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Staying Safe on Mt. Elbrus: 7 Pointers for getting up (and down) Europe’s highest peak

Mt. Elbrus made international news for all the wrong reasons in Sept. 2021, when 5 Russian climbers died on their descent from the summit.  It was a terrible tragedy and really shook the Elbrus community.  We want to start this blog by saying how heartbroken we are for the families of those who died, and hope to honor their memory with the following commentary. This tragedy highlighted just how dangerous Mt. Elbrus can be in inclement weather.  We discussed this …

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Travel Guide to North Ossetia: Big Capital, Bigger Culture, Biggest Mountains

In the already unique North Caucasus Mountains of Russia, the republic of North Ossetia stands out as one of the more (if not most) unique places to visit in this corner of the world.  Consider this.  North Ossetia is the only republic in the North Caucasus that: -Has linguistic ties to Persia/Iran -Where Islam is not the primary religion, and where traditional/pagan religion is still alive -Home to the only road from Russia into the country of Georgia through the …

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Travel to Russia in 2022: Covid-19 Update

  Like many of you, we’re all itching to get back to doing what we love:  experiencing the excitement of travel to a foreign land.  What does this mean for your planned Russia Trip or Mt. Elbrus Climb in 2022?  For one, travel to Russia IS open to citizens of more than 80 countries!  Here is the most updated travel information as of Dec. 1, 2021: Countries whose citizens are being allowed travel into Russia: -Europe: Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark, …

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Travel to Dagestan

Travel Guide to Dagestan: Welcome to Russia’s Wild West!

As often is the case with off-the-beaten-path destinations around the world, they can be well-known by foreigners for all the wrong reasons.  Dagestan is a great example of this.  In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Dagestan began registering on foreigners’ radars because of the spillover of the Chechen wars into the region.  Then, once things stabilized post-war, Dagestan’s wrestlers hit the international scene, reaching its pinnacle when Khabib Nurmagomedov defeated Irishman Conor MacGregor for the UFC world championship in …

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Going to Chechnya - travel

Travel Guide to Chechnya: Mosques and Mountains!

Chechnya is one of the few places in the North Caucasus that most foreigners have heard of before.  Especially due to the wars in the region in the 1990s and early 2000s, the word “Chechnya” has stuck in people’s memories, most often with negative connotations of being dangerous and unstable.  The present reality, though, is that the security situation has really stabilized, and the number of domestic and foreign tourists traveling to Chechnya continues to grow each year.  Maybe you …

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More Than a Climb: 10 Fun Facts about Mt Elbrus

Within the international climbing community, Mt. Elbrus is well-known as Europe’s highest peak, or one of the 7 Summits.  But how well-known is it outside of the climbing community?  In my experience, not very!  There are actually lots of interesting historical and cultural tidbits about Mt. Elbrus that touch many facets of life you may already be familiar with.  It’s more than just a mountain to climb!  Enjoy this article about Mt. Elbrus, for climbers and non-climbers alike!  1)  Highest …

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Your Travel Guide to Ingushetia: Land of the Towers!

They say that good things come in small packages.  This is definitely the case with Ingushetia!  Despite being Russia’s smallest state, Ingushetia is well-worth a visit for its beautiful mountain landscapes, ancient towers, and unique cultural traditions.  Keep reading for practical details on how to visit this hidden gem of the North Caucasus, including access to an exclusive travel guide for the independent traveler! 1. How do I get there? Even though you may have never heard of Ingushetia, that …

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South Route or North Route? Comparing the two routes to Mt. Elbrus’s Summit

Every summer, thousands of foreigners flood into the Caucasus Mountains of Russia to climb Mt. Elbrus, Europe’s highest peak.  At first glance, the obvious route to climb is the South Route, the most popular of options among climbers (i.e. 80-90% of climbers choose the South Route).  With that being said, the North Route is growing in popularity because of its more remote feel and being 100% on foot.  So, which route should you take?  Let’s compare and contrast and see …

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How to train to climb Mount Elbrus – Fitness, Endurance and Altitude

We are often asked the questions: “What is the best way to train for Mount Elbrus?” or “How can I train for climbing Mount Elbrus while living at low elevation?”  Most climbers have heard that high altitude is one of the greatest challenges of climbing Mount Elbrus. Therefore, they want to know how to train for this challenge specifically. Many know that living at a higher elevation, like in the Rockies or Cascades, which reach 14,000 feet, can be a …

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Visual Gear List for Mount Elbrus

Climbing Gear Summit Pack (25 – 30 Liter) available for rent Your summit pack is the backpack you will climb with on summit day. It should be large enough to hold your extra layers and gear as well as water and food. You will also find this useful on your acclimatization hikes. Certain models can work nicely as carry-on luggage. Buying Tips: Ice axe attachment points make for easy stowing of your ice axe or trekking poles when not in …

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