425.749.7421

Mount Elbrus • Guided ascent of the West Summit

Baksan Valley • Caucasus Range

Details

 

Length:

10 days in Russia

Climbing Season:

Summer

Climbing Grade:

Cost

$4600

Climbing Grade: Advanced

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain above 8000 meters. Class 5.6 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Intermediate

This climb requires a high level of climbing proficiency on steep, exposed and technical terrain at high altitude. Class 4 ice or 5.8 rock climbing is required. Excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Climbers must provide climbing resume including high altitude experience.

Climbing Grade: Intermediate

This climb requires snow and ice climbing skills with proficiency on steep and icy terrain. Strong backpacking and excellent physical conditioning is requisite for this expedition. Prior climbing experience is required. High altitude experience is beneficial.

Climbing Grade: Advanced Beginner

Prior climbing experience is beneficial. Basic snow and ice climbing skills are introduced during the program. Above average physical conditioning is requisite for this climb. No high altitude experience is required.

Climbing Grade: Beginner

No prior climbing experience is required. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Easy

No experience required.

Trekking Grade: Moderate

This trek requires 4-6 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 1000-2000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and good physical conditioning are requisite.

Trekking Grade: Strenuous

This trek requires 6-8 hours of hiking per day with a small pack. Elevation gains of 2000-3000 feet per day. Strong hiking skills and great physical conditioning are requisite.

If you have further questions about our climbing or trekking grades; or about your qualifications for a particular expedition, trek, climb or course, please contact us.

Our cost includes domestic Mineralnye Vody flights. After the climb travel to Saint Petersburg for a two day optional extension in Russia's most beautiful city.

Expedition Overview

Seven Summits - Mountain GurusEurope’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus is located in the heart of the Caucasus Mountains in Russia. It is one of the famous Seven Summits. The mountain has two summits, its higher western summit stands at 18,510 ft and the eastern summit slightly lower. Little known outside of Eastern Europe, the peaks, glaciers and valleys of the Caucasus are as beautiful as the Swiss Alps. The route ascends gentle snow slopes to a saddle between the two summits and gains over 4,000 feet before reaching the western summit. Although the climb requires no previous climbing experience the ascent is long requiring good physical conditioning and the use of crampons and ice axe.

Mount Elbrus • Southside Climb • 10 days

Our expedition begins in the historic city of Moscow where we tour the city’s famous landmarks including Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. We then fly to the city of Mineralnye Vody and travel by van to the small village of Azau located within the heart of the Baksan Valley near the base of Mount Elbrus. Our Southside climb utilizes a series of chairlifts and high mountain huts where you’ll enjoy delicious hot meals and comfortable accommodations prepared by our Russian cook. The Southside route allows us to climb Europe’s highest peak carrying only light daypacks. Our expedition also offers the option of using snowcat support above Pastukhov Rocks (16,000′). After the climb, extend the journey and travel to famous Saint Petersburg for a tour of this beautiful city, once the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years.

Mountain Gurus offers both South and Northside climbing expeditions. The Northside offers remote expedition style climbing where we establish a series of camps on the upper mountain. Both routes summit via a Saddle which separates the East Summit from the West Summit.

Mount Elbrus • Express Climb • 7 days

For those seeking a quicker experience, our Mountain Gurus express climb is a great way to shorten the time needed to reach Europe’s highest point! The seven day climb skips our Moscow tour and travels directly to the mountain.

Elbrus Ski Tour • 8-10 days

Ski Russian style! The Elbrus region has long history of alpine and ski activity. The Caucasus Range offers great snow conditions due to the higher altitude and colder weather, which is the winning recipe for excellent skiing. The lift system of the Elbrus region offers some of the biggest vertical in the world with ski descents of 1700 m right off the tram! From April to May we’re able to ski from the summit to the base of the mountain in Azau, an 11,000 foot descent. In June and July the weather is warmer and we ski to the 12,000 foot level near the Barrels.

