/ Elbrus in October
Does anybody know if the Barrels Huts (or any of the high huts) are open after September? Also, if you are not carrying a picket, what do you use/plan to use as anchors in a crevasse rescue? I'll only have a classic axe and ski poles. Will bring a picket if necessary but they are a pain to carry!
We climbed it in October 2017 and all the huts were in use at that stage. FWIW, I wouldn't stay in the barrels if you paid me. The rest of the huts have a rough charm and are warm and dry, in comparison the barrels are desperate. Also, as far as I know all the huts need you to book with a local company. You don't necessarily need to be guided on the hill, but I'm pretty sure you need the booking.
The normal route doesn't have any crevasse danger that I can remember, the crevasses are a long way below it. If you fall that far, the crevasse would probably be the least of your worries by the time you get there.
Looks like I'll be heading up in October too, do you remember what dates you were there? I guess the huts close around then depending on the weather. How were conditions for you? I'm probably going to take the old route from the valley (no lifts) so think there might be crevasse danger lower down.
You can book the huts without an agency.
Don't go in the barrels. They're at a low altitude and are horrible. I recommend 'Крыша' which is just behind the lift station. It's new, clean and kinda posh. They cook and serve restaurant quality dishes. Couldn't find the number but you can ask either in Azau or search online. They'll have spaces. Maria or Eagle's nest are higher at 4050m.
Eagle's nest - +7 928 708 51 97 (If I remember correctly you have to dial the code for Russia without +7). Sherapi is the hut keeper and speaks very little english.
The route up from Azau is very easy hill hike. No crevasses as you're walking on firm ground. Register with the mountain rescue in Terskol and can ask them for more information. You can ask at the local rental shops for a guide or a hut number. The route to the top is good and has no crevasses but is very close to the glaciers so don't get lost in the fog. Good luck!
Thanks for the information. I've heard about the frozen brown tower below the Barrels, looks like I'll pass. Luckily my partner speaks Russian which should come in handy.
I thought the Barrels were fine, and the restaurant next to them served decent food. Most people weren’t roped up but at least in May 2018 the route did cross crevasses.
3 of us have just done it without a guide. But we used a company called pilgrim tours. They have whats called a light package which helps sort visas etc. But they offer a wealth of other services including huts. which we booked when we arrived. They had electric heaters, plug sockets and lights.Cant recommend then enough!
The route from the Barrels up to the Piruit 11 hut is becoming crevassed over these recent years, there usually obvious, marked and can be walked around, however at that time of year they may be covered in fresh snow so just ask the Snow cat drivers where they are! They normally fill them in each morning so the skidoo'd can get over them so they'll know. Once established on route above the Piruit hut there should be no crevasses. like said if your finding them, your a long way off route, so no need for picket! There's 2 walking routes up from the valley, the one up under the cable car is the road/ski run in winter so you can walk all the way up to the barrels in that. The other way is to start from Terskol and walk up the road to the observatory then up onto and cut across the Teskol glacier, however this is crevassed and only recommended when dry, (even then!) Remember unless things have changed since 2018 you MUST buy a national park permit for Elbrus, otherwise Russian mountain rescue is not valid, its peanuts and I've had call to use it a couple of time so well worth it! Can't say I mind the barrels that much, but that toilet is just awful! as said the new restaurant's accommodation etc is recommended and you should be able to book at that time of year as it will be quiet. One thing I'd recommend is put some Doller's away for a skidoo ride up too, or down from the top off the Pastukov rocks on summit day. off course the best way is to walk the whole thing from the barrels, but it's much, much further than it looks, 1900m up and down is a big day! You do of course have the option of camping the night before just above the Piruit 11 hut on the rocks on the right, but I'd want a good long weather window and a big down bag at that time of year. As others have said I'd recommend you use a local company for your logistics and just get one of their logistic only packages, that way all these issues are sorted for you! Enjoy the mountain and try and spend some time in the bars etc in the valley!
I have the visa but need to arrange all the permits etc. I'm cycling up from Georgia and have about 3 weeks before my partner arrives so plenty of time to get all in order (I hope). I saw Elbrus for the first time today from Svaneti. Even from a distance it's huge, I guess because there are no other peaks around it.
This Alpine Conditions page gives a summary of what is being climbed at the moment, what is 'in' nick and what the prospects are...
Lake District-based runner Kim Collison has set a new speed record on the Bob Graham Round in winter. Kim completed the round in just 15 hours 47 minutes, knocking a big chunk from the previous fastest winter time of 18:18 set by Jim Mann in 2013.