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South Normal Route, Mount Elbrus (5 642 m / 18 511 ft)

Mountain: Mount Elbrus (5 642 m / 18 511 ft)
Activity type: Mountaineering
Activity level: Challenging
Elevation: 5 642 m / 18 510 ft
Duration: 7 Day(s)
Expenses: from$ 500
Image of South Normal Route, Mount Elbrus (5 642 m / 18 511 ft)
Credit: www.etotam.com

Overview

Route Name:
South Normal Route, Standard Route, Azau Valley, Классический маршрут, С Юга, South Face
Activity type:
Mountaineering
Activity level:
Challenging
Type of Climb:
Snow & Ice
Location:
Europe, Russia: (Kabardino-Balkarskaya Respublika, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya)
Starting Point:
Parent Range:
Mountain:
First Ascent:
1/7/1874 Peter Knubel (Switzerland), Horace Walker (Great Britain), Frederick Gardner (Great Britain), Florence Crauford Grove (Great Britain), Ahiya Sottaiev (Russia)
Duration:
7 Day(s)
Max. Elevation:
5 642m / 18 510 ft
Vertical Gain:
1 743m / 5 719 ft
Length:
11km / 7 miles
Climbing Season(s):
01 Jun-30 Sep;
Nearst
Airport(s):
Convenience Center(s):
National
Park(s):

Location

Europe, Russia: (Kabardino-Balkarskaya Respublika, Karachayevo-Cherkesiya)
Guided Tour

Location: Russia

Price: $0
8 Day(s)

Activity type:Hiking

Difficulty: Moderate

0 reviews
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Guided Tour

Location: Russia

Price: $670
8 Day(s)

Activity type:Mountaineering

Difficulty: Challenging

0 reviews
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Guided Tour

Location: Russia

Price: $0
8 Day(s)

Activity type:Mountaineering

Difficulty: Challenging

0 reviews
Add to wishlist
  • Your Chance To Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Mt. Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe and an excellent experience for the aspiring mountaineer. Standing 18,510 feet above sea level, Elbrus is the perfect challenge for those who have had some experience with mountaineering and are looking to test themselves at high altitude or on the 7 summits quest to climb all of the highest summits on each of the seven continents. Elbrus is a great next step on the road to peaks such as Aconcagua or Denali. Though Elbrus is the highest summit in Europe, it is one of the technically easiest of the higher peaks on the continent.
  • Description Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    From Terskol village, arrange a taxi or walk the 5 kms (3 miles) up the valley and along the road to Azau at 2350 meters (7700 feet) elevation. This is where the first cable car station is, and you can’t miss it. From the cable car station, you can cheat and ride the cable cars up to the Low Hut (located at what is known as Garabashi Station), or you can walk. From the Low Hut, head south and up the slopes to the High Camp location at 4157 meters (13,638) feet elevation. The trail is usually well packed by snowcat and takes about an hour. From the High Camp, continue south up the slopes while heading straight towards the East Peak. Make sure to stay on route (usually marked with wands) because the surrounding slopes are covered with huge crevasses. There are no crevasses of consequence as long as you stay on route. You will pass between two linear rock bands before the route becomes steeper and climbs to the Pashtuhova Rocks, located at 4670 meters (15,321 feet) elevation. After the Pashtuhova Rocks, the route first heads south towards the East Peak, but after a short distance, it turns left and heads more in a westerly direction as it climbs up the slopes. The route reaches a gentle-sloped snow filled basin before climbing up to the saddle between the two peaks. From the saddle, head west and then head left towards the rocks of the shoulder of the West Summit. Cross the broad slope to the summit. Total elevation gain from the Low Hut is 1743 meters (5718 feet), and the climb usually takes 6-9 hours up. Descent usually takes 3-6 hours. The route travels via moderate snow and ice slopes up the glacier.
  • Getting There Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    South Route to Mount Elbrus is accessible from Moscow via an internal flight to the town of Mineralnye Vody. From here it takes a 3 hour by taxi or private van transport to the mountain village of Cheget and Terskol and acclimatize in route to the mountain. Usually climbers spend several nights in the village to get acclimatization before making their way to the start of the climb. The High Camp can be reached by taking a cable car ride.
  • Red Tape Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Elbrus Area Preserve permission is required. It is certainly a good idea to register in rescue service in Terskol if you are not traveling with a guide service. Registering is free of charge.
  • Are You Ready? Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Climbing Mount Elbrus requires familiarity with snow and ice skills (up to 45 degree slopes), strength endurance, and strong cardiovascular conditioning. Just because you exercise regularly (four to six times per week) does not mean you have the conditioning needed to reach the summit of Mt. Elbrus, the highest peak on the European continent. Plenty of people who have the endurance to run a marathon fail to summit high-altitude peaks. Pure cardiovascular fitness is simply not enough. Summit day alone requires stamina necessary to travel sometimes 12-15 hours round trip. You should be comfortable enough to ascend 1000 meters (3000 feet) of elevation on successive days carrying up to 12-15 kg (25-30 pounds).
  • Tips Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Cellular Network: Yes (Accomodation)

