Elbrus Normal Ascent Route

 
Elbrus Normal Ascent Route

Mount Elbrus

Normal Route

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Elbrus - Normal Route from
Elbrus - Normal Route from south
Reproduced Courtesy EWP

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The Azau - Garabashi cable car / chairlift system
This operates from about 9am till 3pm. Starting for the summit at about 2am from the Diesel Hut should allow you just enough time to get back down to the chairlift if you move efficiently. Note in bad weather the chairlift section may be closed, also note the chairlift ride is 15 minutes long and can be very cold, particularly if you have come up from the hot valley wearing a T shirt and shorts!

Other Approaches to the Diesel Hut
The traditional route followed the track from Terskol to the Observatory and hence Ice Camp. From here a gentle glacier leads to the Diesel Hut (some crevasses). Allow 2 days from Terskol.

Another route from Terskol follows the Terskol River to a good campsite at 3200m. From here glaciated slopes lead to the Diesel Hut (more heavily crevassed than the previous route).

Elbrus, West Summit, 5642m, from the south east.
This is the normal route up Elbrus and it is quite well-marked up to the saddle, however in blizzard conditions a GPS, or good altimeter, map and compass work are esential. Many people die each year on this route - if in doubt take a guide.

The majority of groups take the cable car system from Azau roadhead to Mir Station from where either a 1 hour walk or a chairlift takes them to Garabashi - "The Barrels". Above it may be possible to hire a snow cat to take you to the Diesel Hut (site of burnt down Priut Hut) or higher to Pastukhova Rocks. Walking this takes 90 minutes to the hut and almost 2 hours more to the rocks. The walk to the Saddle takes another 3 to 4 hours and from there to the summit allow a further 5 to 6 hours.

There are no major difficulties on the route however after strong winds icy sections may be exposed and a fall could result in a slide. Particular care should be taken on the traversing ascent from the Saddle. The Saddle hut is a ruin that offers no shelter. There are few crevasses of any size or danger if you stick to the route but only 50m off the route you could be in dangerous terrain.

See all Hazards on the Normal Route.

Elbrus via Kupol
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This map is reproduced courtesy of EWP, the Geographic Bureau and West Col Productions.

ALW 5/06/13