Route

NL Elbrus Expeditie 2000

Tijdens de NL Elbrus Expeditie 2000 hebben wij de normaalroute gevolgd, vanuit Azua via het zadel naar de W-top.

Kaart van Mount Elbrus

Kaart van Mount Elbrus

Approach and camps between Azau and basecamp (4.200m)

# Walking to basecamp

We thought – and still think – that a real climber should start climbing Elbrus at the end of the road in the Baksan Valley and walk all the way up to the summit. Route is easy to find, walking most of the time below or within 500 meter of the cablecar.

# Campsites between Azau and basecamp

First possible campsite is almost halfway between the fist and second cablecarstation, on a flat area with some grass. After the first station the route bends with a wide curve to the right and steep up. When the road turns to the left again you will reach this area. Another good campsite with some flat snowy areas can be found just below the second cablecarstation at 3.500m.

# Cablecar to Garabashi

Nevertheless, it might be tempting to take the easy way up. The cablecar elevates people from Azau Meadow (2.350m) to “Garabashi glacier” station (3.850m). It’s two lower pitches are equipped with cabins and the upper one is the chair lift.

# Garabashi station (3.800m)

“Barrels” is name of another hotel situated just at the “Garabashi” station. Here a dozen of big metallic cylinders lying horizontally provides a comfortable and warm enough refuge with electric light for some 50 persons. If you plan to stay at the Garabashi shelters, have that arranged before heading up on the mountain.

# New hut at basecamp (4.200m)

The warming hut for the old Priut 11 hut (4.200m) has been refurbished; it’s heated, and rents places to sleep.

# Private hut at basecamp (4.200m)

There is also a new private hut just up from the Priut. This very small wooden hut provides a cheap place to sleep for up to 20 people and some room with tables and benches to eat. We slept there in 2000 and thought the pretty unstable cabin would fall off the ridge sooner or later… Maybe somebody has information about the current status?

# Camping at basecamp (4.200m)

Just above the old Priut 11 hut there is plenty of space for camping. This is the normal basecamp. Most people stay on the left side of the glaciar, camping between the rocks. Some go to the rocks on the far left, seeking for a more quiet place to stay. Camping on the snow is possible, but be aware that everyday the middle of the glaciar turns into 2.000 small to larger rivers! Some water will reach even the side of the glaciar on warm days at the end of July. At least in July you can expect runnign water here almost all day long. Don’t take to much fuel for melting snow.

Normal route to the Elbrus west summit, grade 2b (5.642m)

One of the Seven Summits (Europe) and therefor very popular. Because of the altitude of 5.642 meters this route is qualified as an expedition. There are no technical difficulties. Two weeks time are needed on avarage to acclimatize and to have some days of good weather to reach the summit.

From basecamp, heading up in the direction of East Peak, go straight up to the left of the of the heavily snow-covered row of rocks as far as the small rock islands known as the Pastuchov Rocks. Now go straight up for 400 meters. Then gradually turn off left and traverse under the slopes of the East PEak. Continue to the base of an enourmous snow basin below the slopes of the West Peak. Climb the basin to gain the saddle where there is a bivouac shelter (ruins). Time: 5-6 hours from basecamp.

Head west and about 100 meters above the bivouac shelter, move to the left and ascent the steep snow and ice slope towards the right to the rocks of the shoulder of the West Peak. From here cross the broad plateau and easy, snow-covered rocks to the summit. Time: 1-2 hours from the saddle.

Note: Getting up the steep slope from the saddle, the West Peak seems to appear on your left. Don’t be mistaken! This is not the real summit, but the South West Peak (5.600m). You still have to cross the plateau to reach the real West Peak. Clearly remember this and save yourself a disappointment!

Normal route to the Elbrus east summit, grade 2b (5.621m)

Elbrus’ West Peak is one of the Seven Summits (Europe) and therefor very popular. The East Peak is far less often climbed. The Southern route is the “normal route”. Because of the altitude of 5.621 meters this route is qualified as an expedition. There are no technical difficulties. Two weeks time are needed on avarage to acclimatize and to have some days of good weather to reach the summit.

From basecamp, heading up in the direction of East Peak, go straight up to the left of the of the heavily snow-covered row of rocks as far as the small rock islands known as the Pastuchov Rocks. Now go straight up for 400 meters. Then gradually turn off left and traverse under the slopes of the East PEak. Continue to the base of an enourmous snow basin below the slopes of the West Peak. Climb the basin to gain the saddle where there is a bivouac shelter (ruins). Time: 5-6 hours from basecamp.

From the bivouac shelter in the saddle, continue to the east and 300 meters above the bivouac shelter move right and cross a snow slope and easy rock islands to a rocky shoulder. From here, cross the broad, horizontal plateau to the summit of East Peak. Time: 1-2 hours from the saddle, 6-8 hours from basecamp.

Note: Good in combination with the West Peak! Climb the West Peak first to be sure to reach the mainsummit. (or climb the East Peak first so you have to climb the West Peak afterwards to make sure you climb both summits…)