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Our news:
17.11. 2014
2015 groups prices :
More about this>>>



Elbrus area news:
Local safety and other info
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Our News:

Be notified of page updates
November 17, 2014 - Public groups PRICES for 2015 season have been published.

Public groups prices for 2015 season have been published on the tour pages. Some pages may be updated soon regarding optional possibility to exclude some services from the full package. This will not touch the published full package price. We will start accepting reservations through Application Forms in late November.

September 26, 2014 - Public groups DATES for 2015 season have been settled.

Public groups dates for 2015 season have been settled and published on the tour pages. We will set and publish the prices for the public periods in late October. We will start accepting requests in November.

September 19, 2014 - Public groups in 2014 season have been finished.

The final 2 public (regular departure) groups are leaving today.
History of these tours (climbs, success, weather) in 2014 is on the tours pages and will be moved to History pages soon where one always can see it later. Our mind that there were no long bad periods of bad weather in the 2014 season and sucess is more or less equal for all periods.
There were no local political events in these season and no dangers. There were significantly less customers from USA in this season, probably because of situation in Ukraine. Probably European climbers are less "informed" on the matter and there was no changes in comparison with previous years. There were noticeably more climbers from Asia, South East and Latin America. Some private tours are still running but the season is coming to end. Thanks to all. We appreciate your interest in Elbrus region.

August 06, 2014 - Our messages may be blocked by spam filters.

Many customers reported they did not receive our answers. This is because our messages were blocked by spam filters either by customer's email provider or in the email box. We can do nothing with this. If you do not see our answers check Junk folder in your email box first. If this does not help please write again and advise another your email address for receiving messages. Read our Contacts page for more information.

June 09, 2014 - June holidays in Russia.

There are holidays in Russia on June 12, 13. Any official formal activity such as preparing or changing visa support and other procedures will be impossible. Also the Russian Consulates may have same days off.

May 01, 2014 - May holidays in Russia.
About holidays:

There are May holidays in Russia. Our correspondence will go more or less in normal way during the holidays but any official formal activity such as preparing or changing visa support and other procedures will be impossible. Also the Russian Consulates may have same days off.

May 01 - holiday
May 02 - holiday
May 03 - holiday (weekend)
May 04 - holiday (weekend)
May 05 - business day
May 06 - business day
May 07 - business day
May 08 - business day
May 09 - holiday
May 10 - holiday (weekend)
May 11 - holiday (weekend)
May 12 - business day

April 03, 2014 - 'Additional services' and 'Important Info pages' have been updated for 2014
Prices for additional/extra services in Moscow and Elbrus area in 2014 year season have been set and published on the web page 'Additional Services'. Since this time we accept requests for these services.

2014 Summer flights timetable was published on Important info page.

Note that the pages are slightly different for different kinds of tours so we do not give links here. To see the correct information please follow the proper left menu item on exactly your kind of tour page.

January 01-09, 2014 - Holidays in Russia.
There are New Year Holidays in Russia. Russian Consulates in other countries are also have days off.
December 10, 2013 - Lite Package page was updated for 2014.
Lite Package page was updated for 2014. At the moment all regular prices for Elbrus tours and service in 2014 are published on the web site.
July 18, 2013 - Cheget hike route becomes closed.
A couple of days ago Border guard extended the border zone and route to Mt. Cheget became within the zone.
Since that moment standard hike to Mt.Cheget (even along the ridge) is not possible. Border post is a couple of hundred meters above the upper lift station.
We had that Mt. Cheget acclimatization hike in all our standard programs. Now we are forced to replace it with another hike - to Elbrus Observatory. The altitude of the Observatory is about same but on that way we can not use ski lifts.
April 19, 2013 - Slight change of 11 day tour itinerary.
It was planned to have a hike in some side valley on the day 4. However all interesting routes for such hikes are within border zone and require permit. There is a big chance (almost certainty) that such permit will not be received for many people in groups. We change the itinerary: on day 4 groups move to Base camp and that gives additional day for high altitude acclimatization or reserve day for summit attempt in case of bad weather.
April 17, 2013 - Warning!: May holidays in Russia. Correspondence problems.
About holidays:

There are May holidays in Russia.
The exact itinerary is complicated (see below) but in common that means business life is virtually paralyzed from April 30 to May 13. All official procedures (visa support, payments and other) will be impossible or have delays. Russian Consulates may also have vacations.

April 30 - business day
May 01 - holiday
May 02 - holiday
May 03 - holiday
May 04 - holiday
May 05 - holiday
May 06 - business day
May 07 - business day
May 08 - business day
May 09 - holiday
May 10 - holiday
May 11 - holiday
May 12 - holiday
May 13 - business day

Correspondence:

Every year at the beginning of season in April-May-June we have huge correspondence. Our answers may have delays because of many messages in queue. Please do not rely on last minute bookings and questions - write/ask/request beforehand.
Please place full necessary information within one message - do not force us to reread a dozen of your previous messages before we can answer. Include your tour reference number in subject field of your message if you have this number already. This will make our answers faster, more precise and protects from missing information.
If you do not have our answer within 3 days do not hesitate to repeat your message.

April 02, 2013 - Price for car transportation from/to MinVody has been changed.
Price for car transportation from/to MinVody has been changed. It was 3300 Rubles before, from now it is 3500 Rubles.
All confirmed requests will be arranged at old price. All new requests will be calculated with the new price.
March 22, 2013 - Summer flights timetable and additional services update.
We've updated 'Additional Services' and 'Important Info' web pages for 2013 season.
Now we can accept additional services requests such as hotel and transfers in Moscow and airtickets.
Also group transportation time boundaries for the arrival and departure days were finally set according to the summer flights timetable.
March 10, 2013 - News and forecasts on upcoming season.

About skis:

At the moment snow cover is not good for downhill skiing in Elbrus area. Normally good snowfalls start in March and March is a good month for downhill skiing but at the moment snow cover is not comfortable for skiers. Note that strings above are about downhill skiing and ski touring below 4200 m. Higher slopes of Elbrus are always icy in winter and ski climbs are not possible in winter, probably until mid or even end of May.

About lifts:

Lifts are functioning. There are 2 modern legs and one old leg of lifts (one by one). The 3rd modern leg is under construction and are planning to be ready by the next ski season. It will take people to about 4000 meters, i.e. higher than old one now.

About huts:

There is almost certainty that there will be no permanent electricity at Barrels huts in summer season. It was one of their noticeable advantages before other huts. Sounds it will have same 'partial' electricity for some hours per day (powered by local engine) as other huts. After absence of electricity is confirmed by our groups we will reduce the cost for the Barrels huts for Lite Package customers and will refund the extra payments if any. At the moment the declared price for the Barrels is 700 Rubles per person per night. It will be 500-550 without permanent electric power.

Paperwork:

National Park says that there will be National Park permit/fee in summer season (1000 Rubles). As soon as our customers are really forced to pay we will inform you and start to include that cost in our Lite Package.

There is no official information yet (and probably it will never be announced officially) but Border guard says that there will be no official term for processing border zone permits anymore. Before the processing time of border zone permit for foreigners was 2 months. It sounds that this will not make processing time shorter but releases authorities from any responsibility i.e. nobody guarantees you will have the permit even after 3 months. Ski-touring in the area (which is mostly within border zone) were risky regarding border zone permits even before but now it becomes VERY risky because having no permit ruins the ski-touring itinerary totally. I have no idea how companies will collect ski-touring groups being exposed to such risk.

September 27, 2012. Dates of PUBLIC tours departures are published.

The dates of PUBLIC tours (8, 10, 11 day programs) are set for 2013 and published.

We do not offer public Ski-Touring programs in March-April of 2013. That is because such programs require border zone permit for each participant. Official term for processing of such permit is 2 month i.e. we are forced to stop the sale 9 weeks before the tour departure. This limitation works not good for public tours. However we are glad to offer ski-touring programs on PRIVATE basis for groups or individuals. The only limitation is that a request must be settled and confirmed at least 9 weeks before the tour starting date.