Elbrus Southside Itinerary
Day 1 • Arrive Moscow
Day 2 • Moscow tour
Day 3 • Arrive Mineralnye Vody
Day 4 • Hike on Cheget
Day 5 • Climb to 14,000 ft on Elbrus
Day 6 • Climb to 16,000 ft for acclimatization
Day 7 • Rest day at 12,600 ft
Day 8 • Summit day. Ascend Elbrus to 18,510 ft
Day 9 • Contingency Day
Day 10 • Arrive Moscow and transfer for flights home

Elbrus Express Southside Itinerary
Day 1 • Arrive Mineralnye Vody
Day 2 • Hike on Cheget
Day 3 • Climb to 14,000 ft on Elbrus
Day 4 • Climb to 16,000 ft for acclimatization
Day 5 • Summit day. Ascend Elbrus to 18,510 ft
Day 6 • Contingency Day
Day 7 •  Transfer to Mineralnye Vody for flights home

Ski Descent Itinerary
Day 1 • Arrive Moscow
Day 2 • Moscow tour
Day 3 • Arrive Mineralnye Vody
Day 4 • Ski-tour on Cheget
Day 5 • Ski-tour on slopes of Elbrus to altitude 3700 m
Day 6 • Transition to mountain hut. Ski-tour on Elbrus for acclimatization
Day 7 • Ski-tour to the Pastukhov rocks 4700 m
Day 8 • Summit day. Ascend Elbrus to 5642 m and ski down
Day 9 • Arrive Moscow and transfer for flights home

Itinerary

Flight Schedule: USA – Moscow (SVO)
Expedition begins and ends in Russia


Southside Climb 

Day 1 • Arrive Moscow (SVO)
Transfer Sheremetyevo International Airport to hotel.

Day 2 • Moscow
Our expedition begins in the historic city of Moscow. Today we take a guided tour of the city’s famous landmarks including Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. (B)

Day 3 • Mineralnye Vody • Azau • 7,500 ft
We transfer to the domestic airport for the two hour flight to the city of Mineralnye Vody. Then continue by van (three hours) to the small village of Azau in the Baksan Valley. Expedition orientation and gear check in the afternoon. (B)

Day 4 • Hike to Mount Cheget • 11,000 ft
We take an acclimatization hike up Mount Cheget and enjoy the remarkable views of the Baksan Valley. Return to hotel. (B, L)

Day 5 • Climb to 14,000 ft on Elbrus
After breakfast we take the cable car to 12,600 feet on Elbrus. We hike above 14,000 feet just below Pastukhov rocks for acclimatization and descend to 13,200 ft where we conduct a basic climbing school in preparation for summit day. Return to hotel. (B, L)

Day 6 • Climb to 16,000 ft on Elbrus
Today we take the cable car to 12,600 feet. When by snowcat to 14,000 feet. We enjoy views of the mountain as well as the Caucasus Range as we climb above 16,000 feet to continue our acclimatization. Return to hotel. (B, L)

Day 7 • Mountain hut • Rest day • 12,600 ft
After a late breakfast we pack our gear and ascend by cable car to 12,600 feet. We spend the afternoon acclimatizing and relaxing in preparation for our summit climb. Overnight at mountain hut. Please note: We do not stay at the Diesel Hut, we overnight in much nicer Leap Russia or privately owned mountain huts. (B, L, D)

Day 8 • Summit Day • Mount Elbrus • 18,510 ft
The day starts early. After riding the snowcat above 16,000 feet. We climb open snow slopes to the saddle between the East and West summits. We gain nearly 6,000′ before reaching the summit. Mount Elbrus is the highest point in Europe and Russian and is one of the seven summits. (B, L)

Day 9 • Azau
Transport to airport for flights home. (B)


Southside Climb (option 2)

Day 1 • Arrive Moscow (SVO)
Transfer Sheremetyevo International Airport to hotel.

