Caucasus - Rescue Services

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Caucasus - Rescue Services


There are two rescue posts in the Elbrus Region: at Terskol (tel. +7 86638 71489) and at Shkhelda Alpine Camp. They must rescue any person if he is a foreigner or Russian, if he has insurance or not. Though it is necessary to have personal insurance when climbing in the area. If any accident happens the rescue team should be able to contact you insurance company. Otherwise they may ask a person to pay for the rescue works especially if a helicopter was required.


The climbers have to register at the rescue service office. The staff is generally helpful and gives good advice, some speak English. You have come there and inform that you go to the particular mountain (or a trekking route) and set the date of return. It does not cost any money. If you do not come on the date of return they have to start to look for the registered person (group). The rescue team must rescue people if they are registered or not. Many climbers do not register. We recommend getting to their office a registered especially if you are an individual climber. After the registration you will get a small paper with the registration number. If you are not registered and the rescue ranger reasise this somewhere on the mountains they can put you unpleasant situation.

The rescue team has not any own helicopter in the area. They have to call it from hundreds of kilometers away. Accordingly they use helicopter very seldom - generally when someone gets lost or dies.

The Elbrus rescue service is not the swiftest in the world. Do not expect help from the rescue team if somebody feels extremely tired on the Elbrus slopes and can move hardly. Please remember that:
-If you are not injured there is a minimum chance that rescues come to help;

-If they were informed about an injured person at the high altitude in the mountains after noon most likely the rescues will come there just on the next day.

-If they were informed about a missed person most likely they will start search the person after 1-2 days hoping that the lost person appears by its own during this time.

The head office of the rescue service is in Nalchik : Tel: +7 86622 93244 / 93284.

 


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ALW 6/12/05