclimatization to the Caucasus Mountain heights starts today! Most of today is focused on preparing for your Elbrus ascent. Cheget is a neighboring mountain to Elbrus with a beautiful view, if the weather allows. As you spend several hours hiking up Cheget, getting your body used to the elevation and conditions, you will realize why the Caucasus is such a coveted destination. After a tasty lunch on the mountain, all gear will be double-checked (and rented as necessary), for your upcoming ascent. Rest up tonight, as tomorrow you are moving up to 14,000 feet, base camp!
DAY 3:: BASE CAMP
Today you get to meet Mt. Elbrus up close and personal. You’ll take the famous cable car system up three levels to the climbers’ base camp. This will be your home the next 4 days for your Elbrus ascent. As riveting as you’ll find Elbrus itself is, maybe even more so is the surrounding Caucasus range, stretching into Georgia and beyond. Once your things are settled in one of the infamous “barrel huts” for lodging, you’ll do another brief acclimatization climb combined with some ice climbing/training. Your body will continue to adjust today, as the elevation has doubled, not to mention the significantly colder weather (there is snow here at base camp year-round). Your mountain guide will daily be walking you through practical precautions for summiting Elbrus safely and successfully. Your private cook on Elbrus will make sure you are getting the nourishment your body needs.
DAY 4:: ACCLIMATIZATION/ TRAINING
During your second day on the mountain you’ll get a good feel for the Ascent day route, as you do an acclimatization/practice climb up to the Pastukhov Rocks, around 16,500 feet. Spend some time getting used to the gear you’ll be using with some ice axe training. If you have a chance today, make sure to check out Elbrus’s infamous “World’s worst outhouse”; now you can mark that off your bucket list. 🙂
DAY 5:: REST DAY
Wake up with excitement today, as it’s your final day before your Elbrus ascent. Today is a day to rest up before the big summit attempt tomorrow and to allow your body one more day to adjust to the altitude. Get to know some of the other climbers on the mountain, play some board games or just get extra sleep. If there are more than 3 people in your group, you’ll meet your second summit guide today, who will team with you and your guide on your ascent tomorrow. Turn in to bed early after dinner, as an early wake-up call awaits!
DAY 6:: SUMMIT DAY
It’s Summit Day! You’ve got an 8-12 hour ascent ahead of you, and so will start your climb in the dark between 2:00-3:00 am. Team is a beautiful thing as you work together with your group up the mountain. The early morning hours of your climb is quite the sight with a long line of climbers ascending Elbrus, lit up by a highway of head lamps. You may never have experienced quite the sunrise as you do on your ascent, as you leave the rest of the Caucasus range behind on the way to Elbrus’s gentle summit. Your climb won’t be easy by any stretch of the imagination, with altitude sickness, extreme cold temperatures, and unpredictable weather all real possibilities, but it will all be worth it when you reach the top. Once you have a quick celebration of your success, prepare for your 3-4 hour descent back to base camp. Gather your things and jump on the cable car to head back down to Cheget. Dinner will have never tasted better than it does tonight.
DAY 7:: RESERVE/REST DAY
Rest day! You’ve earned it. Sleep in as long as you want. Today you’ll want to peruse the charming local souvenir markets, full of tempting local goods, including Caucasus Papakha hats, beautiful hand-knit slippers, shawls, and tasty local jams. Or if you’re up for it, go on a local horseback excursion, see a beautiful waterfall, or try out a 4-wheeler on the local trails. Enjoy re-living and re-telling your Elbrus ascent with your fellow climbers and guides at your celebration dinner tonight. In case there was inclement weather on Day 6 (yesterday’s planned ascent), today will be your summit day up Elbrus.
DAY 8:: DEPARTURE TO ST. PETERSBURG
In some ways, your Russia trip is just beginning today, as you leave the beautiful Caucasus Mountains and fly to St. Petersburg, a completely different part of this huge country! An English-speaking guide will meet you at the airport and get you settled safely into your hotel. If you are up for it, you may have time to do some exploring on your own this evening, to take in the sights, sounds, and smells of St. Petersburg. Regardless, have a great night of sleep, and prepare for cultural and historical overload the next few days!
DAY 9:: ST. PETERSBURG
You’ll kick off the day with a tour of the Hermitage Art Museum. You’ll enter 30 minutes before the doors officially open in order to see some of the best displays before the crowds spill in. This is the 2nd-largest art museum in the world behind only the Louvre. After lunch your guide will give you a tour of St. Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia. You’ll quickly notice why St. Petersburg is called the “Venice of the North.” The architecture and design of buildings and the city feels very “European.” You’ll have a guided city tour visiting some of St. Petersburg’s iconic architecture: the Peter and Paul Fortress, Church on the Spilled Blood and St. Isaac’s Cathedral. You’ll have time to check out the St. Petersburg nightlife tonight, if you so choose.
DAY 10:: ST. PETERSBURG
After breakfast, you’ll continue your tour of beautiful St. Petersburg, by exploring one of Russia’s most famous palaces from Imperial times, the Petergof Palace. It really feels like going back in time as you wander through these incredible grounds. You’ll surely enjoy your lunches in St. Petersburg, as your guide helps you choose Russian favorites to satisfy your appetite: borscht (beet soup), plov (rice dish), oliviye (veggie/egg salad), and more. Next, experience St. Petersburg from the perspective of its vast network of waterways on a canal boat tour. Along the route you’ll see many of St. Petersburg’s monuments from the imperial age. St. Pete is in the far north of Russia, so no matter what time of year you visit, be prepared for a cool (if not icy!) breeze to be sweeping in from the Baltic Sea! Tonight, you’ll board the overnight train that will take you to Moscow.
DAY 11:: MOSCOW
Your first full day in Moscow will not disappoint as you’ll experience the must-sees for anyone traveling to Russia: Red Square, the Kremlin, and of course the famous St. Basil’s cathedral and its onion domes. Standing in the middle of Red Square, you can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the weight of both history and modernity surrounding you: the Kremlin walls, Lenin’s Tomb, Gum Mall. You will have a guided tour inside the world-renowned Kremlin, seeing the Armory and its fascinating collection of national treasures. Finally your tour will take you to the New Maiden Convent and a view of the city from Sparrow Hills.
DAY 12:: MOSCOW
As you adjust to the hustle and bustle of Moscow life, today you’ll enjoy a meandering stroll through Moscow’s world famous Space Museum, where you will see the space race through Soviet eyes and much more. After lunch, your guide will tour you through Moscow’s world-famous metro system, which is a like museum in and of itself. You’ll cap off the day with a stroll down Arbat St., once the home to some of Russia’s most creative authors and artists, where you’re sure to find some of those must-have souvenirs to take home to friends and family.
DAY 13:: DEPARTURE
You’ll be transferred to one of Moscow’s international airports today, for your flight home. We hope these two weeks in Russia were unforgettable for you!
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