Challenge yourself on this 12-day adventure to one of the 7 summits, Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe. Over 8-9 days you’ll acclimatise and prepare for an attempt to the summit via the quiet and remote Northern Route. Cold weather, steep glacial ascents and the thin air all of high altitude all add to the challenge!
On this 12-day adventure we spend a total of 9 days on the slopes of Elbrus. First we spend time acclimatising to higher altitudes, upskilling and practicing our mountaineering skills and carrying loads to High Camp. We then move upwards to the high altitude glaciated world of High Camp and beyond. Here we fine tune or crampon and ice axe techniques further and complete a last acclimatisation round up to Lenz Rocks. Then it’s time for the real challenge, summit night! We tackle the remote and quiet Northern Route to the saddle and then upwards to the Western Summit, the highest point in Europe at 5642m. The long descent to base camp is tough, but is rewarded with a sauna, perhaps a vodka or two, and a real Russian celebration back in the spa town of Kislovodsk.
On an Action Challenge trip you’ll be part of a team which takes on an adventure together – and that’s what makes the experience so special. Getting to know others, supporting each other when the going gets tough, laughing together, and sharing those special moments & the new friendships that will stay with you for many years. Led by a UK Mountain Leader and supported by a Medic overseeing the group’s wellbeing – you’ll be in safe hands, and our expert local logistics team & guides will ensure it all runs like clockwork. These are ‘fully inclusive’ trips – leaving you to focus on your challenge, and to enjoy it!
An Action Challenge trip is much more than a holiday! It brings like-minded people together in fantastic landscapes, provides the best support & great hospitality, and enables the group to take on a tough & unforgettable challenge which forges new friendships, broaden horizons, and leaves you wanting more of life’s adventures!
The blueprint for Action Challenge trip is based on delivering a high quality enjoyable experience – and doing it all safely. An experienced UK Mountain Leader ensures that all aspects of the challenge run to plan – and one of our UK Medics with an expedition med kit is on-hand to look after the group’s wellbeing – enabling everyone to have the best chance of successfully competing their challenge.
We go to great lengths to ensure that we only use the best local organisations to supply the all-important ground logistics and the on-challenge support, catering, and hospitality teams – with experienced guides leading the way on the trails with their deep local knowledge and authentic style.
Like minded people with a similar sense of adventure – but often from very different backgrounds, and with a wide range of experience, ages, levels of fitness, and personal ambitions. Our trips are perfect for individuals, couples, and small groups of friends to join – and then to take on a unique challenge as part of a larger group which shapes & bonds as the adventure unfolds!
Whether its’s the hotels, restaurants & transfers before & after the main challenge – or the challenge accommodation & meals whilst out on the trails – our all inclusive packages mean that you will get a top quality experience at a great value price! Flights are generally included, but there’s a ‘land only’ option if you’d prefer to book your own – and single supplement accommodation upgrades are available.
The group comes together – takes on a tough challenge together – and then celebrates its achievements in style on the final night of the trip in a local restaurant or hotel, with medals, awards, and a maybe a bit of a party! Many of our participants make new special friends on our trips – and quite a few come back together for another challenge in the following years!
A successful challenge starts with good preparation. The better prepared you are the more confident you’ll be, and the more you’ll enjoy it! Our ‘Challenge App’ will have all the info & details of what to expect on your challenge – and how to prepare for it – and we have optional training walks, training weekends , and a place on one of our UK Ultra Challenge events to get out on the tails and test your fitness, kit, & equipment.
Itinerary & Route
Please note that some details of the itinerary may change, you will be provided with a detailed itinerary once you are signed up to the challenge.
We depart the UK and head to Mineralny Vody Airport, via Moscow. On arrival we transfer to the town of Kislovodsk, the last town before the Caucasus mountains rise out of the steppe. At the hotel we meet your local guides who’ll be with us for the journey. We’ll have a full briefing and organise our gear for the climb.
Meals: meals on flight, LD day 2. Accom: Hotel
We leave the luxury of our hotel and set off on a four hour drive that takes us into the heart of the foothills of the lower Caucasus. We stay in Mt. Elbrus Base Camp at 2,500m for three days to carry out acclimatisation climbs. We ascend progressively higher each day to 3,100 m and 3,800 m, taking supplies to our next camp and practicing our crampons, rope and ice axe technique. We end this phase of the trip with a final load carry up to High Camp at 3800m on Day 6.
Meals: B,L,D Accom: Tent or simple cabin
We base ourselves at High Camp for two days to further acclimatise. On the first day we climb up to the Lenz Rocks before spending a more relaxed second day in preparation for our bid to reach Elbrus summit tomorrow.
Meals: B,L,D Accom: Tent
This is a long and tough day; we wake very early to prepare for our summit attempt. We focus on a sustained climb across the glacier to the saddle between the two summits at 5,416 m. Here the route steepens as we climb the next couple of hundred meters to the ridge. The final slope is an easier climb and in less than half an hour we reach the summit. Standing on the roof of Europe, weather permitting, we will be looking out across the magnificent Caucasus range. We return to our mountain refuge and rest after a long hard day.
Meals: B,L,D Accom: Tent or simple cabin
Day 10 sees us continue down to Base Camp for the night. In the event of bad weather, this day can be used as an extra summit day or for extra acclimatization. On day 11 we make our way from Base Camp to Kislovodsk where we relax and soak our tired muscles in a traditional Russian sauna. After days at altitude and our ascent to the summit of Mount Elbrus it’s time to celebrate our achievement with a meal and, of course, a chilled Russian vodka or two.
We leave to the airport for our return flight from Mineralny Vody to Moscow. Here we catch the onward flight back to London. Arrival into London on day 12.
Meals: B,L,D all days until flight
Accom: Tent or simple cabin /Hotel / flight
Costs & Fundraising
We’ve three payment & fundraising options for you to take on this challenge.
Sign up with a £395 online deposit & balance payment due 12 weeks before, with no fundraising target.
Sign up with a £395 online deposit & fundraise for a charity of your choice, with different target options.
The Challenge brochure details the full itinerary, inclusions, dates & prices – download for a full run down of the challenge details.
It’s like paying for an all-inclusive holiday.
You pay the registration deposit. The final balance for the trip cost will be due no later than 10 weeks before your departure date
If you want to fundraise for charity, you may still do this separately – either on or offline. All fundraising will be a direct donation to your chosen charity. Please contact them for more information.
This option lets you pay some of the trip cost yourself, including the registration deposit. You then fundraise on top for a chosen charity.
Action Challenge will invoice your charity for 50% the trip cost 12 weeks before departure.
You must complete 80% of your fundraising by 12 weeks before departure, with the remaining 20% completed 4 weeks after departure.
Let us know what charity you want to support when registering so that we can set up your agreement.