Day 2 • Moscow
Our expedition begins in the historic city of Moscow. Today we take a guided tour of the city’s famous landmarks including Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. (B)

Day 3 • Mineralnye Vody • Azau • 7,500 ft
We transfer to the domestic airport for the two hour flight to the city of Mineralnye Vody. Then continue by van (three hours) to the small village of Azau in the Baksan Valley. Expedition orientation and gear check in the afternoon. (B)

Day 4 • Hike to Mount Cheget • 11,000 ft
We take an acclimatization hike up Mount Cheget and enjoy the remarkable views of the Baksan Valley. Return to hotel. (B, L)

Day 5 • Hike to Observatory • 11,000 ft
Today we take an adventure hike up the lower slopes of Mount Elbrus to an Observatory. We enjoy views of the mountain as well as the Caucasus Range. Return to hotel. (B, L)

Day 6 • Climb to 13,600 ft on Elbrus
We take the cable car to 12,600′. When hike to our mountain hut at 12,800 feet. We hike above the Diesel Hut to 13,600′. Snow school and skills training in the afternoon. Overnight at mountain hut. Please note: We do not stay at the Diesel Hut, we overnight in much nicer Leap Russia or privately owned mountain huts. (B, L, D)

Day 7 • Climb to Pastukhov Rocks • 15,000 ft
Today we take an acclimatization hike to Pastukhov Rocks at 15,000′. Overnight at mountain hut. (B, L, D)

Day 8 • Summit Day • Mount Elbrus • 18,510 ft
The day starts early. After riding the snowcat above 16,000 feet. We climb open snow slopes to the saddle between the East and West summits. We gain nearly 6,000′ before reaching the summit. Mount Elbrus is the highest point in Europe and Russian and is one of the seven summits. (B, L)

Day 9 • Contingency day
Descend to Azau or transport to Pyatigorsk (near Mineralnye Vody) and spend the afternoon exploring the Russian town.

Day 10 • Depart
Transport to airport for flights home.


Saint Petersburg Tour

Day 9 • Saint Petersburg
We transfer to the domestic airport for the flight to the city of Saint Petersburg.

Day 10 • Saint Petersburg
Today we enjoy sightseeing in famous Saint Petersburg. We visit the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood, Saint Isaacs Cathedral and the State Hermitage as well as many other famous sites. The evening is enjoyed by an optional riverboat ride on the city’s canals. (B)

Day 11 • Depart
Transport to airport for flights home. (B)


Northside Climb

Day 1 • Arrive Moscow
Transfer airport to hotel.

Day 2 • Moscow
Our expedition begins in the historic city of Moscow. Today we take a walking tour of the city’s famous landmarks including Red Square, St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. During the afternoon we have an expedition orientation.

Day 3 • Mineralnye Vody • Mount Elbrus Base Camp
We transfer to the domestic airport for the two hour flight to the city of Mineralnye Vody. Then continue by van (fours hours) to Mount Elbrus Base Camp.

Day 4 • Mount Elbrus Base Camp • 8,300ft
Rest Day. We take a short acclimatization hike to explore the remote valley and stretch our legs after the many long days of travel.

Day 5 • Mount Elbrus Base Camp • 8,300ft
We pack up a portion of our supplies and make a carry to our cache site near Camp 1. After depositing our cache and enjoying the views, we descend back to Base Camp for the night.

Day 6 • Camp 1 • 12,300ft
The route from Base Camp takes us above a narrow gorge and out of the high grasslands into the alpine zone, affording stunning views of the glaciers of Mt. Elbrus and the lower steppes of the Caucasus to the north. The last stretch of the climb leads through the jumbled rock moraine along side the Mikelchiran Glacier before cresting a final steep pitch and bringing us into camp.