The prices and Application forms for PUBLIC tours are not ready yet and will be finally set and published in October. After that we start accepting requests.

Prices for PRIVATE customized are ready in common at the moment and such tours may be calculated on request.

There are vacations in our office until mid October. We check the correspondence regularly but our answers may have significant delays until that time.

August 14, 2012. Climber has been rescued
Not guided party (5 of 7 people people, 'Lite Package' tour from Pilgrim Tours) made attempt on August 13 from South (from the Barrels huts). The weather was bad and 4 climbers have returned from the Saddle. One climber proceeded with the climb. He did not return by the end of 13th.
Pilgrim Tours rescue party (Anna, Michael, Edik) started from the Barrels at 2 am on the 14th and after some searching found the climber on the North slopes after the Saddle at about 5 am on the 14th. Now the climber is at the Barrels huts again absolutely exhausted.
That is common situation when people miss the correct direction and descend to the North.
This climber is reasonable and lucky. He did not descend after he missed the way and was walking around one place all the time to stay warm.That was reasonable decision.
He was lucky that there were our people at Barrels that time and they were ready for rescue operation.

Please do not take chances. Do not climb alone during bad weather. Visibility is the key on Elbrus. If you miss the route you are in big danger.
May 25, 2012. Possible problems with Western Union payments
Western Union started to ask additional information about beneficiary when one tries to send money. More than it was necessary before. They do not like many payments to one person. We do not have many people specially for receiving money from Western Union. It sounds the transferred amount exceeded their limits and they are going to block our courier.
Please do not use cash transfers if it is possible.
Standard bank wire transfer is much more preferable.
If you still wish to send instant small payment by cash transfer use MoneyGram instead or WesternUnion. Our payment details page has been updated accordingly.
May 15, 2012. Some updates: Flights and other information

The flight timetables on Info pages have been updated.
Now timetable shows what airlines arrange/confirm/sale starting from June 2012. In all cases this information must be checked when you buy or before coming because there may be new changes.

Information about Elbrus area.

- Yesterday our first PUBLIC (scheduled guaranteed departure) summer group came and started the program. We consider the SUMMER season has been started. Everything is ok and stable in the area and South side is open for tourists.

- The weather is rather warm in common. Every night there are small snowfalls and at the moment Elbrus became covered with snow. Big icy areas are absent. Sounds like the snow cover now is permanent for the summer. People with skis can rely on skiing the summit up and down.

- There is no electricity at the Barrels huts now. That lasts for some months. Permanent electricity, outlets and electric heaters was one of the main advantages of the Barrels huts, other huts never had this. Only some small nearby huts had electric power from the Barrels huts but now they obviously also have no electricity. We were promised the electricity will be turned on in mid May but at the moment it is still absent. We will inform everybody when it is fixed. There are gas heaters in huts so it is warm enough inside, however the possibility to recharge cameras and other devices is absent.

April 27, 2012. Information about May holidays in Russia
There are May holidays in Russia.
The exact itinerary is pretty complicated (see below) but in common that means business life is virtually paralyzed from April 29 to May 10.
All official procedures (visa support, payments and other) will have delays.
Russian Consulates may also have vacations.

April 28 - business day
April 29 - holiday
April 30 - holiday
May 01 - holiday
May 02 - business day
May 03 - business day
May 04 - business day
May 05 - business day
May 06 - holiday
May 07 - holiday
May 08 - holiday
May 09 - holiday
May 10 - business day
March 22, 2012. Summer flights timetable is available
Summer flights timetable is available and is published on our Info pages. Sorry for the delay, airlines changed their information often and we were forced to wait until they show more or less fixed information. It sounds that is the final edition. However some small changes may happen so please check your flight information again before departure.
We also give direct links to reservation pages of airlines (in English) so everyone can easily choose, check the price and book tickets on-line.
Public tour Info page.
Lite Package tour Info page.
Private Full service tour info page
.
February 15, 2012. Our on-line Currency Exchange Calculator does not work

Our prices are in Russian Rubles. These prices are still on our web site and there are no changes.
Prices in USD and Euro are calculated on-the-fly right on our web pages on the moment one opens it. They are different every day and depend on the Russian Central Bank exchange rate.

Our web pages automatically receive the rates from the Central Bank web page and calculate the amount in USD and Euro. Our web hosting provider in USA changed some settings recently and now exchange rates may not be updated automatically on our web pages. On-line currency calculator does not work as well. We are in contact with the provider and are trying to fix this problem somehow. Sorry for inconvenience. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

You can use the direct information from the Central Bank web site: http://www.cbr.ru/eng/currency_base/daily.aspx

February 15 rates:
RUB/USD - 30.0868
RUB/EUR - 39.5431

February 16 rates:
RUB/USD - 29.9440
RUB/EUR - 39.4572

January 07, 2012. Email server crash and New Year Holidays.
There is a long period of New Year holidays in Russia. Business life is virtually absent from December 30 till January 10 or even later. Our email server and computer databases crashed on January 4 and databases was damaged. The latest backup was of December 20th.
This means:
1. There will be delays with correspondence until everything is fixed (hopefully by 10th)
2. If we corresponded with you between December 20th and January 4 these emails and other data have been lost. If there was important information (requests, pricing, confirmations) please forward all your and our messages to us and we will make proper updates in databases. We are very sorry for inconvenience.
November 02, 2011. Our programs for 2012 are published.

There are:

Public regular guaranteed departure programs. Everyone can join our group.

- 10 day South/North route program periods. They replace our 8 and 11 day South route tours. Initially we plan the South route because it is more comfortable, safe and with better success rate. However there is no certainty that the South route will be open on any period. 10 day term allows as to move initially assumed South route to the North route. That is not possible for shorter period because North route requires more days because of long approaching/leaving.

- 12 day Elbrus climb and Ski-tour program periods. They are same as before, same dates and prices. These tours allow to spend a week for ski-touring in the valleys around Elbrus and climb Elbrus then.

- 11 day Elbrus North route program periods. This program is for the North route initially and exclusively. There are 2 periods now.

- Lite Package offer for independent climbers/tourists. That is still same paperwork (visa, permits etc) and logistic support with possibility to order additional services (accommodation, guidance). The range of possible additional services and their price depends on the route - South or North.

And of course we offer Private tours which may be run specially for your group/party. They may be run on any date and may have any itinerary, route and number of days.

October 29, 2011. Elbrus area is open.
Yesterday the Plenipotentiary of the President of Russia in the South regions of Russia declared all closed areas including Elbrus South area to be open for tourists.
Officially that is starting from November 1 but actually there is free access even today.
Now all Elbrus routes and areas are accessible for tourists and climbers. Authorities promise there will be no such "total" long closing anymore. In case of a problem only limited territories may be closed for some time. That gives hope for future because Elbrus area itself always was safe before.
October 24, 2011. Elbrus area may be opened soon.
Today the leader of the region (Kabarino-Balkaria Republic) promised that Elbrus area would be open by November 01. That is the first definite information from authorities on the matter for several months. This gives some hope to us.

If this happens we probably adjust our plans and offers for the 2012 season a bit.
We did not publish and update all programs for 2012 yet, some additions will be made within some days but final decisions will be made after November 1. Sorry for the delay.

October 14, 2011. 10 day Elbrus program for 2012 has been published

We introduce the new program for 2012 season. That is 10 day Elbrus 'South or North' program. The dates and itinerary are published although prices are not ready yet. Also some additional information will be added a bit later.

This program has two alternate itineraries - South side route and North side route. Initially we are going to run South side route itinerary. However it may happen that South side route is not accessible by any reason as it was in 2011 season. In that case the South route program may be replaced with North side route one.
Both routes are standard and have same difficulty. The main difference is that South area has population, shops, hotels, lifts while there are no such facilities on the North side. Also North side route requires more time for approaching. We are forced to set 10 day term for both programs to keep possibility to make proper replacement when it becomes necessary.

