Why Climb Elbrus with Alpine Ascents?
As the highest peak in Europe, Elbrus is a premier ascent for climbers who wish to test their skills at increasing altitude. Although only basic mountaineering skills are required, high-altitude and unpredictable weather make this a challenging and enticing ascent. Elbrus expedition is logistically demanding and we offer several key elements that separate our climb from other outfitters. One of our most popular climbs, this trip has filled five to six months in advance for the past five years.
Key Elements of our Climb and Success
- Lead guides: We always send a guide from the United States, generally an experienced Himalayan climber. Our 2014 trips are scheduled to be led by Vern Tejas (of Everest and Seven Summits fame). He has led more than 200 climbers to the summit of Elbrus and a summit success rate of just under 100% in 15 years of guiding Elbrus.
- Summit success: We have had a 95% summit success since 2000, with most teams having 100% success. Compare our expedition record to those of other guide services.
- Flexible schedules: We have built-in extra days for bad weather and acclimatization to give our team the best chance of summiting. This includes extra days reserved for High Camp, which is not common.
- Logistics: Russia is a challenging country in which to operate. Our years of experience have helped us iron out many of the wrinkles. We are able to deal with issues as they arise (and they will!).
- Russian guides: We have been working with the same Russian staff for the past ten years and our guiding systems are extremely compatible. We hire extra guides for summit day (and often earlier) to keep climber-to-guide ratios low.
- Hotels, lodging and transportation: We offer quality hotels and meals throughout the climb. (This is one way that guide services usually try and cut costs.) The cost of the internal flight to/from Mineral Vody is included.
- City tours: Our departure and return dates are set to give us access to as many cultural activities as possible. We offer tours of St. Petersburg and Moscow.
- Costs: We try to be up front about all costs. Note our cost inclusions, which cover internal flights and most meals.
Success on Elbrus over the past 15 Years
We had over 90% summit success in 2013, with one of our teams using a second summit attempt (after a turn in the weather) to be successful. (Many other climbers did not summit during this time period.) Vern Tejas led both our expeditions, along with our local guide staff.
Another spectacular year was 2012, with our two full teams reaching the summit under the leadership of Vern Tejas, who was assisted by Carole Tejas. We returned to the South Side and the mountain proved to be in great condition for both climbs. We are happy to put you in touch with last year's team members.
Alpine Ascents has had outstanding success on Mt. Elbrus. In 2000, 2001 and 2002, we saw 100% success under the leadership of Vern Tejas. Our 2003 trips were led by Dave Morton and Todd Burleson with 95% success. Vern led our 2004 climb with 100% success on the first trip , then after being turned back by weather on trip two, Vern - beyond the call of duty - re-ascended the next day to the summit with several team members. Vern enjoyed 100% success in both 2005 and 2006, leading four teams of 12 to the summit and once again in 2007 with 100% success. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, we met with typical success, with 95% to 100% of the climbers reaching the summit. In 2011, Vern pioneered two successful climbs on the North Side route - in a year when most companies did not offer a trip.
We are planning to cybercast your expedition on our website. If you have any objections to having your name included in the cybercast as a team member, please contact us as soon as possible. Cybercasts can be viewed by friends and family at: http://www.alpineascents.com/elbrus-cybercast.asp How it works: Guides will call in an audio report that is immediately posted to the website. This report is transcribed the next business day and posted on our website and relayed to Facebook....Like us on Facebook and the post will be sent to your Facebook page. www.facebook.com/AlpineAscentsInternational
Our Guiding Team
Alpine Ascents is known worldwide for the unparalleled quality of its guide staff. Recent Elbrus guides include famed mountaineers Todd Burleson and Vern Tejas. While many other outfitters are little more than a "one-man show," our trips are led by professional mountaineers with great flexibility in guide staff, full-time office support, logistics and access, and information for other great climbs around the world.
Alpine Ascents has a full gear department ready to assist with your climbing questions and preparations.
We have a full-time gear staff and a retail store. All Alpine Ascents climbers receive a discount on each purchase in our gear store.