Mount Elbrus - Routes

Mount Elbrus - Routes

Mount Elbrus


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Elbrus Tour Map
Normal Route Map
Elbrus East Map
Diesel Hut
Garabashi Barrels
Elbrus Tour
Elbrus via Kupol
East Summit
West Summit


Elbrus Map
Jankuat glacier and Gumachi

Mount Elbrus - Routes
Various have been used to reach the summit of Elbrus, the present Normal Route is possibly the easiest and safest and is of course the fastest on account of the cable car and chairlift system. This route and associated hazards of the ascent are described on separate pages of this site.

There are several more demanding and adventurous ways up the mountain. A touring ascent starts from below the cable-way Mir station and heads west over glacier slopes towards the Khotiutau pass. Some distance before reaching this the south spur of the Kiukurtliu Cupola is climbed to a broad glaciated saddle behind pt.4912 (top of the SW spur). Now a rising traverse north is made to attain the easy NW spur by which the summit is gained. This expedition involves 3 nights camping-bivouacs; parties also need a rope, axe and crampons. See details.

Climbing Elbrus from other directions is a tougher proposition because of lack of permanent high facilities. Freshfield always maintained that a route from the east up the Iryk valley, Irykchat glacier and over the Irykchat pass (3667m) on to snowfields below long rock ribs of the east spur would become the shortest and most used approach. A hut built long ago on the north side of the lrykchat pass is now wrecked, and in any event the vertical interval calls for at least 2 camp-bivouacs. See details.

Remote climbs include the NE slopes starting across the Jikaugenkiez ice plateau, and from near the Buruntash pass by the classical north side glaciers (see historical notes) where the average angle is greater than on the east and south slopes. Routes from the west (Khurzuk) side are in the mountaineering category; the NW spur from the Batkbashi pass is fairly straightforward while more direct lines from the hollow of the Kiukurtliu glacier are more serious. Until recently permissions were needed to attempt these climbs.

ALW 5/06/13