September 09, 2011. The remaining 8 day and 11 day tours have been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling all remaining 8 day and 11 day tours.
The season is coming to the end and there is no hope the South area becomes open before it ends. North area is still accessible. Some our private tours ((small groups, individuals) are still there or planning to come. However the season is really ending, it is -4 Celsius at night at the base camp (2600 meters). Summer at the North side is shorter than at the South one.

August 26, 2011. 17th 8 day tour and 10th 11 day tour have been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period September 02 - 09 and 11 day tour August 30 - September 09.

August 21, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period August 26 - September 02 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period August 26 - September 02.

August 09, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour period 15 and 11 day Elbrus tour, period 9 have been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period August 19 - August 26 and 11 day Elbrus tour period August 20 - August 30.

August 05, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period August 12 - August 19 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period August 12 - August 19.

August 03, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period August 10 - August 20 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period August 10 - August 20, 2011

July 29, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period August 05 - August 12 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period August 05 - August 12.

July 27, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period July 31 - August 10 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period July 31 - August 10, 2011

July 22, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period July 29 - August 05 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period July 29 - August 05.

July 17, 2011. Our offers on the North

Most big Western operators canceled their big groups for the season, we also canceled many our big groups on the Elbrus South side.
That causes numerous private requests for the North side. Many of them may be confirmed by customers but many of them ask only about the options and price.
To reduce the correspondence I give the list of options and price guidelines so everybody can estimate the cost himself not precisely but with very good accuracy.

We do not have public tours to join on the North. There may be only private tours specially for you or your party.

Options are:

1.
Lite Package for independent climber (not guided tour):

Paperwork, meeting, transportation to base camp back and forth.

2.
Private guided tour with full service
- with meals, accommodation etc.

3.
Private guided tour without meals and accommodation
- just guide's presence throughout the tour.

NOTE:
In all cases you will need to spend 1 night in a hotel in a city nearby airport before your flight back to Moscow. If your arrival in MinVody flight comes later than 2-3 pm you will need also a night upon arrival. That is because transportation takes much time, must be arranged during day time and still may have delays because of weather.

88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

Estimation of prices :

***Lite package:***

Lite Package cost itself: paperwork, 1 night in hotel after the trip or before
+10500*2 = 21000 Rubles - transportation to/from North base camp.

For 2 people that is:
4900*2 (Lite Package)+21000 (transport)
Total: 30800 Rubles

****Guided tours must be calculated individually but you can have a very good estimation of price below (only field price with transport, no hotel nights in city)***


1.
Guided tour without meals and accommodations, just guide's presence.

5000 Rubles per day (number of days is number of nights+1)
+21000 for transportation.
Total for 11 day/10 night trip: 5000*11+21000= 76000 Rubles
Irregardless on number of people in the party from 1 to 7 people.
After 7 people there must be larger vehicle with higher cost.

2.
Guided tour with meals and accommodations - full service.

5000 Rubles per day (number of days is number of nights+1)
+1000 Rubles per day per person
+21000 for transportation.
Total for 2 people 11 day/10 night trip:
(5000+1000*2)*11+21000= 98000 Rubles for two.

For a group of 3-8 people there must be additional guide (who is also a porter and cook because one guide can not arrange "full service" for many people alone).
That is why the approximate cost for 3 people in 11 day/10 night full service tour is:
(5000*2+1000*3)*11+21000= 164000 Rubles (54667 per person).
For 5 people in 11 day/10 night full service tour:
(5000*2+1000*5)*11+21000= 186000Rubles (37200 per person).

- If you need an additional guide add 5000 Rubles per day to the total cost of the tour.

888888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

If you wish a guided tour we recommend to request that as soon as possible.
There may be lack of guides on the North. Private small requests are numerous and consume many good leader guides.
For example for a group of 15 people we normally can have 1 perfectly qualified leader guide and 4 less qualified standard guides. For 5 groups of 3 we need all 5 qualified leader guides.

July 15, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period July 22 - July 29 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period July 22 - July 29.

July 14, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period July 21 - July 31 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period July 21 - July 31, 2011

July 09, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period July 15 - July 22 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period July 15 - July 22.

July 06, 2011. Flights timetables on the tour pages were updated.

Aeroflot airline finally launches their direct flights to MinVody. There are 3 flights, will be added starting from different dates before end of July. Aeroflot flights go on different days of a week, often but not daily. In average it adds 2 flights a day which makes 9 flights a day in total. The destination is popular. Although the mountains are closed for visiting there are several resort towns nearby on the plains and hotels there are fully booked.

July 05, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period July 11 - July 21 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period July 11 - July 21, 2011

July 01, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period July 08 - July 15 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period July 08 - July 15.

June 28, 2011. Information about our plans for this season

There is still no access to Elbrus South area both formally and physically.
There is no access to Elbrus North area formally but actually that area is accessible by a long detour around police posts by car.

Our plans regarding the tours are:

1. Public South side (standard) tours both 8 day and 11 day will be canceled if there is no access to South side one week before departure. We can not mechanically replace public tour from South route to North route on the spot because of several reasons. For 8 day tour that makes simply insufficient time for the climb for most participants. For 11 day group number of days is sufficient but not all people from groups agree to change the itinerary.

2. Former members of public groups (as well as new customers) can order a private tours from the North on same or other dates..

3. We offer 11 day North tour with same dates for South 11 day group members if the number of people in the group is more than 5 people. We contact every member and if 5 people agree we will arrange a private full service 11 day Elbrus North tour for them on same dates and for same price.

4. We do not offer such (regular) possibility as in point 3 for 8 day tour members because of too short program. However those who definitely want that can request a private tour individually. A private tour may be run for any number of days.

5. Lite Package customers can change their request and we will arrange transportation for them to Elbrus North side. Also that is possible for new Lite Package customers, we accept initial requests for the Elbrus North side.

June 24, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period July 01 - July 08 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period July 01 - July 08 and the 11 day Elbrus tour period July 01- July 11.

June 17, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period June 24 - July 01 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period June 24 - July 01

June 16, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period June 21 - July 01 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period June 21 - July 01

June 10, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period June 17 - June 24 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period June 17 - June 24

June 05, 2011. 11 day Elbrus tour, period June 11 - June 21 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 11 day Elbrus tour period June 11 - June 21

June 03, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period June 10 - June 17 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period June 10 - June 17

May 27, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period June 03 - June 10 has been cancelled.

There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period June 03 - June 10 and 11 day Elbrus tour period June 01 - 11.

May 20, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period May 27- June 03 has been cancelled.
There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period May 27-June 03.
May 13, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period May 20-27 has been cancelled.
There is still no access to Elbrus South side area.
We are forced to inform customers about canceling the 8 day Elbrus tour period May 20-27.
May 10, 2011. 8 day Elbrus tour, period May 13-20 has been cancelled.

Sorry to inform that we are forced to cancel the 8 day Elbrus tour, period May 13-20. In spite of the hearsay about opening the area the situation stays same. The area is closed. Optimism drops down again.

Some people write us that some local operator guarantees the access. The operator lies. They can not give a guarantee to get through posts. At the moment (May 10) there is a certainty that no foreign tourist will be allowed to come through posts. Russians may get through in some cases after some struggle with police officers, but not a foreigner. Nor negotiations nor "friends in local government" or something can help with any certainty.

A serious operator can not give a guarantee in such situation. If some operator promises that means he is trying to save their season by exposing customers to risk. Changing South side to North side at the moment is not possible. Some operators tried to run that when they were rejected to go through posts but that gives only frustrated customers. North side is very different in comparison with South side in May and requires another kind of tour - more days, skilled and motivated members.

May 06, 2011. Waiting..

Through hearsay the Elbrus area may be open in some days. There is no official declaration (same as no declaration about closing) but police officers on the road say the area may be open very soon.

We were planning to make a decision today regarding our public 8 day Elbrus tour which starts on the May 13.
Without the hearings about opening the area we were ready to cancel it. However now we have doubts. Now the final (our) decision about canceling will be made on the 10th of May at latest if the remaining customers from that group do not cancel themselves by that time.

