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  • Elbrus Lite Package

  • Elbrus Lite Package for independent travelers in 2016

    'Lite Package' is a service for independent climbers. Actually it consists of the Lite Package itself and a number of services that may be requested additionally. The Package contains obligatory services and must be requested as a whole. Additional services are optional. Some additional services may be ordered far in advance. Other services may be ordered only from our representative in the valley when you are there. You can also ask the representative for services which are not included into the list and we will try to help. In this case price and availability are agreed. Ordered services must be paid in advance.

    Important notices:
    - We consider the main value of the Lite Package is not the 'visa support' and other paperwork. The real value is local support from our reps and guides. If you need only visa it is cheaper to purchase it from a specialised visa company.
    - Lite Package program is designed for independent traveler who wants to stay on his own but also need visa support, permits and registrations, certainty that all paperwork is done correctly and in full, reliable contact in the Valley for support in case of problems and questions. Lite Package list of services is limited because it is not a guided tour and many services may not be arranged without a guide which accompanies customers.
    If you need something besides the list of services mentioned below please refer to Guided Private (Customized) tour page.

    The prices will be fixed when you pay for the service. Before you pay we retain our right to change prices. In case our published prices go lower later on we will make proper refund.

    There was no National Park fee in 2011-2015 seasons. There is no information or forecast for 2016. We do not include this service (and its price) in our Lite Package obligatory bandle. The fee was around 1000 Rubles in 2010. If National Park fee is introduced in 2016 we will inform our customers about the fee and its cost and the customers will be requested to pay this fee additionally.

    Lite Package offer is valid in full (including local support by our reps) from May 18 to September 23. Outside this period there may be a simlified edition: paperwork including visa support and registration, transportation from/to airport, nights in hotel and huts. This should be discussed and confirmed.

    The prices are set in Russian Rubles. May be paid in Rubles directly or US dollars or in Euro according to the Central Bank of Russia current exchange rate on the date of payment.
    The prices in Euro and USD in the table below are calculated according to January 21st, 2017 (today) official exchange rates and may be different on the date you pay. You can use our Calculator.

    Today's exchange rates are: USD/RUB: 59.3521 and EUR/RUB: 63.1803 .

    The prices are NOT updated for 2017 yet!

    Price (RUB)

    Lite Package (obligatory bundle) includes:
    1. Visa support
    2. OVIR registration
    3. Border zone registration (if requested)
    4 . 1 night accommodation (with breakfast) in our mountain hotel
    5 . Our local representatives support. (language for communication is English. Spanish and German may be also be possible but not guaranteed).

    group of 1-4 people
    5800 RUB
    price is "per person" in a group.
    group of 5 people
    5000 RUB
    more than 5 people
    4400 RUB
    Additional services which may be ordered together with the Lite Package in advance (as well as on the spot when you come).
    One way transportation MinVody airport - Elbrus area or back, a car, max 3 people (always available to request on the spot even at short notice)
    per car
    One way transportation MinVody airport - Elbrus area or back, a minibus, max 8 people (always available to request on the spot even at short notice)
    per minibus
    Our hotel, shared 2 bed or 3-bed room, breakfast.
    (always available in our hotel or nearby even at very short notice) At the moment our base is "Semerka" hotel
    person / night
    Our hotel, single room, breakfast (availability is guaranteed only if you book in advance)
    person / night
    Dinner in our hotel (additionally to BB accommodation)
    Services in Moscow: hotels, transportations. (see "Additional Services" page)
    Samples of Additional Services which should be ordered after you come through our representative in hotel.
    The Barrels/Garabashi huts, accommodation, gas stove, electricity (guaranteed availability). Other huts are available on request. Possible to request through our reps in hotel after you come. Early in advance reservations may be accepted from big parties.
    person / night
    Cloak room (baggage room) at the mountain hotel.
    (always available, prepare big sacks/packets to save money)
    item / night
    A local guide for Mt. Elbrus climb:
    1 night, which means he comes up in the evening, starts climb with clients at 2-4 am and returns back to the Valley same day.
    The cost includes all expenses of the guide: lifts up and down, accommodation in huts, meals.
    (sometimes available, sometimes not)
    A local guide for Mt. Elbrus: additional night in case of bad weather, staying at the base camp, hikes around.
    A local guide for hiking around: 1 day, from 8 am to 8 pm,
    the cost includes only guide's time, additional expenses if any should be paid by customer. (sometimes available, sometimes not)

    Samples of services which may be ordered from our representative in the Caucasus:
    - Transfers to/from any place in the area..
    - Accommodations in hotels in the Valley.
    - Changing domestic air tickets (not guaranteed, depending on airline and requires visiting MinVody).
    - Help with cashing or exchange money in local bank.
    - Sending/ receiving emails and faxes.

    And of course participants are welcome to discuss their plans and activity in the area with guides and reps, to receive an advice and assistance in case of problems. Our office is in the hotel, our people are here 24 hours, 7 days a week.