    Mobile Internet: Yes (Cellular network covers the most part of the South Route.)


    A common and sometimes fatal mistake that climbers make on the descent of the peak is to head low and down too early after the half-traverse below the saddle after returning from the summit. It is especially common when the weather is stormy with low visibility. On the descent, make sure to stay high up on the slopes of the east peak, rather than going down the slope too early after the saddle. If you descend too early, the route becomes very steep there and some nasty crevasses and falls have taken many lives there. It is certainly a good idea to register in rescue service in Terskol if you are not traveling with a guide service. Registering is free of charge.

  • Parameters Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Base Camp Elevation: 3 800 m / 12 467 ft
    Summit Camp Elevation: Please update
    Accommodation in Base Camp: Both - huts and tents
    Accommodation above Base Camp: Both - huts and tents
    Number of Camps: 1
    Avg. Cost: 500 USD
    Age Restrictions: 18
    Soloing: Yes
    Descent Route: Same
    Specify descent time: 5 Hour(s)
  • Key Points Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Name (Elevation) Description
    West Summit
    5 642 m / 18 511 tf
    The main summit of Mount Elbrus is the West Summit.
    Saddle
    5 350 m / 17 553 tf
    Saddle is a big snowy plateau situated between West and East summits. There is a rescue hut located just at the beginning of rocky ridge that follows from the Saddle to the East Summit. The coordinates of rescue hut are N 43° 21’ 05,0” and E 042° 26’ 53,0”. This hut is for emergency use only. Maximum capacity is 5-6 people, no utilities provided except a few bunk beds.
    Pashtukhova Rocks
    4 670 m / 15 322 tf
    High Camp
    4 050 m / 13 287 tf
    Low Camp (Garabashi)
    3 800 m / 12 467 tf
    The normal starting point for the climb of Mount Elbrus.
  • Agencies Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

    Accomodation
    Guided Tours
  • GPS-Tracks

    Elbrus_South_Normal_Route.gpx
    gps-avatar
    Sergey Kofanov
    318 download(s)
    Add
  • Did You Know Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

  • References Edit •  Add / Share you knowledge with mates

Last update: Nikita Kostyrin (28 Oct 2019) • History
Pavel Vorobiev

 Pavel Vorobiev 

52 years, Kyrgyzstan

Guide

12000

Mountaineering, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Backcountry Skiing
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Sergey Kofanov

 Sergey Kofanov 

42 years, Australia

Guide

11040

Mountaineering, Hiking
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Vitaly Stegno

 Vitaly Stegno 

29 years, Russia

Guide

2100

Mountaineering, Hiking, Rock Climbing, Ice Climbing, Backcountry Skiing
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Day 1

Acclimatization hike to Mount Cheget.
Acclimatization hike to Mount Cheget. This is a long day of walking with good altitude increases. By the end of this day, most climbers feel strong and accustomed to the altitude.

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Day 2

Move to the Low Hut (Garabashi).
Move to the Low Hut (Garabashi) and lodge at above 3800 meters (11000 feet). Climbers often use the tram and ski lift to help move their gear. Lodge in Low Hut.

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Day 3

Acclimatization day.
Hike to Pastukhov Rocks (15,416 ft.) and return to the Low Hut.

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Day 4

Rest day.
Rest day before summit push.

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Day 5

Summit day.
Climbers usually leave camp at 3 a.m. or even earlier (depends on taking a lift by Sno-Cat and ride to the Pastukov Rocks area). From the rocks, climbers begin their summit ascent. It is a long day, look for a 12-hour round-trip climb.

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Day 6

Reserve day.
Extra day at huts for inclement weather. Climbers can take a glacier tour or return to the valley if they already have summitted.