At the moment (May 06, 13 pm) there is still no normal access to the area. Some possibilities to come exist already but very dependable on current police shift, their mood, time, presence or absence of their bosses and other reasons. Still may not be recommended to come from abroad to try how that really works in your case. However that is much better than a week ago and raises some hope. A dozen of skiers even may be seen on the slopes.

May 01-09, 2011 May holidays in Russia

There are May holidays in Russia from May 1 to May 9. Formally there are 2 holidays - May 1 and May 9 with some non business days each but traditionally almost all business and official life in Russia is paralyzed between April 30 and May 10. There may be delays with correspondence and especially with formal procedures such as visa support. Also there may be same holidays in Russian Consulates worldwide.

April 22, 2011 Information about cancellation policy.

This is to clarify the cancellation and refund procedures and fees for this season.

For many years our cancellation policy in common is as follows:
- Before we send visa support - no cancellation fee.
- After we send visa support - the cancellation fee is 3000 Rubles for Lite Package customers and 5000 Rubles for others irregardless of time and the reason of cancellation. If one does not need visa support from us there is no need of a deposit for Elbrus tour and no cancellation fee.
- These 3000 and 5000 Rubles are still the customer's money, we retain them but refund them when we have a new request from the customer in a year or in 2-3 years. That means that if one is serious about visiting Elbrus area he never looses money.
- We never cancel tours, if that happens because of our own reasons (it never happened before) we refund all the money including the deposit.
- Money transfer expenses will be charged from the amount to refund.

In this year there is a possibility that some (or even all) tours may not be run because of closing the area. Here is the information about procedures and fees for this year. They are not worse than it was before so we do not violate the agreement but require some explanations and clarifying.

- If the area is closed a week before departure we will inform the customers about cancellation of the tour.
- Of course a customer can cancel any time before.
- The cancellation fee becomes 3000 Rubles for all customers and it exists in all cases after we send visa support, irregardless of who cancels and the reason of cancellation. (of course we assume that we do not cancel if the area is open). This fee will be refunded when the customer orders from us in future.

Why we do not refund full amount if there is no fault of a customer? Because of two reasons:
- We do not consider the concept of guilt itself. The cancellation fee is an instrument of business, not a punishment.
- The fee is not aimed to cover our expenses or receiving profit. We are happy if you have it back when you come later. We are ready to accept money losses in case of cancellations.. The fee becomes essential because of some specific features of Russian entry visa receiving and migration rules in Russia. We are simply forced to insist on client's direct responsibility for his visa support (not a tour actually) in all cases.

Recommendations:
- Request visa support from us only if you are going to go to the Consulate tomorrow. Do not do this far in advance. We send visa support within 1-2 days after you request this. Ask the Consulate about their term, in most cases visa procedures takes not more than 2 weeks. If you have no other considerations apply for visa as late as possible. That does not help if a tour becomes cancelled a week before departure but may help if you change your mind earlier.
- You can buy visa support from a specialized visa company and avoid both paying the deposit and risk of cancellation fee. At the moment the cost for such a service is about 40 USD.

April 18, 2011 Elbrus area became closed yesterday.

As we wrote before Elbrus area was not closed and tourists could come for skiing. At the moment there are about 20 foreign skiers/climbers in the area, all of them came within last week.

On Sunday (April 17) police stopped to let tourists come. At the moment only local people who live in the Elbrus area are allowed to go through the police posts while going up. No check or any limitation if a car goes down.

There are still no known events which can explain such a restriction. Also there is no official document with such prohibition. Generally speaking there is still a kind of declared "counter-terrorist operation" in the area since February after terrorist attack. That does not necessarily means any real battle but within the rules about this operation authorities can introduce limitations regarding access to the area.
Of course local authorities are not interested in closing the area because the economy of the area will be dead without tourists. That is why the area stayed open for 2 months. However now it becomes clear that initiative about closing the access came from Federal authorities and finally they won. Now the area is closed for tourists.

We have no idea for how long it may last as well as we have no idea about the reason of this. It sounds that is a policy regarding the area - not regarding terrorists. Changing of this policy is unpredictable (for us) because has no concern with actual situation with terrorist attacks or other visible events in the area. Region may be closed until next week, until May or until New Year - nobody knows. Local people and local authorities are constantly and desperately asking Federal authorities to let people come but at the moment the prohibition policy wins.

Recommendations :
- If you are going to come in April - better cancel your trip. Chances to get to Elbrus area are poor (although still exist).
- Those who are going to come later can wait. There are May holidays in Russia in May 1-9. Normally dozens of thousands of tourists come to the area for long stay or for a excursion on the holidays. If the area is still closed by May 1 - there is a big chance it may be closed until June or longer.

The possibility of opening (and probably closing again) always exists. There is no official document but it looks like a command from a very high level official. The command may become different any time.
Of course if you are still planning to come to Elbrus area in this season you have to bear in mind the possibility of cancellation. That means one should avoid cheap discounter air tickets or any other services which may not be refunded. We will inform you about the situation. It may change any time.

Once again: all this headache is not because of new terrorist attacks or any new danger for tourists but a kind of Federal politic games or reasons. That is why we can not estimate but only can see the current situation as it is.

April 11, 2011: - New longer term for OVIR/UVIR registration.

Every foreigner must be registered in Migration Department upon arrival in Russia in common and in every new region he stays for some time.
More information about registration is on the visa page:
Before the time to stay without registration was 3 days. Starting from March 21, 2011 the term is 5 days. This means if you stay 3-4 days in Moscow and come to Elbrus area then you do not need to be registered in Moscow as it was before.

April 08, 2011: - Flights timetable is updated. Warning about late flights.

The timetable was updated. 3 flights by Aeroflot airline appeared. They are confirmed only by May 17th but hopefully they were extended for the whole season later on.

Starting from April 01, 2011 police does not allow to come/leave the Elbrus area at night - from 21 pm to 06 am. The road is closed at night.
The transportation from airport takes 4 hours. This means that if one comes to MinVody after 17 pm he can not get to the Elbrus area on the same day. Because there was no announced reason for that limitation we do not know how long it will last. May be just until May, may be for all the season.

DO NOT BUY AITICKETS FOR LATE FLIGHTS. Our regular transportation will leave by 17 pm and there will be NO MEETING FROM LATER FLIGHTS until this limitation becomes void. Also we can not transport you to the earliest flight as we can not leave Elbrus area before 6 am.

March 17, 2011: - Flights timetables are published but some flights are still not confirmed:

We published the summer timetable but flights from/to SVO are still not confirmed and not cancelled yet.
These flights are very popular because most international flights come to SVO airport as well. Changing airports may take 1-3 hours.

Timetable on public tours pages:
8 day tour public regular departure tour
11 day tour public regular departure tour
11 day tour public regular departure tour (from North)

Timetable on private tours pages:
Lite Package tour
Private customized full service tour.

The timetable on above pages is obviously same but the pages may have some other differences according to the different programs.

March 12 , 2011: - The delay with summer flights timetable:

Our 'additional services' pages and forms (to order hotels, transport in Moscow and local air tickets Moscow-MinVody) are not updated for 2011 season and we do not accept such 'extras' requests yet.

The reason for the delay is that we still do not have summer timetable from airlines. Normally they announce it in early March but at the moment we have only partial timetable. Some flights are available even now but most popular and important flights are still not confirmed. They are still not confirmed even for April.

Moreover even if one purchased tickets for existing flights he can encounter sudden flight time changes which may dramatically affect his flight connections. We have such cases recently (airline changed the flight time from 11:20 to 17:50) and can not rely on these flights and that is why can not offer this.

Moscow has 3 international airports where one's international flight can land. Flights to MinVody go from 3 airports as well. Transportation between airports may take 1-2 hours by car. If one is planning same day flight connection he must have more certainty about the timetable than we have now.

