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Elbrus West top from the West

Northern Central Caucasus. Russia. Karachaevo-Cherkessia.

Climbing West Elbrus (5642 m). Classic climb of West Summit (5642 m) from the West via the "Utug" buttress

Altitude: 5642 m
Program category: Mountain Climbing
Difficulty: advanced (SPECIAL SKILLS ARE  REQUIRED)
Duration: 9 days
Season: June - September
First climb:
G. A. Emmanuel, 1829
Program price from: 1250 Euro

  • 25.07.24 - 08.08.24Minigroup 120000 RUR booking

Classic climbs of Caucasus.Climbing Elbrus 5642 m by the West route.

The Mount Elbrus route from the western side, from Karachay-Cherkessia, which is also called the “route via Utyug (Iron)” or via the Western Plateau, is the longest and technically relatively difficult route from a set of classic climbing routes of Mount Elbrus.

The Mount Elbrus route from the West was climbed for the first time during an expedition by the German traveler and climber Gottfried Merzbacher in 1891 and for a long time it remained one of the most inaccessible and difficult routes on the northern side of the Caucasus Mountains.

Even today, the Mount Elbrus West route significantly differs in complexity from other classic options for climbing the highest mountain of the Caucasus. Climbing Mount Elbrus from the west requires organization of a full-fledged independent expedition, which involves setting three intermediate camps on the way to the West summit, (not counting the Western Dzhalysu base camp to which one can get using off road special transport or a well-prepared 4x4.

The Mount Elbrus West route is 12 kilometers long and has an elevation difference of 2950 meters. There is no infrastructure on the West route of Mount Elbrus; the ascent can be done only in the format of a completely independent expedition. In addition, the western route does not have any terrain markings so it requires confident field navigation skills.

The Mount Elbrus West route is visited by climbers much less frequently than other three classic routes of Mount Elbrus (South, North and East). The reason for this low popularity of the West route roots in its logistical difficulties, as well as in the technical complexity of the section between camps 3900 m and 4600 m. To overcome the steep ice slope south of the Utyug Buttress, the use of rope belay and special equipment is required (the steepness of the snow-ice slope reaches 50° - 70° for approximately 200 vertical meters).

The advantages of the Mount Elbrus climbing route from the West include its pristine condition, almost zero tourist traffic and, as a result, the ideal purity of the mountains, untouched by any types of human activity.

The Mount Elbrus west route is an obvious choice for true lovers of the wild and authentic beauty of the mountains.

For the climbers, ascending Mount Elbrus from the west is a serious and responsible challenge that requires good preparation and a number of special skills - working with a rope, belaying a partner, crevasse rescue, climbing with an ice ax and crampons, offline field navigation.

The Mount Elbrus west route is not recommended to anybody with no experience of the long independent mountain expeditions or in case of lack of physical fitness.

Important! In order to get maximum positive impressions of the Elbrus program, as well as to reduce the risk of harm to your health, we strongly recommend to add to the Elbrus from the West climbing program the module of acclimatization. MCS AlexClimb mountaineering school offers two modules of acclimatization, which can be added to Elbrus from the West climbing program:

Acclimatization program in Adyl Su
Acclimatization program in Irik Chat

This 9-day program "Climbing West Elbrus from the West" is designed for people who have prior experience in mountain climbing and who want to try themselves at moutain route of the moderate difficulty. West climbing route of Elbrus is quite hard physically, requires to overcome technical climbing pitches of moderate difficulty and stay some time in the high altitude conditions. Regardless your climbing experience, we recommend passing the MCS AlexClimb Course of general physical preparation and Course of Mountain Technique (basic level) before participating in this program.

The First Principle of MCS AlexClimb
The First Rule, by which we are guided in the development of our mountain programs - is safety. Professional Guides lead the group, the highest quality certificated equipment and the most modern navigation equipment are used. This guarantees the highest possible level of your safety in the mountains, which is the most important side of our work.

Program Schedule

The AlexClimb Elbrus Russia climbing schedule (Climbing West Elbrus from the West 2024):

Guided ascent of West Elbrus (5648 m) from the West
Moderate difficulty сlimb, Advanced level

West Elbrus West route climbing program of MCS AlexClimb

Day 1 - Arrive to MRV, hotel accommodation City business Hotel ***, dinner in the restaurant
Day 2 - Transfer 4x4 from Mineralnye vody to Khurzuk village and further up the valley. Overnight stay in the West Elbrus BC 2700 m (West Jaly Su) in the tents. Breakfast in the hotel, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 3 - Walking up to the camp 1 on the moraine of the glacier, 3300 m, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 4 - Walking up to the Camp 2 on the upper morain, 3900 m, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 5 - Climbing the steep snow (ice) gorge to the upper glacier plateau, setting the altitude Camp 3, 4600m, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 6 - Climbing West Elbrus 5648 m, descent to the Camp 2, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 7 - Spare summit day, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 8 - Spare summit day, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 9 - Descent to the camp 1, overnight in the tents, breakfast, lunch and dinner - outdoor rations
Day 10 - Descent the the starting point of the route, 4x4 pick up and transfer to MRV. Hotel accommodation, overnight in the hotel, breakfast, lunch - outdoor rations, dinner in the restaurant