Day 7 • Camp 1 • 12,300ft
We review basic mountaineering techniques such as ice axe arrest, crampon methods, and roped travel. Climbing the Mikelchiran Glacier, we ascend towards Camp 2 at Lenz Rocks, gaining familiarity with the route and exposure to new altitudes. We have the possibility to carry a small portion of our supplies to cache at Camp 2 in anticipation of our summit attempt. We return to our tents at Camp 1 for the night.

Day 8 • Camp 2 • 15,200ft
Climb and establish our high camp, final preparations are made for Summit Day and we settle in early in anticipation of tomorrow’s summit attempt.

Day 9 • Summit Day • Mount Elbrus • 18,510ft
After an alpine start we climb from Lenz Rocks across the upper portion of the Mikelchiran Glacier until we reach the Saddle at 17,700′. Mt. Elbrus has two large summit domes and the Saddle separates the East Summit from the West Summit. Our route gets a little steeper as we gain the upper summit plateau where we follow a broad ridge to the Summit. After enjoying the summit and its impressive views of the Caucasus mountain range, we descend down the route to Camp 1.

Day 10 • Contingency Day
An additional day is scheduled for acclimatization or weather.

Day 11 • Kislovodsk
Descend to Base Camp. We depart Camp 1 and start the descent, retracing our steps to Base Camp. An afternoon shuttle takes us back to Kislovodsk where we enjoy a delicious celebration dinner, hot showers, and a good night’s sleep.

Day 12 • Depart
Transport to airport for flights home.


Itinerary Notes: Mountain Gurus makes every effort to uphold the scheduled itinerary, although our guides are given discretion to adapt the itinerary for reasons beyond our control or due to the particular needs of the group. Please request a detailed itinerary for a list of scheduled and non-scheduled meals. Meal schedule: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner

Details

Land Cost

Elbrus Southside Climb • 10 days
Price per person: $4600 (American guided, based on minimum of 4 climbers)
Price per person: $5400 (American guided, based on minimum of 2 climbers)

Saint Petersburg extension: $900
Single Supplement: $500

Elbrus Express Climb • 7 days
Price per person: $2700 (based on minimum of 4 climbers)
Price per person: $3200 (based on minimum of 2 climbers)
*Domestic flights not included

Single Supplement: $200


Deposit and Payments
$700.00 deposit includes reservation fee, due with application.
Balance due 90 days prior to departure


Services included
Round Trip Domestic airfare – Moscow – Mineralnye Vody
All scheduled land transportation in Russia
Park fees, Lift fees
Hotel accommodations in Moscow and Azau
Hut accommodations on Elbrus
Guided tour in Moscow
Scheduled meals in Russia and during the expedition
Professional guide
All group equipment for the expedition


Services not included
International airfare – USA – Moscow
Russian Visa fees
Non-scheduled airport transfers
Non-scheduled meals
Snack food during the expedition
Personal gear
Excess baggage charges for domestic flight, 20kg (44lb) maximum allowable
Saint Petersburg extension
Snowcat transportation on summit day
Trip cancellation insurance
Medical and evacuation coverage
Staff gratuities

Gear List

Head and Face

  • Warm Hat: Wool/Synthetic, one that covers the ears. Simple skull-cap style hats are recommended as they tend to fit better beneath a climbing helmet.
  • Buff or Balaclava
  • Sun Hat or Baseball Cap
  • Glacier Glasses: Essential eye protection at altitude. Wrap around style or side shields.
  • Ski Goggles, High-quality goggles for sun and wind protection at altitude, optional
  • Sunscreen: SPF 30+
  • Lip screen: SPF 30+
  • Climbing LED Headlamp: Bring plenty of batteries.