We do not recommend to buy local (Moscow-MinVody) flights before summer timetable is set. As soon as we have information we will publish that on the web site and will update the pages and forms.

February 24 , 2011: - Information about current situation in the area:

We publish current information on our web site. Please visit New section on our Forum.

January 26 , 2011: - Expedition in Andes

Our team is leaving for expedition in Andes (Mt. Aconcagua and around). That is not a commercial affair but a kind of training to improve our service in Elbrus area. Between January 26th and February 20th there may be delays with correspondence because of lack of qualified personnel in our office, although the correspondence still should go somehow. We are back at the end of February. In January-February we do not have big correspondence, most people order after March so we are sure this does not affect interests of our respected customers. thank you for understanding..

October 15, 2010: - Dates and prices for 2011

Dates and prices for 2011 season are set and published on the web site.
11 day Standard Public Tour now requires at least 5 people to sign up. If there are less people we will require a surcharge. Information about changes with cancellation policy and about surcharge will be prepared and published soon.
All other programs: 8 day, 11 day from North, 12 day ski-touring - have no changes (besides the price of course).

We will start accepting requests in mid November. Before that we are glad to discuss and even to price a private tour but we start to confirm both private and public reservations only after mid November.

THE PRICES FOR ADDITIONAL SERVICES ARE NOT UPDATED FOR 2011.
They will be updated in March 2011 as always after we have certain pricing from partners in Moscow. In 2011 season we are planning to accept local flight tickets requests. The airfares and summer timetable will be set by airlines in March..
August 19, 2010: - Dates and prices for 2011

Dates and prices for 2011 season will be set and published on the web site in October (probably in late October).
However there is a certainty about most dates:
- 8 day regular departure tours will stay still Friday-Friday tours (that means move one day before in the calendar)
- 11 day Elbrus from North tour starts on Friday as well (that means moves one day before in the calendar).
- 11 day regular departure tours will have same dates.
- Ski-touring + Elbrus climb tours may be moved 1 day before or after or stay same.

Private tours will be run on any dates according to a request.

We begin to accept reservations for all tours (both public regular departure tours and private customized ones) after dates and prices are published.

However all above is about OUR service - Elbrus tours.
Prices for additional services (hotels and transport in Moscow) will be published after we have them from the hotels and other contractors i.e. in March 2011. Only after this we start accepting these "extra" reservations.

August 06, 2010: - About fires, smoke a flight.

There are fires in central part of Russia because of extremely hot summer. That is a real problem. Here are the answers to most frequent questions:

1. No, there are no fires in Elbrus area and fires do not affect our programs.
2. Yes, it is hot and smoke in Moscow. Moscow itself is not in fire, the smoke comes from wooden areas nearby Moscow, from East and South.
3. It is still possible to walk in Moscow without gas mask although smelt is not good and visibility is about 500 meters (at the moment).
4. Poor visibility may affect flights. At the moment Sheremetievo (SVO) works normally both for arrival and departure because it is to the North from Moscow. Domodedovo (DME) and Vnukovo (VKO) have South location and there are departure delays and even rejecting from landing. Everything depends on very current situation with wind direction, a flight may be rejected to land now but another one may be accepted in 30 minutes.

You can check situation at the airport regarding cancelled or delayed flights on-line. Reload web pages and wait more if there is no connection, there are too many requests and this make sites work unstable.
Sheremetievo (SVO) Flight Information Board
Domodedovo (DME) Flight Information Board
Vnukovo (VKO) Flight Information Board

July 19, 2010: - Border zone permit problems.

Border guard office does not issue border zone permits. They do not reject the applications but simply delay issuing the permits. Officially they have right to make a decision within 40 days. At the moment all permits we have were sent to border guard office before May 30. There is no certainty how that will work in future but we are now changing our itineraries and programs to avoid border zone at all. It is simple because we have only one day (half day hike) in 11 day itinerary within the border zone. All other programs will not have changes.

We strongly recommend the private tour participants (both guided full service tours and the independent Lite Package tours) do not rely on the border zone permit and do not plan any activity within the border zone. That are all side valleys to the South from the Baksan main valley. Names of the valleys are: Adyl-Su, Adyr-Su, Usengi, Shkhelda, Donguz-Orun.

No need of border zone permit and no problems with climbing Elbrus from all sides, staying in the Baksan valley, visiting valleys to the North from the baksan valley, hiking the Mt.Cheget.

April 30, 2010: - May 01-10 Holidays in Russia.

There are May 01-03 and May 08-09 Holidays in Russia. Actually this means that business life in Russia is virtually paralyzed from April 30 to May10. Most official departments (including probably Russian Consulates in other countries) have holidays. We will stay in touch these days but our correspondence may have delays and there may be delays with processing official papers such as visa support.

March 19, 2010: - Flights information and Important Info page were updated.

There are some changes in flights timetable for summer 2010. Also the 'Important Info' pages were updated according to common changes with flights, and situation with hotels and airports. 'More Info' pages in each tour itinerary were updated accordingly.

March 14, 2010: - Prices for additional services (extras) in 2010 season are set.

Prices for additional services (extras) in 2010 season are set and published. Since this time we accept extra service requests through the Order forms.

March 01, 2010: - Ski tour and Mt. Elbrus period 1 (March 31 - April 11, 2010) is sold out .

Ski tour and Mt. Elbrus period 1 (March 31 - April 11, 2010) is sold out. We achieved maximum accommodation capacity in Adyr-Su valley lodge.

February 18, 2010: - Aeroflot airline flights change.

Aeroflot just have changed some their flights (to/from MinVody) numbers and Terminal.

Now there are SU 2089, SU 2091 to and SU 2090, SU 2092, from MinVody. It sounds that old flight numbers (SU 785, SU787 and SU 786, SU 788 ) are still in use so check your tickets with Aeroflot beforehand.

The important thing is that new numbers fly from another terminal.

Old flights use Terminal B
New flights use new Terminal D

Normally International flights come to Terminal F. Using Terminal D gives some advantage because one does not need to use a car or bus to get from International Terminal F to Terminal B or back.
On the other hand it sounds that old flights still go on some days (at least we still see them on some days in the airline schedule) so double check with Aeroflot what is your flight number now and which terminal it departs/arrives.

Airport map is here: www.pilgrim-tours.com/pictures/svo_airport.gif

December 04, 2009: - A misprint has been fixed.

There was a misprint in one our 8 day public tour departure date. A departure date was 04 of September but must be 03 of September. Fixed. Please note: 7 nigh/8 day tours are exactly Friday-Friday tours.
Thanks to Andrius from UAB "Kalnu upe" for notification about the misprint.

September 19, 2009: - About 2010 season programs and offers.

Dates and prices for 2010 season will be set and published on the web site in October (probably in late October).
However there is a certainty about some dates:
- 8 day tours will stay still Friday-Friday tours.
- 11 day tours will have same dates.
- Other tours departure dates (North side and Ski-touring) may be moved 1 day before or after or stay same.

We will accept booking after publishing dates and prices.

However all above is about OUR service - Elbrus tours. Prices for additional services (hotels and transport in Moscow, airtickets if we decide to offer this) will be published after we have them from the hotels and other contractors i.e. in March. Only after this we start accepting this "extra" reservations.

July 07, 2009: - National Park permit.

There is National Park in Elbrus area. For the last 5-6 years National park demands a fee for permission to visit it. There were disputes in courts about legality of this local document and in most cases courts said the demand was illegal. In 2008 season the national park suspended this activity and people could visit National park without permits and fees.

Some days ago National park renewed the fee and it became much higher. There is a discussion again and National Park says: 'go and take it into court but we still insist on the fee NOW..'

Now there are:
1. A kind of permit for climbing Elbrus: 1000 Rubles.
2. A kind of permit for visiting side valleys: 50 Rubles per each valley.

There is no special place to buy the permit. National park officials check the permit and collect the fee from people when they meet them. Because the legality of the fee is unknown again there may be no fine if you climb Elbrus without this fee and meet an official after this.

