The weather in Elbrus region is changeable, and conditions can deteriorate rapidly in case of a storm. Be prepared for temperatures between 20 and 70 degrees F ( -7C - +21C) with a chance of rain or snow. Temperatures could fall to -5F (-20C) higher up on the mountain and you may encounter severe winds. Like any large mountain, Mt. Elbrus creates its own weather. There can be serious storms on the mountain, while the next valley is in bright sunshine.
Test your equipment before you come to climb Mt. Elbrus, making sure your crampons fit your boots and that you can put them on and take them off quickly and efficiently. Test your clothing systems and determine what works best for you. There is no one right way to dress, but layering is essential. Make sure your clothes fit and that they are roomy enough for strenuous activity. Proper broken-in boots are of great importance.
Absolutely necessary items required for group members are Red.
Highly recommended items are Blue.
Optional items have normal Black color.
You can rent almost all necessary equipment on the spot after arrival. Here are some comments on our web forum.
Generally speaking we can not force one to have red items equipment. Probably you are very experienced climber and know good what you realy need. However if it is a guided tour and our guide feels you unsafe because of lack of equipment he can refuse from further climbing.
- Valid passport
- 2 Copies of first page + visa page of passport
- Airline tickets
- Voucher copy (a copy of the form which was sent to you for obtainig visa).
- Border zone permission, other registartions and permits - (your guide will have this for you).
- Sleeping bag rated to -5 °C
- Insulated parka/jacket, down or synthetic, rated to -10°C and able to fit over other sweater layers
- Rain jacket and pants(side-leg zippers are helpful), roomy and water repellent
- Midweight fleece jacket
- Fleece pants or tights
- Midweight thermal underwear tops and bottom
- Hiking pants/skirt
- Hiking shorts
- Long-sleeve shirts/blouses
- Hiking socks
- Liner socks
- Hiking boots, sturdy, ankle-support, water-resistant, broken-in
- Camp shoes: running shoes or trail shoes, sneakers
- Plastic boots or crampon-compatible heavy leather mountaineering boots. - Cool feet could force you to turn back, or result in frostbite. We strongly recommend plastic boots. The only but very important advantage of plastic boots is that they may be dried easily on field. If you have your leather boots wet on the first day most likely they will stay wet for the whole trip. Wet boots may cause problems. In many cases leather boots may be good enough but it strongly depends on their model, quality and the way you treat them. We can not estimate that distantly and therefore advise to have plastic boots. If you come with leather boots our guide will estimate their quality and if there is a problem will advise to hire plastic boots. You have the right to reject that advice.
- Crampons. - ( See crampons info on Equipment for Rent Page).
- Ice axe. - An ice axe sometimes is not necessary depending on current weather (snow conditions). However one must have it in case it becomes necessary (your guide will advise before the climb).
- Protectors for ice axe and crampons; when you ride the chairlifts, they will often be crowded and an unprotected axe or crampons can do damage).
- Headlamp. - The climb starts at night and for some hours you walk in the dark. Also a headlamp is extremely useful while visiting toilet at night at the huts.
- Big backpack or a bag which may be carried like a backpack. - In case the 3rd leg of lifts is closed by any reason you will be forced to carry your own personal gear to the base camp on Elbrus. It is 0.5 - 1 hour walk depending on one's pace.
- Flask (thermos bottle) . Do not rely on those backpack flasks with a pipe - the pipe (for sure) and flask (probably) will freeze.
- Small backpack for hikes and summit climb.
- Ski/treking poles/sticks.
- Windproof mask - in case of cold strong wind
- Harness with a short piece of rope for selfbelay, 2 carabiners. - There should be 7-8 mm rope or equivalent sling. The length should allow you to stay upright comfortably when one end of the rope is attached to your harness and another end to something on the ground a half step away.
This short rope is for self belay and for more flexible connecting
with the main rope. It is not a "prusik" for getting out of a crevasse. We do not expect the participants can use any
equipment for getting out of a crevasse. More than enough if they may
be instantly roped up by connecting their short ropes with carabiners
to the main rope or any fixed point. If several people are roped up in
one string it is much easier to walk if they are not connected to the main
rope directly but through that short rope end. Same if one climbs along a
hanged (fixed) rope, it is much easier if the main rope glides not
through a carabiner right on his chest but through a carabiner on the
short rope end. Our guide will adjust the equipment for you before the climb and will show how to use it (short traing course during the acclimatization hike will give you necessary skills). If
you do not have your own "harness+short rope+carabiner" equipment we
provide that free of charge for regular departure public tour participants.
There are no permanent fixed lines on the mountain but guides may arrange them on some parts of the route if it becomes necessary depending on weather and snow conditions.
- Sun hat
- Warm hat.
- Fleece windproof gloves.
- Thin liner gloves
- Waterproof overmitts (to protect gloves from snow)
- Snow gaiters, knee-length (supergaiters, which cover the whole boot, are excellent)
- Lightweight easily washable items for travel and daily wear
- Comfortable shoes
- Water bottles
- Pocket knife or multi-tool
- Sunglasses with retainer strap (side-shields or glacier glasses highly recommended) or goggles.
- Ski mask It may become necessary during very windy days.
- Spare contact lenses/glasses/sunglasses
- Sunblock and lip balm.
- Toiletry kit
- Small, quick-dry towel
- Hand sanitizer gel and Handi-wipes
- Several Ziploc plastic bags
- Large, heavy-duty plastic trash bags
- Plastic bowl, cup and spoon We have our eating utensils in the kitchen at huts but practice shows that people often wish to
take food or tea to their huts and this always causes lack of items and problems with their cleaning. That is why we require to have own items as well.
- Swimsuit - for a sunbath or sauna. Local people do not like naked bodies at public places..
- Personal first-aid kit.
- Any prescription or over the counter medications used regularly (specific brands may be not available in Russia).
- Watch/Travel alarm
- Rubber sink stopper for sinks in hotel (generally, these are not available in Russian hotels)
- Adapter for any electrical appliances. The 220V current in Russian outlets will ruin Western 110V appliances.
- Knee supports
- Camera, film and spare batteries
- Reading and writing materials
- Ear plugs (when you sleep in the huts with 5 other people there are always
- Range of goods in Russia is not same as in your country so you may wish to bring some items that are probably not available in Russia and which may make your trip more pleasurable:
- Your favourite: instant coffee, herbal teas, powdered milk, sugar substitute, other instant drinks
- Your favorite trail snacks, dried fruits, candy bars, gumdrops, peanut butter
- Vitamin supplements