Upper Body

  • Upper Body Layers: We recommend you have three warm layers for the upper body. Items must be made of synthetic or pile. Make sure all layers fit comfortably over each other and supply good insulation. A good combination is a long underwear top, a sweater, and a pile jacket. Cotton items do not provide adequate insulation and are completely useless when damp.
  • Softshell Jacket and/or Fleece Pullover: This breathable but wind-and-weather resistant jacket is a key part of a mountaineering layering system. Medium weight synthetic, form-fitting, for use over base layers. Hoods are highly recommended.
  • Baselayer Tops: One synthetic short-sleeve shirt. One synthetic long-sleeve shirt for summit day is required. Lighter colors absorb less sunlight which can be nice on sunnier days.
  • Hardshell Jacket w/ hood: Snow and high wind can be common. GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof nylon shell that has been “seam sealed”.
  • Expedition down parka w/ insulated hood: 700+ fill down.

**An expedition down parka w/ hood is required for Mount Elbrus**

Handwear

  • Lightweight synthetic (fleece) Gloves: One pair (WINDSTOPPER© is recommended)
  • Softshell Gloves: One pair, Leather construction offers durability and grip on ropes and other gear.

Lower Body

  • Quick Dry Hiking Shorts: One pair. Good for hiking at lower elevations in the mountains.
  • Baselayer Bottom: One pair. Synthetic, no cotton
  • Hardshell Pants: Bring a good pair of rain/wind pants of GORE-TEX© or a fully waterproof nylon shell that has been “seam sealed”. (full-length side zips are required; you may need to take off your hard shell pants without removing your boots).
  • Softshell Climbing Pants: Synthetic, stretchy, non-insulated, comfortable to climb in and provide good warmth on cool misty days, dry fast and prevent sunburn. Schoeller© fabric is recommended.
  • Gaiters: Full-sized waterproof gaiters that must fit snugly over your mountaineering boots.
  • Undergarments: Enough for the duration of the program. (Sports bra for Woman)

Footwear

  • Double Plastic Climbing Boots or Leather/ Synthetic/ Hybrid Mountaineering Boots (full shank and crampon compatible)
  • Hiking Boots or Trekking Shoes: One pair medium weight hiking boots/shoes.
  • Medium to Heavyweight Socks: Three or four pair of wool or synthetic socks to wear for warmth with climbing boots.

**Read our Mountaineering Boot and Crampon guide for more information. Double plastic mountaineering boots or Heavy-weight synthetic/ hybrid mountaineering boots are required for Mount Elbrus.**

Backpack and Packing 

  • Backpack: One lightweight large/medium size (3500 cubic inches) comfortable pack with some support, adequate to carry personal gear. The pack should fit properly and have a good waist belt. Carry gear between 30 and 45 pounds.
  • Travel Duffle/zip Bag: One large size, transporting gear.
  • Travel locks, nametags, and contact information written directly on the duffels.
  • Bags: large plastic bag, large Ziploc bag or waterproof stuff sacks
  • Passport

Climbing Gear 

  • Ice axe with leash: 60-70cm mountaineering axe
  • Crampons: 12-point steel with anti-balling plates
  • Alpine Climbing Harness w/ adjustable leg loops
  • Trekking Poles: Adjustable and collapsible w/ snow baskets
  • Carabiners Locking: Two large pear-shaped, screw gate

Drinking

  • Water Bottle: Two, one liter wide-mouth plastic bottles. NALGENE©

Personal Health and First Aid

  • Small personal first-aid kit and medications
  • Camera
  • Toilet paper
  • Earplugs, optional
  • Personal Items

**Basic medical supplies in a compact package, we recommend basic painkillers, Moleskin, first-aid tape, Band-Aids, and anti-septic wipes or gel.**

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort, it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Travel

International Programs • Russia

Program start time & location: begins and ends in Moscow

Visa/Entry Information: A valid passport and visa are required to enter and exit Russia and must be obtained from Russian Embassies or Consulates before traveling to Russia. Since visa policies change often MG will update you once your application and deposit are accepted.

Health & Immunizations: Immunizations are not required for entry into Russia.

Flight Travel Information: USA – Moscow

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Meals and Food: All meals are provided as per meal schedule. (see itinerary for meal schedule)

Gear: A complete clothing and equipment list specific to your program will be sent to you in the pre-departure packet upon reservation. For your safety and comfort it is extremely important that you adhere strictly to the equipment list.