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Day 7

Reserve day.
Extra day at huts for inclement weather. Climbers can take a glacier tour or return to the valley if they already have summitted.

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Gear
list

Mount Elbrus South Normal Route Gear List (49 items)

Route: South Normal Route, Mount Elbrus (5 642 m / 18 511 ft)

Last update: 24 Feb 2016

Mountain Planet

250 Guide

There are some shops and rental services at Terskol village (route starting point) where you can buy or rent any needed equipment..

Climbing Equipment

7 elements

Put all your efforts to ensure that all of your climbing equipment have been checked before your arriving to Mineralnye Vody. Crampons must be adjusted to the boots, a backpack should be reliable and convenient, and the length of your ice-axe must be proper.

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Ice Axes and Tools - 1 item(s)

General mountaineering tool. Sizing is important: under 5'7" use a 60 cm tool; 5'7"- 6'1" use a 65 cm tool; over 6'1" use a 70 cm tool (too short is preferable to too long). No rubberized grips-they are heavy and do not plunge well into the snow. Make sure that you have a leash that is designed for use on a glacier axe or a leash that you make from 9/16 webbing.

reccommended

Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe with Grip Black Diamond

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Crampons - 1 item(s)

With flat rather than 'cookie cutter' frame rails. Your crampons should be steel, not aluminum for strength and durability. A combination heel bail/toe strap is a more universal system than a heel and toe bail system. Should be with anti-balling plates.

reccommended

Grivel G12 Crampon - Alpine Grivel

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Helmets - 1 item(s)

Must be adjustable and easy to fit, with or without hat or balaclava on.

reccommended

Petzl Ecrin Roc - Climbing Helmet Petzl

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Harness - 1 item(s)

Harness should fit over all clothing, have gear loops, adjustable leg loops and be reasonably comfortable to hang suspended in. Make sure you can get into the harness without having to step through any part of it.

reccommended

Petzl Calidris Harness - Men's Petzl

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Carabiners - 2 item(s)

Classic one is preferable than the screwgates.

reccommended

Petzl Am'D Locking Carabiner Petzl

Quantity: 2 item(s)

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Carabiners - 2 item(s)

Should be light and proper.

reccommended

Petzl Owall Carabiner - Non-Locking Carabiners Petzl

Quantity: 2 item(s)

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Trekking Poles - 1 item(s)

Should be adjustable. Shock absorbers are not recommended.

reccommended

Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles Black Diamond

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Footwear

5 elements

It's always risky to use the new boots on expeditions. Therefore if you didn't have a chance to try your new boots in previous treks put them on and walk for a couple of kilometres. Be sure that they don't damage your feet and you feel comfortable wearing them. Pay attention to the size of your boots, they don't have to be tight even if you put 2-3 pairs of socks on. There always should be a gap between your toes and the boots of approx. 0.7 - 1 cm.

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Mountaineering Boots - 1 item(s)

A double-boot with high-altitude liners is required for this climb. Plastic shells with a high-altitude liner will suffice. Non-plastic high-altitude double-boots, while more expensive, can be warmer and more comfortable than plastic boots.
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Overboots and Gaiters - 1 item(s)

Required. Not needed with the Single Boot System.
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Ski Socks - 2 item(s)

A smooth thin wool, nylon or Capilene to be worn next to the skin. This reduces the incidence of blisters and hot-spots and makes the outer sock last longer before needing to be changed. They should fit well with your heavyweight socks.

reccommended

Bridgedale CoolMax Liner - 2 Pack Bridgedale

Quantity: 2 item(s)

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Hiking Socks - 2 item(s)

A heavyweight socks to be worn over the liner socks (if liners are used). When layering socks, check fit over feet and inside boots.

reccommended

Bridgedale Wool Fusion Trekker Sock - Men's Bridgedale

Quantity: 2 item(s)

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Approach Shoes - 1 item(s)

Light waterproof shoes for casual wear on lighter walking days.

reccommended

Garmont Dragontail MNT - Approach Shoes Garmont

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Technical Clothing

10 elements

All clothing can be divided into several layers - light underwear, mid weight underwear, soft shell layer, hard shell layer and down layer. Be ensured that your clothes have no "gaps" in the layers.

