Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, located in the beautiful Caucasus Mountains. The Caucasus stretch for 880 kilometres from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea. They form the physical barrier dividing Europe and Asia, although the whole range lies entirely within the former Soviet Union. The highest and most glaciated part of the Caucasus is the central region, which includes Elbrus, the fifth highest of the Seven Summits. The snowline is higher than in the Alps and the flavour of the climbing is a cross between Alpine and Himalayan.
The higher altitudes are extensively glaciated, although the general configuration of the range is less complex than the Alps. On this expedition you climb the highest, west summit (5,742m) of Elbrus via the more remote northern route. In our opinion, the north side of the mountain is more beautiful than the southern aspect, not least because there are no cable cars and chairlifts, a prominent feature on the climb from the south. You spend up to five nights above base camp to ensure you acclimatise sufficiently for what can only be described as a long and gruelling summit day of nearly 1900m of ascent. If the weather is clear, the views from the top should make it all worthwhile.