Frequently Asked Questions

Even the most experienced climbers have questions and if this is your first time on an Expedition, Trek or Northwest Climb you’re sure to have them. We provide information about such things as travel dates, itineraries and required equipment throughout our website. However, if you can’t find the answers you seek anywhere else, we try to provide them here!

Travel & Insurance

When do I need to arrive and depart?

International Departures: Our itineraries reflect the date and time you’ll need to arrive in country for a particular program. Mountain Gurus programs begin and end in the countries, destination city. When booking your flight you’ll need to account for travel time and crossing the international dateline if needed. It’s easiest to give your booking agent the day and time you’ll need to arrive.

Domestic Departures: Regarding Northwest programs our itineraries reflect the date and time the program begins at a particular start location (North Cascades NP, Olympic NP, etc.). When flying to Washington State you’ll likely need to arrive the day before the climb begins in order to meet the group at the program start location. In regards to your departure flight, our return time to the program start location is often unpredictable. We suggest a hotel reservation for the night of the last day and plan to return home the day after the end of the program.

What if I want to arrive early or depart later than the program? Mountain Gurus can assist in arranging accommodations before or after the program. Our Operations Director can recommend things to do if you desire.

Will a Mountain Gurus agent greet me at the airport? For International programs depending on your arrival time, we coordinate ground transportation. We either greet you at the airport or arrange transportation to your hotel. In most cases the program formally begins the morning after arrival day.

Do you recommend trip cancellation insurance? Mountain Gurus highly recommends purchasing of trip cancellation and travel insurance. This comprehensive travel insurance provides coverage for trip cancellation and interruption, travel delays, loss of baggage and travel documents, baggage delays, medical expenses and emergency assistance.

Do I need any other insurance? Make sure you provide yourself adequate traveler’s medical and evacuation insurance for coverage should you have a problem during the trip.

Should I have concerns when traveling internationally? We recommend registering with the United States Department of State when traveling anywhere internationally. Registration is voluntary and is your sole responsibility. Also, the United States Department of State maintains a travel Warning/Alerts list for most countries around the world. www.travel.state.gov

Experience and Fitness

What are climbing and trekking grades? Mountain Gurus provides climbing and trekking grades to help our client choose which programs are best suited for their experience level, knowledge of climbing and overall physical conditioning. Mountain travel can be extremely challenging yet profoundly rewarding. We offer programs of various skill levels and difficulty. Regardless which program you choose we expect our clients to be physically and mentally prepared for the demands of the journey.

Can anyone participate on your MG programs? We feel that anyone in reasonably good physical fitness should be able to join us on many of our programs. Mountain Gurus guides will introduce basic trekking and climbing skills needed during the course of the program. Remember your ability to participate in the program is largely dependent upon your overall health and fitness. An expedition, trek or climb shouldn’t be taken lightly and we encourage you to prepare for it by physically conditioning yourself for the strenuous aspects of the program. We strongly advise anyone who is considering a climb with Mountain Gurus, who may have a medical condition or medical history that may affect their performance, first consult with their physician. If you have further questions or concerns please contact us and our Operations Director can discuss which program is best suited for you.

Domestic & International Programs

How can I find out about necessary visas or entry requirements for the country I am visiting? Mountain Gurus will send you all necessary visa information contained within our pre-departure package. In most case American citizens can obtain a visa upon arrival. It is your responsibility to send in all pre-required visa applications and associated fees. In addition most countries maintain websites that provide all necessary information and application forms.

How can I find about necessary immunizations for the area where I am traveling? As part of your itinerary, we’ll provide you with current recommended/required immunizations for the country where you are traveling. You can always consult the Center for Disease Control at www.cdc.gov

Can I hire an additional porter? On International programs Mountain Gurus can arrange hire of a personal porter if desired for an additional cost. Please notify MG in advance if you’re considering a personal porter.

