(The page is NOT updated for 2015 yet. The information will be updated for 2015 soon)
'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.
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 2013 season. There is no information or forecast for 2014. 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 2014 we will inform our customers about the fee and its cost and the customers will be requested to pay this fee additionally.
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.
Today's exchange rates are: USD/RUB: 60.7109 and EUR/RUB: 68.9797 .
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.
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.
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.
Cancellation and refund policy
If you cancel:
- Land tour cost:
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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