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Underpants - 2 item(s)

NON-Cotton short style underwear. (boxers, briefs, panties, bras etc.). Amount based on personal preference.

reccommended

Helly Hansen Warm Boxer - Men's Helly Hansen

Quantity: 2 item(s)

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Long Underwear Bottoms - 1 item(s)

Lightweight Capilene, synthetic, or wool- any non-cotton fabric.

reccommended

Marmot Thermalclime Pro Tight - Men's Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Long Underwear Bottoms - 1 item(s)

Capilene, synthetic, or wool- any non-cotton fabric.

reccommended

Marmot Reactor Fleece Pant - Men's Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Long Underwear Tops - 1 item(s)

Lightweight Capilene, synthetic, or wool- any non-cotton fabric.

reccommended

Mammut Go Dry Top - Long-Sleeve - Men's Mammut

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Fleece Jackets - 1 item(s)

Top- zip-neck style is recommended for venting and versatility. Capilene, synthetic, or wool- any non-cotton fabric.
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Fleece Jackets - 1 item(s)

Mid-heavyweight. A full-zip version is easier to put on and has better ventilation than a pullover.
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Soft-Shell Pants - 1 item(s)

Choose Powerstretch. You will most likely wear these everyday during the trip as they are very versatile and durable.

reccommended

Mammut Trion Softshell Pant - Men's Mammut

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Technical Shells - 1 item(s)

A waterproof breathable shell material with full front zipper, underarm zips, and no insulation. This outer layer protects against wind and rain. Must has a hood.

reccommended

Arc'teryx Alpha AR Jacket - Men's Arc'-teryx

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Technical Pant Shells - 1 item(s)

Waterproof, breatheable. Full length side zippers preferred because it allows easy removal of pants, 7/8th zippers allowed but is more difficult to remove pants.

reccommended

Arc'teryx Alpha Comp Pant - Men's Arc'-teryx

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Down Jackets - 1 item(s)

Medium to heavy weight with hood and go below the waist. It could be synthetic instead of down.

reccommended

Marmot Ama Dablam Down Jacket - Men's Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Headwear

8 elements

It would be very smart if your group have one or two spare pair of sunglasses and torches. These items are very fragile and could be damaged easily.

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Hats - 1 item(s)

Make sure ears are covered.

reccommended

Mammut Stollen Beanie - Alpine Hat Mammut

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Sport Sunglasses - 1 item(s)

Regular sunglasses are usually not sufficient. 100% UV, IR, high quality optical lenses designed for mountain use, must have side covers and leashes. No more than 10% light transmission. If you wear contact lenses it would be sufficient to bring a spare pair of glasses - it is a good idea to have these with "photo-gray" or equivalent light-sensitive material so they can double as emergency sunglasses. If you wear glasses it would be sufficient to bring a prescription glacier glasses (gray or amber).

reccommended

Julbo Dolgan Sunglasses - Spectron 4 Lens Julbo

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Ski Goggles - 1 item(s)

Dark 100% UV & IR

reccommended

Julbo Revolution Goggles - Ski Goggles Julbo

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Headware Accessories - 1 item(s)

Ideal add-on to you glacier glasses.

reccommended

Beko Classic Nose Cover - Nose Guard Beko

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Headlamps - 1 item(s)

The modern headlamps are pretty reliable. But you have to take a spare batteries. Spare bulb is not obligatory but do not take Halogen bulbs: they take more power and have a shorter life.

reccommended

Petzl Tikka Headlamp - Headlamps Petzl

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Buffs - 1 item(s)

For covering the face and preventing sickness.

reccommended

Buff Original Buff - Bandana Print Buff

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Hats - 1 item(s)

The sun can be intense at high altitude. A hat with a good visor provides protection for the nose and eyes. Baseball hats work well.

reccommended

Outdoor Research Sun Runner Cap Outdoor Research

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Balaclavas & Masks - 1 item(s)

Lightweight. Looks for a simple lightweight model.

reccommended

Outdoor Research Option Balaclava Outdoor Research

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Handwear

3 elements

Despite the fact that the insulation characteristics of synthetic materials are unlikely to ever be able to overcome the natural down, choose your expedition mittens with insulation made of synthetics. Natural down unlike synthetics very easily crushed and so during the cold days when you will hold an ice-axe or rope your hands in down mittens will freeze more than in synthetic.

