In September 2016, working as an Expedition Leader for Adventure Peaks, I lead an expedition to Russia to attempt Mt Elbrus from the North side.

Elbrus, 5642m, Europe\’s highest peak and one of the Seven Summits is situated in the dramatic mountain range of the Caucasas.

The Northern approach is more remote, away from the cable cars of the South. Whilst the route is described as more beautiful, the final summit day is far longer and more exhausting being around 1,900m of ascent to the main west summit.

For photographs of this expedition see Russia: Elbrus

This expedition is arranged by Adventure Peaks

Sep 6, 2016. Fly to Mineralnye Vody via Moscow

Sep 7, 2016. Arrive in Mineralnye Vody, assemble the team of five strong climbers and travel to Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic.

Sep 8, 2016. Meet local guide and transfer with team to base camp at Emmanuel Glade, 2,598m, a journey of 100km initially on tarmac but gradually deteriorating into a bumpy dirt track.

Sep 9, 2016. Acclimatisation walk through grassy terrain and past lakes towards our pre-established summit camp at 3,800m, then return to base camp.

Sep 10, 2016. Final preparations before we leave base camp for our summit camp.

Sep 11, 2016. Climb to lower Lenz Rocks at 4,500m including familiarisation with crampon and glacial travel skills.

Sep 12, 2016. Rest day before summit attempt.

Sep 13, 2016. Summit attempt day. Arise 12:30am very early and set off at 2:15am. Rapid ascent to mid Lenz rosks at 4,800m then traverse to saddle and climb to summit plateau in ideal conditions, blue sky, no wind, consolidated snow. Four of the five client summit the wetern peak at 5,642m with me and our local guide at 11:00am. Desend and back at summit camp by 4:00pm.

Sep 14, 2016. Descend to base camp.

Sep 15, 2016. Return to Nalchik.

Sep 16, 2016. Rest day in Nalchik.

Sep 17, 2016. Rest day in Nalchik.

Sep 18, 2016. Fly home.

Sep 19, 2016. Arrive home.

Categories: MountainTravel


Steve holds the prestigious International Mountain Leader Award and also the Summer and Winter Mountain Leader Awards. He is a full member of BAIML and an adviser to Mountain Training UK&I. Steve has travelled extensively on six continents and has a wide experience, gained over more than thirty five years, of explorations and leading expeditions in remote environments on land – trekking in mountains, jungles, deserts and safaris and on water – rafting and canoeing. He works with his own clients and travel companies and takes adults and children on amazing adventures around the world. He has trained at and been assessed by Britain’s National Mountain Centres who are world class in the instruction and coaching of outdoor professionals. Steve is a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Accredited Expedition Assessor. He trains, supervises and assesses candidates on Bronze, Silver and Gold DofE Expeditions. He is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, has an enhanced DBS disclosure and his own public liability insurance.