    If you are a single person or a small party we strongly recommend to request (and pay for) only initial package: The Lite Package itself + transportation. This gives you guaranteed arrival and first night and more flexibility then. Our practice shows that vast majority of the Lite Package customers adjust their dates on the spot which makes far in advance reservations useless and exposes people to potential risk of cancellation fees in huts.
    Big groups normally have rather fixed program and in this case full far in advance reservation looks adequate.


    Our prices are fixed in Russian Rubles. You can see the today's price in Euro and USD in the table above or calculate the amount using our Currency Calculator (left menu item). More about payment terms and conditions please find here.
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    Comments about Lite Package:

    1. Visa support: We send you a visa support (invitation) page as email attachment. Maximum period of stay is 22 days (one entry tourist visa). You have to print that page out, take this invitation to the Russian Consulate and pay Consulate fees as well. Note, that overstay is a serious violation and there may be serious penalty. If you need more than 22 days you must either order a hotel from us or purchase visa from a visa company. More information is here: about visa support

    2. OVIR registration: You have to register if you stay somewhere for more than 5 business days. In Moscow hotels are responsible for registration and do this themselves but probably you should ask them specially. In Elbrus area we register you when you come.

    3. Border zone permission: You have to have the permission when you visit a border zone. Areas South from Baksan river considered to be a border zone. The main valley itsel and the Elbrus climbing routes are not the border zone and you do not need the permit to come, stay and climb. However if you wish to have hikes or climbs in the areas and side valleys South from the Baksan valley you need the permit. Weapply for permit before you come in Russia. This does not require your passport or your presence. You will have this paper from our rep upon arrival. Official time for processing the permit is not less than 3 months. Therefore we must apply at least 3 months in advance but still have no ceratainty the permit comes on time. It may come in 4 months.

    4. One night accommodation in the mountain lodge (with breakfast): We insist on staying there for the first night because we need to know that you have arrived and we need your passports for registration. We cannot make all registrations in advance because we need your passports and visas for OVIR registration. As a legal tourist company we must do all legal paperwork. There are 2-3 bed rooms in the lodge. If you want to stay there for more days, ask our representative and pay on the spot. In many cases people stay there for other nights in the valley.

    5. English speaking support: There are our English speaking representatives in the mountain lodge (besides our guides). They will help you if you have problems or questions. Spanish and German may be also ok but not guaranteed.

    * * *

    Question : What is the advantage of purchasing Lite Package instead of going on my own?

    Answer : Most of these services you can buy separately and probably some of them by lower price. If you have enough time, if you are an experienced traveler and you have basic knowledge of Russian language you can try. The advantage of the Lite Package is that everything will be done fast and in proper way, you will have confirmed and safe transfers and our representative will help you if you have problems or need an advice. You will not be alone in the region. The real value of Lite Package is not this visa and registrations/permits paperwork. Vast majority of LP customers use our support in the valley and there is a lot of cases for this support, starting from lost or delayed luggage, changing air tickets and ending with problems with local drunk youngsters in a cafe or immediate transportation to MinVody because of late return from the summit.
    Also now there are difficulties with Border zone permission. If you are going to visit valleys South to main Baksan valley (actually they are most interesting places in the area) you must ask somebody to make theis permit far in adavnce. Preparing the permit normally requires a couple of weeks. We can do this fatesr but we also need some time.

    In brief: if you need ONLY Lite Package (without additional services such as transportation) for a group of more than 5 people and you have 2 spare days and you do not want to visit border zone, probably it is better to do everything yourself, but if you are a couple and are planning to use other services such as transfers and especially border zone permit - Lite Package is a good buy or even essential.

    Additional Services comments:

    1. Transfers in the Caucasus: We advise to order transfer from airport to the lodge (it is safe, saves time and in most cases saves money) and negotiate for the back transfer on the spot (it may be cheaper because you can share with somebody). If you go same day with our regular group we can offer a shared (with our group) transfer (requires confirmation from us on a particular date).

    2. Accommodation in The Barrels and the lodge: Accommodations in the valley are always available and our rep helps with this if you choose any other lodge/place. Barrels may be available may be not, this depends on if they ar fully booked or not. We have very good relations and position there but if there are no places we can do nothing. Probably you will be forced to wait for a day or two or use tents or another huts.

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    Cancellation and refund policy

    If you cancel:

    - Land tour cost:
    A cancellation of the LP itself made after we send visa support – cancellation fee is 3000 Rubles per person. Pilgrim Tours must be notified in writing (by email with proper confirmation of recpetion). Moscow services may be cancelled 3 business days in advance without penalty. There will be no refund if Moscow service is cancelled less than 3 business days in advance. Caucasus services besides the LP itself may be cancelled or changed 1 day in advance without penalty.

    - Bank charges: You must pay the bank transfer fees, in case of refund - both ways.

    If we cancel any service:

    If any of our services fails because of our fault we will refund the price for this service in full. If our paperwork and registrations fail we are responsible for any fines and charges. Note: if you have your own (not from us) visa we are not responsible for any problems concerning that visa.

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