Elbrus Ski Ascent

Ascent the highest summit of continental Europe and ski down the stunning 3500m all the way to Baksan valley. Virgin slopes of spring snow on a sparsely populated lesser peaks make up for acclimatization towards one of the great Seven peaks of the world

Russian Federation
10 days
Spring / Winter

Mount Elbrus /5642m/ – The highest summit of continental Europe. A huge volcanic cone that towers alone on the side of the main Caucasus range. A mountain often underestimated because of its easy technical terrain but one that intimidates with freezing cold temperatures, constant wind, usual lack of visibility and all the hidden dangers of the glaciated terrain.  

Our trip will start with acclimatization days on the surrounding lesser summits which offer a stunning view to Elbrus itself and the other nearby giant – Donguz-Orun /4454m/. Virgin slopes of spring snow on a sparsely populated lesser peaks make up for acclimatization towards one of the great Seven – the highest peak in Europe.

The next phase would be the ascent of mt. Elbrus. We will move to a shelter in the high mountain by lifts, spend a short night and step out for the summit which will involve around 1700m of ascent and the stunning  3500m of continuous skiing down all the way to Baksan valley.


Day 1

We land at ‘Mineralnye Vody’ airport and transfer for another 3-4hours to our guest house in the Baksan valley.

Day 2

Acclimatization day on the ski slopes of mt. Cheget /3601m/ and revision on avalanche safety procedures. A short ski tour to the highest point and a long descent on the south side in the afternoon.

Days 3-6

Acclimatization days with itineraries dependent on your skill level, the current forecast and snow conditions. The options are endless and can stretch between ski tours in the neighbouring valley of Adyl-su and even some ice climbing on the slopes above Terskol. Amidst this huge playground the limits are only in our preferences and skills.

Day 7

Rest day. Organizing gear and supplies and heading for the refuge – our starting point towards the summit of mt. Elbrus.

Day 8

Acclimatization outing to Pastukhov rocks at 4800m. Overnight at the refuge.

Day 9

We start on headlamps and reach the Pastukhov rocks on skis or by snow machines in case we need to save time. We continue to the base of the east summit /5621m/ and continue to the col between the two summits. We can leave the skis there and continue to the western summit /5642m/ on crampons. A short break will mark the beginning of the never ending descent to the Baksan valley.   

Day 10

Transfer to ‘Mineralnye Vody’ airport and fly back home.

* The itinerary is subject to change depending on your skill level, speed, overall endurance and current weather & snow conditions. 

All items marked with * can be rented from the guide.


  • 30l-45l backpack with ski support (airbag – optional)*
  • Ski set with touring bindings & skins
  • Ski poles*
  • Warm ski boots
  • Ski helmet*
  • Light glacier travel harness*
  • 2 carabiners*
  • Light crampons compatible with the ski boots*
  • Light ice axe*
  • Glasses*
  • Ski goggles*
  • Beacon, shovel & probe*


  • Warm down jacket
  • Hard shell jacket
  • Hard shell pants
  • 2 pairs of winter thermo base layer
  • 3 pairs of gloves (thin & thick 5 fingers, warm mitts)
  • Hat, Buff & Balaclava hood
  • Few pairs of warm winter socks

Other Items

  • Thermos
  • Sunscreen & lip protection
  • Headlamp & reserve battery
  • Snacks
  • Chemical warmers
  • Personal items /prescription medicine; contact lenses; blister kit; maintenance equipment etc./

Hut / Refuge Lodging*

  • Spare socks; underwear
  • Light sleeping bag liner
  • Toiletries
  • Ear plugs
  • Phone charger
  • Sleeping bag*


1 person: 2000 EUR

2 people: 2200 EUR

3 people: 2400 EUR

4 people: 2800 EUR

* The prices cover the guiding fee. Yours and the guide’s expenses for logistics and accommodation are on you.

* The prices may vary based on the length of the trip and the specific topics tailored for your personal preferences.


Having an insurance is mandatory for the booking. You must be insured for your chosen activity and the cover must include medical expenses, personal accident, personal liability, third party risks and rescue (including helicopter rescue). You are strongly advised also to opt for coverage against cancellations and curtailment as the outdoor activities are strongly dependent of constantly changing meteorological conditions


All programs of Vertical Vector are led by IFMGA mountain guides with substantial experience in the fields of skiing, climbing & mountaineering. The guide to client ratio for this trip is up to 1:4. 


During the acclimatization days we will sleep at a cosy nordic-style guest house in the woods /. For the summit we will move to а shelter with no warden at an elevation of 3900m.

Getting there

We land at the airport of Mineralnye Vody and take a taxi for around 3-4 hours drive to the Adyr-Su valley and our guest house.

Cancelation by the client prior to the trip

If you book your Tour more than 30 days in advance, you will have a 48-hour span after booking to cancel and receive a full refund without any deductions. After that period of time, if you decide to cancel the Tour, you will have the possibility to do so in accordance with the following indemnity scheme (refunded or to be paid depending on whether the payment was made and received) plus covering the non-reimbursable expenses the Guide paid to organize the Tour.

  • 100% refunded (or 0% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide up to 60 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 75% refunded (or 25% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide between 59 and 30 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 50% refunded (or 50% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide between 29 and 21 days before the first day of the Tour.
  • 0% refunded (or 100% paid) if the cancellation is notified in writing by email to the Guide less than 21 days before the first day of the Tour.

Cancelation by the guide prior to the trip

If the guide receives injury, illness or is somehow unable to attend and also to find a replacement, he will reimburse the full amount of money invested by the client in the form of advance payment and other expenses like hut bookings. However the Guide would not cover your transportation costs (booked flight tickets, car rental, etc.) You are strongly advised to insure such investments.

Trip cancelation due to external circumstances

  • In case of possible bad weather or unsuitable conditions recognized up to 7 days prior the trip, the guide will:
    Propose a similar or different activity in line with the weather/conditions possibilities. If you refuse this option you will receive 0% refund.
  • If similar activity is impossible and cancelation occurs, the guide is to be paid the minimum daily fee (380EUR) for each day canceled.

Trip cancelation on terrain

In case of unexpected or unforeseen weather / terrain conditions or client skill deficiency, the Guide keeps the right to cancel the trip in order to guarantee safety. In this case you will receive 0% refund unless the Guide offers you otherwise. If there is mutual agreement of cancelation due to bad weather the day before the guide is to be paid the minimum daily fee for each day canceled.

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