Our advice is: not to pay this fee until you are forced to do this. If you do not meet an official by any reason you are lucky and save some money.

That advice above is for independent climbers but it is not good for tourist companies.

As a tour company we can not play hide-and-seek with local authorities.
Pilgrim Tours customers including LP customers will have official permits for climbing Elbrus. When people purchased our packages we promised that National Park permit is included. We confirm this and there will be no additional cost for our customers.

June 14, 2009: - Border zone permit problems.

Border guard office brings more and more problems to tourists in the area. Before it was easy to get a border zone permission. Starting from this year border zone permit application has even more points to fill out than Russian entry visa application. Moreover the new regulation says that people must apply for border zone permit 60 days in advance. Fortunately Elbrus itself is not within border zone and no need of border permission to climb it. However visiting mountains to the South from the Baksan river (valley) may become questionable. Because this new regulation appears in June, officially there is no time to get permits for the period until mid August if border guard office still insists on 60 days.

At the moment situation is as follows: Border guard office returned all our applications for all groups (because they do not have necessary details according to new regulation) and we begin to send new application forms with these details. We will see how that works. If border guard office processes them fast customers will have border zone permission. If not - there will be no permissions this season and we will be forced to change the itineraries of groups in order to avoid the border zone.

*As we have questions again and again probably the explanation above was not clear enough. Here is a clarification: Border zone permit has no effect on Elbrus climb itself. The only difference may be that we will be forced to change valleys for hikes in our standard tours. That affects only 11 day tour and only one day of the itinerary - Adyl-Su valley hike. If we have no border zone permit we will arrange a hike in another valley.

June 04, 2009: - Big demand report.

In spite of the crisis we encounter a big demand for our public tours for this season. Two periods are sold out and some other periods have just a few seats left. If you wish to place an order it is better to sign up and pay deposit far in advance.

May 01-10, 2009: - May holidays in Russia.

There are May holidays in Russia from May 1 to May 10. Although really that is May 1-3 and May 9-10 business life in Russia is nearly paralyzed for the whole period. Visa support may be delayed because of visa service holidays, Russian Consulates may be closed. In Elbrus area (as well as in other tourist areas in Russia) May holidays mean overbooked hotels and huts, crowds of people everywhere and high prices along with bad service.

March 24, 2009: - As always we have huge correspondence begins from mid March.

There may be delays with our correspondence because of many requests and messages from our customers. Correspondence flow normally rise in mid March and rises until June. Starting from mid March we guarantee our answers within 3 business days only. Most likely simple questions will be answered on the same or next days but messages which require any special processing (different official confirmations, calculations, visa support etc) may have 2-3 days delay. For example confirmation of receiving payment may be sent in a day after actual receiving because that requires several procedures - receiving information from bank or WU courier, inserting this info into our database and finally sending formal confirmation of reception.

February 18, 2009: - Order forms for Additional services and Lite Package are updated for 2009..

Prices for additional services are set and published on our web site. Order forms for Additional Services and Lite Package are updated for 2009. Since that time we accept the Lite Package orders and Additional services (extras) for regular departure public tours - through the proper forms.

November 26, 2008: - Application forms for Standard 8, 11 and 12 day tours are updated for 2009..

Application forms for Standard regular departure 8, 11, 12 day tours have been updated for 2009. Since that moment customers can sign up and we accept and process orders.
Lite Package and North tours are not ready yet. North Side tour will be updated within some days but LP update will take more time.
The most important feature in 2009 is that we fix price in Russian Rubles. The price in Rubles will stay same but prices in Euro and US dollars will change according to exchange rate changes. Customers can pay in US dollars or Euro according to current Central bank of Russia exchange rate. The today's exchange rate along with all calculated prices in euro and USD are on our web site right near the price in Rubles.

October 07, 2008: - Dates and prices for 2009 are published.

There are no changes in the itineraries, 8 day tours still stick to Friday-Friday term, dates for 11 day and 12 day tours stay same. North side climbed starts a day earlier. Prices are about 10 percent higher according to current money inflation processes. The only one big change is that from that moment all our prices are fixed in Russian currency (Rubles). Tours may be paid in US dollars or Euro as well according to current Central bank of Russia exchange rates. The current (today's) equivalents in USD and Euro are to be automatically published on the page right near the fixed cost in Rubles.

August 19, 2008: - Our tours in 2009.

There will be same kinds of tours in 2009 as in 2008. The exact dates of departures and prices will be set and published in October. Starting from January 2009 it will be possible to book them through our on-line forms. 8 day tours will still stick to Friday-Friday terms. We do not expect big changes in dates of other tours, most likely they will stay same as in 2008. Rise in prices may be up to 10 percent according to average common money inflation level. Changes in prices may be not same in all periods, some of them may rise, some stay same. Everything will be settled in October after we calculate the final results of 2008 year season.

August 09, 2008: - Conflict in Ossetia..

The conflict does not affect Russian territory itself and especially Elbrus area. All our tour will be run. It even makes local political situation better. In this conflict all local Caucasian nationalities took Russian part against Georgia so we do not expect even political struggle. Russian army in the Caucasus obviously will not allow any fight on Russian territory and this conflict will stay conflict on Georgian territory behind the Caucasus mountains. That is pretty far and several high mountain ranges protect the Elbrus area. (There is other Georgian territory nearby but that territory is not under full control of main Georgian government although there are no rebels there. Just an isolated by mountains region with very poor and not ethnically Georgian population.)

We do not expect any changes in Elbrus area except children from South Ossetia in local hotels (according federal program to help refugees) and more visible presence of border guard.

May 01, 2008: - May Holidays in Russia.

There are May 1-4 and May 7-9 holidays in Russia. These long holidays is a kind of tradition in Russia and that paralyzes any business activity between April 30 and May 10. Our correspondence will have delays on this period and any activity where a 3rd party involved (visa support, hotel reservations etc) becomes possible only after May 10.

April 01, 2008: - Airlines offer enough possibilities to reserve tickets.

We decided to refuse from reserving air tickets . On March 30 all timetables and prices are settled and all airlines now offer reasonable on-line reservation and either receiving airtickets at the airport or even using e-tickets. The market now seems to be developed fairly enough. We do not a city agency with huge reservations and have no real advantages for reserving airtickets or their price. That is why we decide to refuse from this service for individual customers. We still can accept orders from companies-partners, while arranging a full package for their groups.

Aeroflot airline: www.aeroflot.ru/eng
KavMinVodyAvia airline : www.kmvavia.aero
Siberia airline : www.s7.ru/en

February 12, 2008: - Additional service pages and Order forms are ready for 2008.

Additional services and their costs are set and published. From now we also accept "extra" (besides the Elbrus tour service) orders. This is the new edition so there is a possibility that forms may work incorrectly because of any mistake. In this case please let us know.

December 02, 2007: - We are back from Nepal.

Our correspondence had big delays. We were on our after season vacations (expedition in India-Nepal) and our office was closed for more than a month. Now we are back and the paperwork will be processed. Sorry for the delay.

November 02, 2007: - The problem with web site and email servers has been fixed.

The problem with servers has been fixed and now both web site and email work correctly. However there may still be delays with correspondence because our team has "after season" vacations until mid November.

October 29, 2007: - Some problems with web site and email servers.

For a couple of weeks we have problems with our web site and email address because of moving our US based server. The hosting customer support there is not fast and we can contact them from Russia only at night (12 hour time zone difference) and our people still have after season vacations..
All this causes more delay with fixing than it was expected.

The web site itself is still available at http://198.173.232.209/

We are very sorry for this delay. If you wrote us anything for the last couple of weeks and did not receive an answer please contact us by THIS gleb@umail.ru address. This is our "reserve" address and it is ok now.

 

September 21, 2007: - Dates and prices for 2008 season scheduled regular departure public tours are set and published.
Dates and prices for 2008 season scheduled regular departure public tours are set and published.
August 27, 2007: - Dates for 2008 season scheduled regular departure public tours are set.

