Mt. Elbrus | Europe | Russia | 18,512ft | 5642m | 9 days | Completed in 2008 |
Elbrus is similar to Kilimanjaro but with the added challenge of snow and ice slopes. Although the altitude is slightly lower than Kilimanjaro, since much of the mountain is under freezing temperatures it requires proficiency with climbing gear such as mountaineering boots, crampons and an ice axe. The colder weather and tougher terrain that requires basic mountaineering gear make Elbrus a much more challenging climb especially in windy conditions.
Mt Elbrus is located in a remote area of south-west Russia near the border of Georgia, so few travelers visit this region other than for mountaineering purposes. In general, the climbers on Elbrus will have more experience and be in much better shape compared to those found on Kilimanjaro. On the other hand, some of these same climbers might be physically prepared but still underestimate this mountain.
In mountaineering terms, Elbrus is not considered dangerous, but inexperienced climbers and poorly organised expeditions usually push the annual death toll to twice than of Mt. Everest. This is not an easy mountain but it gave us a terrific and challenging introduction to cold expedition conditions.