Can additional gear or clothing be stored during the program duration? In most cases additional items can be stored at the hotel or with our ground operator.

What type of accommodations can I expect?

Hotels: During our stay in international destination cities you can expect to stay in high quality hotels. When available we opt to stay in smaller boutique style hotels that provide a friendly atmosphere and high quality experience.

Camping or Lodges: When camping we provide our clients with high quality mountaineering tents. Depending on the expedition or climb clients participate in setting up tents and help in establishing camp as well as participate in cooking. On Treks and Tours, Mountain Gurus provides our clients with a fully supported experience, your tent will be set up and waiting when you arrive in camp and you’ll be greeted with hot water and a cup of tea. Destinations like Nepal we often opt to stay in high quality lodges (also known as Tea Houses) as an alternative to camping. Due to our local knowledge we choose from the finest lodges available which provide great food and a friendly warm environment.

Do you provide single accommodations? International programs that include hotels, a single room supplement is available for an additional cost if desired. For those traveling alone who do not wish to pay an additional cost for a single room, we will pair you in a room with another same-sex team member. In the event another team member of the same sex is not available for room pairings, you will be assigned a single room. During Northwest climbs single tent accommodations are not available.

How heavy a pack do I need to carry?

On Northwest programs you will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food, in addition to your personal gear. This should be taken into consideration when deciding what you should bring. Be prepared to carry between 40-65 lbs. depending on the length of the program and group size.

For International programs pack weight varies greatly depending on the type of program. On our fully supported Treks and Tours you will only be expected to carry a small to medium sized day pack with each trekking day’s necessary clothing and essentials. 15-30 lbs. Expeditions will be required to carry a portion of the group gear and food in addition to your personal gear. 40-65 lbs. On fully supported Expeditions we utilize high altitude climbing porters which greatly minimizes the need to carry group gear. 35-50 lbs.

Private and Custom Programs

I have a group of family/friends/colleagues and we have specific dates we would like to climb. Can you customize a program for us? All of our programs can be run on a private basis. The beauty of a private program is you climb what you want, with who you want, when you want. We’ll take care of the entire program. We are also able to provide you with a custom itinerary depending on your interests. We may require a $100 non-refundable deposit for custom program planning which will be applied towards your program cost at the time of reservation.

Equipment

Does Mountain Gurus rent equipment? We do provide limited rental gear on our Northwest programs. All rental gear is limited and needs to be reserved and paid in advance. See Northwest Climbs and Courses for details. Currently we do not rent any equipment for international programs. Also, many local climbing and outdoors stores rent gear for reasonable rates.

Rental items include: Ice Axe, Crampons, Harness, Helmet

Where should I buy equipment? We can help you find a local climbing and outdoor shop where you can purchase the equipment you’ll need.

General

Is it customary to tip your support staff or mountain guide? On international programs where we utilize support staff (porters, cooks, kitchen staff, etc.); it is Mountain Gurus practice to take a group tip and divide it among the support staff. Tipping of Mountain Guides for a job well done is always appreciated.

How can my family get in contact with me when I’m on a on a Mountain Gurus program? After your application and deposit are accepted; you will be provided with a detailed itinerary which will include hotel and ground outfitter contact information for your program. Due to the nature of the wilderness areas we travel it is likely you will be out of contact during the duration of the program. Telephone and internet access is available in some destinations at you own expense.

What if my spouse, family or friends don’t climb; can they still join me on safari? We would be delighted to make arrangements for non-trekking family and friends to join you after the climb. We suggest you extend your safari a few days to take advantage of Tanzania’s remarkable wildlife parks and diverse landscape.

Can my son or daughter join me on the program? What’s the minimum age requirement? Possibly, we would prefer to talk with you about the program you’re interested in and see if it’s an appropriate choice for someone under the age of 18. We accept participants 16 years or older on our regularly scheduled trips, accompanied by a legal guardian.