Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in the country, and in Europe, and it's a popular destination for many travelers to Russia, particularly those interested in spending time outdoors. If you want to climb Mount Elbrus, there are options available for different fitness levels, ensuring that most travelers will be able to do so. There are two main routes: the normal route and the Kiukurtliu Route. Permits are required for visitors who wish to scale Mount Elbrus Russia, which is a persuasive reason to book head with a tour company who will take care of obtaining these for you. Bureaucracy has sometimes delayed adventurous travelers for a few days while permits were being issued, and the convenience of having these arrangements made ahead of time is well worth the cost.
Mount Elbrus is actually an inactive volcano and is located near the border of neighboring Georgia. The two soaring summits of the mountain are more than 18,000 feet in height, with the west summit slightly higher than the east summit. The 22 glaciers of the mountain feed the neighboring rivers, and adventurous travelers come to the area to hike, ski, climb, and take photographs. The lower summit of Mount Elbrus Russia was first successfully climbed in 1829.
It took another 40 years for the higher summit to be conquered, and in 1874 this was accomplished. Many local people had a desire to climb Mount Elbrus, as mountaineering gained popularity during the early period of Soviet leadership. For the less adventurous, a cable car system was built completed in 1976 that can now bring visitors to heights of over 12,000 feet. The cable car provides the sweeping views of Mount Elbrus that was previously only enjoyed by climbers and makes this destination a worthwhile place to visit even if you're not the most adventurous traveler.
For skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, packages are available for an Elbrus ski tour. With the assistance of expert guides, visitors can explore Mount Elbrus Russia on skis all while learning about avalanche safety and glacier climbing. A great option for groups of experienced skiers, this tour offers the opportunity to have Sno-Cats bring skiers to an elevation of more than 15,000 feet for the ultimate vertical skiing experience. Mount Elbrus is about 3,000 feet higher than the surrounding mountains, providing an excellent view in all directions, even if you don't quite reach the summit.
If you’d rather climb Mount Elbrus than ski, tour groups are available for this as well. Experts will help visitors acclimate to the elevation before attempting to climb. The villages and markets of the lower areas of the mountain provide great entertainment while adjusting to the thinner air. While moderate climbing skills are suggested for these tours, it also is not essential to participate in the last final ascent (the most difficult part of the climb). Landscape, culture, and a sense of accomplishment will fill any climbing expedition to the beautiful Mount Elbrus.
Russia is becoming an increasingly popular skiing destination, leading up to the 2014 Winter Olympics, which will be held in the city of Sochi. However, even if you're neither a skier nor particularly outdoorsy, you're sure to find this beautiful site well worth the journey to southern Russia, and you can also continue on to resorts along the Black Sea if you choose.