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Gloves - 1 item(s)

A heavier fleece will do a better job of keeping hands warmer when wet than lighter polypropylene or Capilene.

reccommended

Marmot Windstopper Glove - Lightweight Gloves Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Gloves - 1 item(s)

Insulation does not need to be removable. A good quality ski glove is sufficient.

reccommended

Marmot Big Mountain Glove - Ski Gloves Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Mittens - 1 item(s)

Should be large enough to fit lightweight fleece gloves.

reccommended

Marmot Expedition Mitt - Mittens Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Personal Equipment

6 elements

When choosing a sunscreen and lipscreen be guided by their ease of use, because they always should be close during walking. Try to find practical options that are combined in a single tube both sunscreen and lipstick.

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Day Hiking Backpacks - 1 item(s)

A day pack big enough to carry water bottles, camera, lunch and extra clothing. 50-liters maximum size. Rain covers are optional, but can be nice to have for wetter days.
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Packing Solutions - 2 item(s)

For reducing volume. For sleeping bags and down clothing.
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Sun & Skin Protection - 1 item(s)

SPF 40 or better, 2 small tubes. Keep in mind that sunscreen older than 6 months loses half of its SPF rating, make sure that you have new sunscreen.
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Water Bottles & Hydration Solutions - 1 item(s)

Wide mouth bottles with minimum 1 Liter capacity per bottle. No water bag or bladder systems, they freeze or are hard to fill.

reccommended

Nalgene Wide Mouth Tritan Bottle - 16oz Nalgene

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Knives & Tools - 1 item(s)

Multi-tool option is better than just a simple knife.

reccommended

Leatherman Juice C2 Multi-Tool Leatherman

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Thermoses - 1 item(s)

Light thermos with steel bulb. 0,75 liter at least.

reccommended

Primus Thermos - Vacuum Bottle 1.0 L Primus

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Camping Equipment

6 elements

If you are going to use a tour-agency service then you will be provided with guide support as well as camping equipment (tents if needed, stoves and cooking set). Otherwise you will have to take care of it by yourself.

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Medium (5 to 29 Degree) Down Sleeping Bags - 1 item(s)

Expedition quality rated to at least 0°F. Goose down preferred over synthetic for bulk & weight. If well-cared-for a down bag will last much longer than a synthetic bag. Your bag needs to be long enough that your feet are not pressing out the foot box which will make you colder. It should be roomy enough for comfortable sleeping but snug enough for efficient heat retention.

reccommended

Marmot Helium Sleeping Bag: 15 Degree Down Marmot

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Sleeping Pads - 1 item(s)

One 3/4 or full length pad. Make sure to include a valve stem and patch repair kit.

reccommended

Therm-a-Rest ProLite 4 Sleeping Pad Therm-a-Rest

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Cookwares - 1 item(s)

Should include cup, spoon, fork and mug.

reccommended

MSR 2-Person Mess Kit - Cups & Mugs MSR

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Cookwares - 1 item(s)

Should be light and convenient.

reccommended

MSR Alpinist 2 Pot - Aluminum MSR

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Stoves - 1 item(s)

Should be simple, universal and reliable.

reccommended

MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove - Hybrid-fuel Stove MSR

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Mountaineering Tents - 1 item(s)

The tent size mostly depends on the group size.
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Other

4 elements

As a rule your travel agency is in charge of all meal service. But anyway you can bring some power bars and gels that will support you during long approaches as well as during the summit push. Please note that some kind of products are not allowed to bring to the Russia. Finding all necessary medicine in Terskol may be a tricky task. So pack your personal first aid kit before departure to Mineralnye Vody. It will be smart to keep one extra set of travel clothes for travelling back to home.

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Duffel Bags - 1 item(s)

One small additional duffel bag is recommended for storing unneeded items at the hotel during the trek.

reccommended

REI Roadtripper Duffel X-Large - Travel Bags REI

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Duffel Bags - 1 item(s)

Large Duffel Bag with travel lock for transporting and storing gear. Total volume is up to 10 000 cu. in. Heavy Cordura or similar.

reccommended

TATONKA Barrel XXL - Travel Bags TATONKA

Quantity: 1 item(s)

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Toiletry Kits - 1 item(s)

Include toothpaste and brush, toilet paper, soap, a small towel, wet wipes (1-2 per day), and 2 bottles of hand sanitizer (one 8oz and one 2oz).
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First Aid Kits - 1 item(s)

(Simple and Light) Aspirin (Extra Strength Excedrin is best), Antibiotic ointment, Moleskin, molefoam, waterproof first-aid tape, athletic tape, Band-Aids, personal prescriptions, etc.
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