Prices and conditions

The price of the "Climbing West Elbrus from the West 2024":

1250 Euro* - mini-group 3-4 participants
3200 Euro - private program for 1-2 participants
* price per person

You have to be ready for: 

  • 10 days of camping life in the field conditions;
  • Cooking your meals by yourself while climbing mountains;
  • Carrying a 25-30 kg backpack;
  • Air temperature can be down to -20°C on the altitude higher than 3000 m;

Conditions: the passing of the acclimatization module and  Brief AlexClimb course of mountain technique is recommended before the trip.
The price includes: Professional mountain guide services, rent of the communal equipment (ropes, belaying and navigation equipment, cooking gear), hotel accommodation, transfers from the point of the beginning of the program to its end (Mineralnye vody or Nalchik), using the
communal basic medical kit, local registering and climbing permits, food for outdoor part of the program.
The price does not include: Russian visa charges*, International and domestic flight expenses** to and from the point of the beginning of the program (Mineralnye Vody or Nalchik),
one day in Moscow if you have long transfer***, obligatory climbing insurance, rent of the personal equipment, food and drinks while being in cities, using the satellite phone.
Group capacity: 10
Guides: 2

*AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can provide Russian Visa support for you. More information on request.
**AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can book the flights for you.
***AlexClimb Mountain Climbing School can book hotel for you in Moscow and organize, transfers sightseeing and recreations according to your preferences - basic Moscow package cost is 270 Euro wich inclides pick up and drop off in the airport and one night in the Hotel 3*.

Detailed conditions and limitations on the program "Russia. Climbing West Elbrus from the West" can be read in the Offer section

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Our Principles

AlexClimb Rule #1 - Safety First

From the very beginning of our activity, here nearly 16 years, the first Principle of work of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb is the Safety Priority. On the basis of this Principle all process of training is based, all programs and rounds are developed and carried out only within this main principle. We consider that at professional approach to development of programs, at personal discipline and correctly put motivation - occupations by mountaineering and rock-climbing are COMPLETELY safe. And from the return - all troubles and accidents in our sport come from nonprofessionalism, from ignorance or neglect by elementary standards of safety, from irrational motivation, from revaluation of own forces and opportunities. All these prerequisites we COMPLETELY EXCLUDE in our work - ours Rock-climbing, Ice climbing and Mountaineering are based on one Principle - the Safety Priority. In rock-climbing, mountaineering and ice climbing, the Priority of Safety of MCS AlexClimb-is your personal security and comfort irrespective of, than we are engaged - we train muscles and we work technology of the movement in the sports hall and on the rock climbing wall, we make the way through snowstorm to top or we relax on golden sand of the Caribbean beach after hot day of trainings on rocks. The Safety priority - the main credo of School of mountaineering and rock-climbing of MCS AlexClimb.

AlexClimb Rule #2 - Leave No Trace

Closely interacting with Nature, working with the active programs in mountains, woods, lakes and rivers, we perfectly understand the importance of carefull and respectfull bahavior towards the Nature, for its resources. From the very beginning of our outdoor-activity we adopted rules of  Leave No Trace technique - the standard of behavior of the person accepted in all the civilized world in relation to environment and especially - to the wild nature. After all on the relation of people to the nature near which they exist, itself can draw dalekoidushchy conclusions on the relation of these people to... Where and as we didn't travel - we don't reserve any garbage, we try to reduce whenever possible our influence on environment to a minimum. We clear earlier zagryazyonny tourist parking of the left garbage, we take out and we take out to utilization places that to us other people left there. We consider that only thus, at personal individual consciousness of each citizen, each tourist, climber or autotraveller, we will be able to keep the nature surrounding us in its state, natural, suitable for life, - in it pledge of the healthy future for ourselves and our children.

AlexClimb Rule #3 - Sober Concious

The position of AlexClimb Mountain and rockclimbing School regarding healthy lifestyle is quite clear - we consider that only sober consciousness is capable to fill sincere emotions,  to sympathize, to enjoy life in all its variety. Bright various enjoyable life is possible only on condition of keeping the absolute sobriety and purity of consciousness. Any way of obscuring our perception of reality is intended to do harm to our consciousness and bring harm to our physical health, to replace the true values by false ones, to destroy us physically - to turn us into flabby, weak, senseless, gray herd with empty hazy eyes. We don't force anybody to our point of view, everyone has a God's gift of making his own choice and to destroy himself if that is what he wants... But in AlexCilimb Mountain Climbing School we accept quite certain and very simple set of rules: neither alcohol, nor drugs.