Facilities in the Caucasus
In the past it has been very difficult to organise anything in the Elbrus, or
anywhere in the Caucasus area, without the knowledge of Russian (or Balkarian,
the local Turkic language) AND a good knowledge of how things work in the area.
This has made it almost impossible for individuals to come there without local
help or better help from a Russian travel organisation specialising in the
area. Although it is now possible to buy food more easily it is still better
to do your shopping outside of the Baksan Valley, for example at the huge
markets of Piatigorsk. Petrol can be difficult to obtain sometimes.
The biggest problems are associated with obtaining the necesary permits to be
in this sensitive border area and to climb in the Elbrus National Park. Without
the correct paperwork you could end up being arrested or 'fined'. Please look
at the links to Police, National Parks and Border Authorities to familiarise
yourself with the requirements.
Accommodation is now easier to obtain and some may be arranged by telephone or
email prior to your arrival in the Baksan Valley.
The Garabashi Barrels, located at the top of the chairlift system are a popular
alternative to the Diesel Hut.