by Geir Mjosund 20/11/2014
In the Caucasus, which is a mixture of the Himalayas and the Alps thrones Mount Elbrus 5642m (18,510 ft) as Europes clearly highest mountain.
From wearing shorts at the start there is something special of climbing a top with crampons on snow and ice. The perfect trip for Norwegians? Perhaps. To ascend a “Seven Summit” peak on ice and snow, with crampons and ice ax, which is not technically difficult, it feels very right.
Mount Elbrus is a former active volcano, located in the European part of Russia. It is with a clear margin Europe’s highest peak, 800 meters higher than Mont Blanc. Elbrus has two twin peaks, where the western, which is the highest: 5642 m.
From the top you will get a view of the Caucasus that is so salutary beautiful that you’re going to have a hard time believing that you are in poor old Russia.
After more or less seventy years of isolation, we now have the opportunity to visit and experience this wonderful mountain area, several have described as the most beautiful outside the Himalayas.
Mount Elbrus is 5642 meters high, but this is a hike and there is no climbing. It means you do not need special qualifications although there is a great advantage to have knowledge of use of crampons and an ice ax. It is difficult to walk for hours on crampons and snow over 5000 meters, so good physical condition is very important. If you have not tried this height before, be prepared for some exhausting surprises and a headache.
The normal route is flying to Moscow and then a flight down to Mineralnye Vody Airport and then go to Cheget. Cheget is 1900 meters high. Then its time to acclimatize on Mount Elbrus by taking some gondolas up the mountain to Mir Station and then Garabashi to sleep in the Barrels. Its quite normal to stay in the Barrels for a day or 2, to make the summit attempt from there.
Mt. Xplore plan to make the trip to Mount Elbrus in July 2015, and this will be the 1st of the 7 Summits for most of the team.
“Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.”