- Private Guided tours (for only your party) may be ordered and run on any date and have any schedule.

- Lite Package tours are available on any date within March 30 - April 30 and May 09 - September 26 periods.

- Scheduled Guaranteed Departure Public tours in 2008 dates. Everyone can join a group on these dates. A tour will be run for the same price if at least one person signs up. Here are the dates below.

Standard 12 day / 11 night public Ski-Tour (ski-touring in the area + Elbrus climb).

Period 1:   March 31 - April 11, 2008
Period 2:   April 11 - April 22, 2008

Standard 11 day / 10 night public tour from the North (North route).

Period 1:   July 18 - July 28, 2008

Standard 8 day / 7 night public tour (South "standard" route).

Starts every Friday from May 9.

Period 1:   May 09 - May 16, 2008
Period 2:   May 16 - May 23, 2008
Period 3:   May 23 - May 30, 2008
Period 4:   May 30 - June 06, 2008
Period 5:   June 06 - June 13, 2008
Period 6:   June 13 - June 20, 2008
Period 7:   June 20 - June 27, 2008
Period 8:   June 27 - July 04, 2008
Period 9:   July 04 - July 11, 2008
Period 10:   July 11 - July 18, 2008
Period 11:   July 18 - July 25, 2008
Period 12:   July 25 - August 01, 2008
Period 13:   August 01 - August 08, 2008
Period 14:   August 08 - August 15, 2008
Period 15:   August 15 - August 22, 2008
Period 16:   August 22 - August 29, 2008
Period 17:   August 29 - Sept 05, 2008
Period 18:   Sept 05 - Sept 12, 2008
Period 19:   Sept 12 - Sept 19, 2008
Period 20:   Sept 19 - Sept 26, 2008

Standard 11 day / 10 night public tour (South "standard" route).

Period 1:   June 01 - June 11, 2008
Period 2:   June 11 - June 21, 2008
Period 3:   June 21 - July 01, 2008
Period 4:   July 01 - July 11, 2008
Period 5:   July 11 - July 21, 2008
Period 6:   July 21 - July 31, 2008
Period 7:   July 31 - August 10, 2008
Period 8:   August 10 - August 20, 2008
Period 9:   August 20 - August 30, 2008
Period 10:   August 30 - September 09, 2008
Period 11:   September 09 - September 19, 2008

 

May 29, 2007: - Our answers may have delays because of huge correspondence in May - June.

Every year in May and June we have huge correspondence with customers. Also that time our big work in the mountain begins. All this causes delays with our correspondence and paperwork. Please do not rely on last minute bookings and questions.

Although delays may exist they may not be more than for 3 BUSINESS days. If you have no answer (or any reaction from our side) after 3 business days that means we did not receive your message or our answer was not received by you. In that case do not hesitate to send us new message through web form and think about the settings of YOUR email box or probably giving us ANOTHER ADDRESS (in any of free public worldwide email services such as hotmail.com or gmail.com).

Please do not repeat your messages before 3 days term. This causes more jams for the common correspondence flow and what is worse may put the processing of your messages to the end of the line again.

January 30, 2007: - A new long-expected offer: Elbrus from the North.

In 2007 we start offer a new guaranteed departure public tour. Elbrus climb from the North. We had many requests about this, we had private customized tours there and now we offer this for everybody. Dates are fixed and everybody can join the tour. We set only one period for 2007. Depending on this season we probably offer several periods in 2008. 11 day Elbrus from North tour page

January 29, 2007: - A small photo album about ski tours.

A small photo album about our winter ski tours was added. Link is on the 12 day ski-tour page.
and here..www.pilgrim-tours.com/pages/winter/photo.shtml

January 27, 2007: - Some changes in the web site and the booking procedure.

There are some changes in our booking policy and on our web site pages.

1. Some cosmetic changes in on-line Order Forms, they may make filling out forms more easy and understandable.
2. Some slight price changes in additional services. From now we separate different airlines in our booking forms.
3. Booking procedure in regular departure and customized tours has been changed. Now we require to start and finish Elbrus booking before we accept further booking of Additional services (Moscow, airtickets).
4. We begin to make more connections of the Site and this Forum. THe FAQ sections and News section will be moved from the site to this Forum. The links in menus will point here.
October 31, 2006: - Our office and correspondence will be opened again after "after-season" vacations on November 2..
Our team has after summer season vacations in Tanzania for climbing Kilimanjaro and our office will be opened only in November 02. We have computers along with us but it appears that there are problems in Tanzania with GPRS Internet mobile connection so we can not hold correspondence from there..
All your messages were received, stored and will be answered as soon as it becomes possible starting from November 2. We are very sorry for the delays.

September 14, 2006: - Dates for guaranteed departure 8, 11, 12 day tours are published.

We finally set dates for guaranteed departure tours in 2007. Prices are not set yet but we do not expect big changes. Also there will be some slight changes in the Conditions. As soon as all details are set they will be published. At the moment only dates of departures are set.

Dates are available either from every 2006 tour page menu or by following these links:
http://pilgrim-tours.com/index.shtml?tours/standart8/index2007
http://pilgrim-tours.com/index.shtml?tours/standart11/index2007
http://pilgrim-tours.com/index.shtml?tours/standart12/index2007

September 13, 2006: - All problems with web and email servers have been finally fixed.

Our Web Forum has been repaired. All email addresses are functioning. Since this moment we consider there are no communication problems.

September 08, 2006: - Email address is ok.

Major contact email address problem (with *pilgrim-tours.com addresses) seems to be fixed. From now all our addresses work properly. However to be on safe side please for a week send copies of messages to alternative address ( glebumail.ru) as well.
Our web Forum database is still down. We hope it will be fixed soon.

August 09, 2006: - Forms are ok now.

We set the redirection to another email account on our Forms. Now Application forms, Extra service Forms and Message Form send messages to a functioning email address. Thus you can use Forms without problems. If you have no answer from us for some days please resend it through Send Message page.

August 09, 2006: - problems on our servers.

For some days we experience problems with receiving emails. This is the problem of our US based ("Verio, inc ") hosting company and we can not do anything with this but to wait until this is fixed.
Some messages come without a problem but most of them including messages from the same (our) server do not come. This means that the Message Form on our web site and Application Forms do not work normally as well. At the moment we are trying to set a redirection. It probably will work for Forms but email server settings are non accessible at the moment. Hopefully it will be fixed by hosting company soon.

June 12, 2006: - airtickets prices have been risen.
Prices for airtickets for the summer season rise and from this day the starting price of airtickets is 250 Euro for Siberia flight S7-1213/1214.    MI - **** flights (Kavminvodyavia airline) are even more expensive and if you stick to a MI - **** flight be prepared for 280-300 Euro costs. As always paid reservations still have old price, unpaid reservations will be recalculated, new reservations will be calculated according the new price.
June 04, 2006. - Additional service changes.

From now the LP participants have same additional service in Moscow as full service customers. Order form has been changed accordingly and there is an access to Additional service page now (left menu).

June 01, 2006. - Transportation service adjustment.

People have too big gear along. Car drivers in Moscow refuse to take more than 2 people in a car because in other case there is a lot of gear on the seats inside the cabin. We are forced to return to our previous years policy - a car may be confirmed only for 1 or 2 people. 3 people are required to order a minibus. Same situation with big groups. We offer now 14-seat bus for 3-8 people, 19-seat bus for 9-12 people and for 13-15 people there is a 30-seat bus with luggage space. Drivers in the Caucasus are not so strict and we still confirm 3 people in a car. There are no options besides one kind of minibus in the Caucasus so we still offer 10-seat bus for up to 8 people. If there are more people in a group they have to add another bus or a car.

April 15, 2006. - Hotels rise prices.

Izmailovo hotel have risen their prices by about 45%, Cosmos hotel have risen their prices by 10%. Other hotels also rise prices almost every new week. The problem is that hotels require us to pay the difference even for already confirmed and paid reservations. Reservations for August that were paid in January now must be paid to hotels again according to new prices. This obviously makes early reservations useless and our hotel reservation business senseless and unprofitable both for us and our customers. We will make a decision about the situation soon and inform those customers who already paid for this service. Probably we will be forced to give up from accepting hotel reservation requests for Moscow at all.

