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elbrus in late july 2012, any suggestions?
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By atul
Jun 16, 2012

Have an opportunity to climb elbrus this july. Is it too late to plan for this in a month? Have been preparing for something else so i believe i am mentally and physically prepared.

Any tips, help, etc will be appreciated.


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By Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Jun 16, 2012
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Little Switzerland). May 2009

It would be really tight for your visa. Some processing centers charge a lot for express service, so you should first check into that. Then unless they've changed the rules (which they've been promising for a couple years now) you'll need an invite from a business near Elbrus. I've used Pilgrim Tours and been satisfied.

1) find the visa office you are supposed to use, find out how long it takes and how much $

if that works for you in your time and $ frame

2) contact a tour operator close to Elbrus to get your invite and your border zone permit

Good luck.


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By atul
Jun 17, 2012

Thanks. I will start reaching out to the tour operators at the earliest.


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By Dmitry Lemeshev
Jul 5, 2012

Hi, Atul!
Now it is too late for you.
But If you would like to come to Caucasus later we would be happy to help you!

We are a crew of young guides from Moscow. We are exploring Caucasus for 5 year and each of us have his own style:more climbing, more cultural exploring and so on...

Our web-site: explore-kavkaz.ru/en/


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By atul
Jul 22, 2012

all set to go in a week, with fingers crossed. any recent updates from the mountain will be appreciated.


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By Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Jul 22, 2012
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Little Switzerland). May 2009

You also asked:

1. Are there any international banks that I can use in there to get cash?

A) There are banks at least in Terskol. Tell your driver before you leave the airport. The exchange is better at the airport in Moscow at the cash-to-cash exchange along the outer wall (from what I recall). You don't necessarily need Rubles unless you plan on buying things from smaller stores or airport food. Most everyone there prefers Euro. So at the most maybe $100 US in Rubles.

2. How much money do I need on top of the tour cost?

A) Aside from the "pocket change" above, that depends on your tour group. Some include the snowcats, some the snowcats are extra and optional. Some have a couple of optional eating out meals. Even with the snowcats and two extra meals, I can't imagine you needing more than $400-500. Also, if you're with a US guided group, the guide will expect a tip. Russian guides not so much, and a lot less.

3. Will I find any food in Mineralnya Vody if the food provided by my tour company does not work out?

A) You should be in the MRV airport about an hour at the most and they have two vending machines and a restroom in the Arrivals section. Once you enter the baggage pickup room try not to go back out to the main section, since it's heavily patrolled by police, and they don't like unexpected behavior. In Departures there are more stores and a nice cafe in the waiting area. Do not leave the building if you can help it until you see your driver. For most groups, your driver will not want to stop until Terskol for a lot of reasons. Your group should be staying somewhere around Cheget or Azau where there are several hotels, a few restaurants, and a few convenience stores. Once at the huts, you're completely at the mercy of your cook. You could theoretically survive on food from the convenience stores and/or restaurants, depending on where you are staying. Azau is more convenient that way, with simpler transportation options.

Hope that helps. Relax and enjoy.


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By atul
Aug 15, 2012

good summary of mrv airport. thanks for the tips.

summited on Aug 4th with cold but clear sky.

one more tip - there is free wifi at both mrv and svo airports

needed help at mrv both during arrival and departure due to some issues with aeroflot. got tremendous help from the airport staff when asked politely.


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By Rick Miske
From Orem, UT
Aug 15, 2012
Self Portrait from the Pika Glacier in Alaska (Little Switzerland). May 2009

Congratulations. Thanks for the wireless info - I'll be heading back first week of September and will need that since I have one long layover in SVO.


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