April 15, 2006. - New Web Board is published.

Web Board was not available for a long time because of permanent massive "spam" attacks. Now it is opened again on a new engine and besides of "Forum" there will be "knowledge base" and "Frequently Answered Questions" sections. Unfortunately to prevent spammer bots from automatic posting we are forced to insist on registering and signing in before you can post messages.

October 06, 2005. - All regular departure tour dates and prices for 2006 are published.

There are some changes in comparison with 2005.

- All standard itineraries content only the Caucasus days. Those people that want Moscow service and/or airtickets from us may order that additionally without limitations. Also our changing/cancellation policy about Moscow service becomes more flexible in ALL tours. In 2005 8-day participants were not allowed to order anything besides Caucasus part.

- Note, that prices in Russia go higher (10-20% per year in Russian Rubles) although exchange rate with USD or Euro stays same. That is why prices go higher in other currencies as well.

- There are 3 kinds of regular departure tours from now (once again ALL itineraries normally contain the Caucasus part only):
- - - 8-day (7-night) tour - the most popular and cost/time effective. Two first periods of the total 19 ones are for climbing Elbrus with skis.
- - - 11-day (10-night) tour - an option for those people who want to have the best possible acclimatization.
- - - 12-day (11-night) Ski-tour - Ski touring + climbing Elbrus (note that climbing Elbrus itself with skis is not possible that time)
- - - Lite Package program starts again from May 15, 2006. However it may be possible on other dates on request.
- - - Private tours are available all year round. It may be ski tours, climbing, trekking tours or any combination of them.

- Most prices for ADDITIONAL services are not set yet because we still have no prices from our partners, hotels and airlines. The prices will be published as new information becomes available.

September 28, 2005. - 8-day tour dates and prices for 2006 are published.

- There are big changes in our policy about 8-day tours in 2006. From now we accept orders for Moscow service and airtickets which was impossible in 2005.
- Other tour itineraries and prices will be published soon. We are preparing 11-day in the Caucasus extended tours and regular departure ski-touring programs in March-April.

September 20, 2005. - Season is over. Results.

- This season we hosted more than 700 people from dozens of countries from Japan to Brazil.
- Statistics show that success rate of our 8-day tours (in the Caucasus only) and 11-day tours (9 days in the Caucasus) is striking same: 87 %. The difference is only 0.02% !
- Lite Package groups had very good success rate this year: 82% in 2005 in comparison with 49% in 2004. The reason is that there was extremely good weather this season. For our guided groups weather is not so important - experienced guides will arrange a climb in most cases but for Lite Package groups (without a guide) good weather appears to be really essential.
- Overall (all tours) success rate by months: May - 89%, June - 88%, July - 85%, August - 91%, September - 87%. To our mind the difference within 10% is very accidental so we consider that all these months are equally good for climbing Elbrus.

- Our new itineraries, dates and costs for 2006 season will be published on this web site by October 1, 2005.

- Many thanks to our customers who chose us. We always do our best to improve our service and your opinion is very valuable. Do not hesitate to share your thoughts about our service with us and with other people. Good features should spread and bad ones also must be known.

February 11, 2005 - Some changes / updates.

- There are 2 new fields in our Application forms to fill out - the date of arrival in Russia and the date of departure.
- From now it is possible to avoid fax communication. Visa support pages will be scanned and sent by email. One must print them out for Consulate. Thus fax number field becomes optional.
- Information about our new (for 2005 year season) base Lodge/hotel is published. Links are from proper tour pages.

October 01, 2004 - Dates and prices updated for 2005 season.

- At the moment 8-day, 11-day and 12-day regular departure tours are set. Prices stay same, departure dates for 11-day and 12-day tours are same. Dates for 8-day tours are set to 2005 Fridays.
- 15-day regular departure ski-tour does not exist in 2005.
- Peak Lenin regular departure tour does not exist in 2005.
- 15-day regular departure Elbrus-Bezengi tour we be offered in 2005 but the dates/conditions are not set yet.

Some words about the 2004 season:
- There are about 15% visitors more than in 2003. The tendency is same as for the last 4-5 years.
- Technical, physical skills and motivation of climbers (in common) go lower from year to year. Elbrus becomes a popular destination. However it is still dangerous mountain. 48 climbers died in the area this season.
- Climbing success rate goes lower following the shape of participants. At the moment the rate is 85% for our 11-day regular tours and 84.3% for 8-day tours. Customized private groups have higher rate because people come as a team and have higher motivation to climb. Lite Package climbers in common have poor rate because they have no mountain guides (leaders). On the other hand some Lite Package groups with their own good leaders show very good rates.
- This year we encountered problems with email. Spam and virus messages come to 95% of our correspondence - hundreds of messages a day and we just have no opportunity to read all the messages. Automatic filtering is essential. Please do follow the recommendations on our Contacts page.

May 11, 2004 - Price correction of the Lite Package offer. There is a new registration fee in the area.

The local authorities set the new national preserve registration fee for all people coming in the Elbrus area. The cost is US$ 20, (17 Euro) Because that registration is a must we include it into the Lite Package and therefore its price becomes 17 Euro higher. The price for confirmed and paid tours will stay same and we will not charge any additional payment. All new confirmations will include that fee.

January 8, 2004. - Price correction of 11-day tours. From now all prices are in Euro.

US Dollar purchasing power dramatically falls in Russia. Since March 2003 we considered Euro equal to US Dollar in most cases and accepted US$ payments accordingly, but now we can not ignore the process.

All prices and payments since January 1, 2004 are in Euros. Any other currency characters may be seen on the web site and in our correspondence by mistake only. Sorry for the possible confusion we are hunting for bugs in our templates but still have some misprints.

All direct customers who have confirmations from us and paid a deposit before today will pay the price they have in confirmations. New customers will see the new price within several hours (do not forget to 'Refresh' pages in your browser window). Sorry for inconvenience.

December 20, 2003. - Peak Lenin tour is cancelled
Unfortunately we are forced to refuse from Peak Lenin expedition in 2004. Sorry about this, we are very busy on Elbrus full season from April to October, tourist flow rises in the Caucasus and we simply are not able to send our guides somewhere else.

November 14, 2003. - Changes in 15-day standard itinerary.

We replaced 3 days in Elbrus area with days in Bezingi region. This allows to see the most unspoiled region in the Caucasus with the highest mountains instead of spending time in one area. We consider this a big improvement. The tour price stays same. About the itinerary see at 15-day program page.

September 14, 2003. - Tour dates and prices for 2004 are partially published.

8, 11 and 15 day scheduled tours are published. Now there are 35(!) regular departure periods. Ski-tours scheduled tours (for March-May) will be published soon.

June 20, 2003. - To our customers and correspondents.

This year we have huge correspondence and a lot of orders processing in summer. This is something new for us and we can not answer and process orders enough fast because this is high season and almost all our staff is in the field. We simply are not meant to accept many orders in summer, sorry. At the moment we are even not able to answer half of messages from people. If you encounter a delay, just write one more message and most likely it will be answered hitting the 'answered' half of correspondence. Sorry about this. For the next year we will fix the problem but now it's too late for this season to change something.

June 14, 2003

Our regular departure group period # 2climbed Mt.Elbrus (5632 m) today. The 5 of 7 participants climbed the top. The weather was sunny and windy.

June 06, 2003

Our regular departure group period # 1 climbed Mt.Elbrus (5632 m) today. The 14 of 15 participants climbed the top. The weather was cold and windy although visibility was good.

April 16, 2003

Our new web site is ready. There will be some layout changes and some pages will be added soon but we consider the site to be practically ready and are glad to present it to our potential customers. We are planning to make translation into other languages within a month. Our former web site www.pilgrimtours.org is still available and will stay available as a mirror of this site.



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