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How to Book a Hotel in Mount Elbrus

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Hotels of Mount Elbrus

A hotel in Mount Elbrus is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Mount Elbrus hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Mount Elbrus are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Mount Elbrus hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Mount Elbrus hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Mount Elbrus have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Mount Elbrus
An upscale full service hotel facility in Mount Elbrus that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Mount Elbrus hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Mount Elbrus
Full service Mount Elbrus hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Mount Elbrus
Boutique hotels of Mount Elbrus are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Mount Elbrus boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Mount Elbrus may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Mount Elbrus
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Mount Elbrus travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Mount Elbrus focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Mount Elbrus
Small to medium-sized Mount Elbrus hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Mount Elbrus traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Mount Elbrus hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Mount Elbrus
A bed and breakfast in Mount Elbrus is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Mount Elbrus bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Mount Elbrus B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Mount Elbrus
Mount Elbrus hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Mount Elbrus hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Mount Elbrus
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Mount Elbrus hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Mount Elbrus lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Mount Elbrus
Mount Elbrus timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Mount Elbrus often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Mount Elbrus on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Mount Elbrus
A Mount Elbrus motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Mount Elbrus for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Mount Elbrus motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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Travelling and vacation in Mount Elbrus

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Mount Elbrus
Гора Эльбрус
Эльбрус с перевала Гумбаши.JPG
Mount Elbrus
Highest point
Elevation 5,642 m (18,510 ft) 
Prominence 4,741 m (15,554 ft) 
Ranked 10th
Isolation 2,473 kilometres (1,537 mi)
Listing Seven Summits
Volcanic Seven Summits
Country high point
Ultra
Coordinates  / 43.35500; 42.43917  / 43.35500; 42.43917
Geography
Mount Elbrus is located in Caucasus mountains
Mount Elbrus
Mount Elbrus
Location of Mount Elbrus within the Caucasus Mountains
Country Russia
Federal subject Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia
Parent range Caucasus Mountains
Topo map Elbrus and Upper Baksan Valley by EWP
Geology
Age of rock Unknown
Mountain type Stratovolcano (dormant)
Last eruption 50 CE ± 50 years
Climbing
First ascent (West summit) 1874, by Florence Crauford Grove, Frederick Gardner, Horace Walker and the guides Peter Knubel and Ahiya Sottaiev
(Lower summit) 22 July 1829 by Khillar Khachirov
Easiest route Basic snow/ice climb
Elbrus 3D
Topographic map of Elbrus (in French)

Mount Elbrus (Russian: Эльбрус, tr. Elbrus; IPA: [ɪlʲˈbrus]; Karachay-Balkar: Минги тау, Miñi taw, IPA: [mɪˈŋːi taw]; Kabardian: Ӏуащхьэмахуэ, ’Wāśhamāxwa IPA: [ʔʷoːɕħɑmæːxʷo]; Georgian: იალბუზი, tr. Ialbuzi; Ossetian: Halbruz) is the highest mountain in Russia and in Europe, and the tenth most prominent peak in the world. A dormant volcano, Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia.

Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. The taller west summit is 5,642 metres (18,510 ft);, the east summit is 5,621 metres (18,442 ft). The east summit was first ascended on 10 July 1829 (Julian calendar) by Khillar Khachirov. His nationality is claimed both by Kabardians and Karachay and used by nationalists of both sides. He was a guide for a Imperial Russian army scientific expedition led by General Emmanuel, and the west summit (by about 20 m; 66 ft) in 1874 by a British expedition led by F. Crauford Grove and including Frederick Gardner, Horace Walker, and the Swiss guide Peter Knubel of St. Niklaus.

While authorities differ on how the Caucasus are distributed between Europe and Asia, most relevant modern authorities define the continental boundary as the Caucasus watershed, placing Elbrus in Europe due to its position on the north side in Russia.

Mount Elbrus: Etymology

The name Elbrus /ˈɛlbrəs/ is a metathesis of Alborz, which is also the name of a long mountain range in northern Iran. It is derived from Avestan Harā Bərəzaitī, which is a legendary mountain in Iranian mythology. Harā Bərəzaitī reflects Proto-Iranian *Harā Bṛzatī, which was reformed into Middle Persian as Harborz, and into Modern Persian as Alborz. Bṛzatī is the feminine form of the adjective *bṛzant ("high"), the reconstructed ancestor of Modern Ossetian bærzond ("high", "peak"), Modern Persian barz ("high"), berāzande ("elegant"), and boland ("high", "tall"), and Modern Kurdish barz ("high"). Harā may be interpreted as "watch" or "guard", from Indo-European *ser ("protect").

Mount Elbrus: Geographical setting

Elbrus stands 20 km (12 mi) north of the main range of the Greater Caucasus and 65 km (40 mi) south-southwest of the Russian town of Kislovodsk. Its permanent icecap feeds 22 glaciers, which in turn give rise to the Baksan, Kuban, and Malka Rivers.

Elbrus sits on a moving tectonic area, and has been linked to a fault. A supply of magma lies deep beneath the dormant volcano.

Mount Elbrus: Eruptive history

Mount Elbrus was formed more than 2.5 million years ago. The volcano is currently considered inactive. Elbrus was active in the Holocene, and according to the Global Volcanism Program, the last eruption took place about AD 50. Evidence of recent volcanism includes several lava flows on the mountain, which look fresh, and roughly 260 square kilometres (100 sq mi) of volcanic debris. The longest flow extends 24 kilometres (15 mi) down the northeast summit, indicative of a large eruption. There are other signs of activity on the volcano, including solfataric activity and hot springs. The western summit has a well-preserved volcanic crater about 250 metres (820 ft) in diameter.

Mount Elbrus: History

Satellite picture of Mount Elbrus
Satellite picture of Mount Elbrus

The ancients knew the mountain as Strobilus, Latin for "pine cone", a direct loan from the ancient Greek strobilos, meaning 'a twisted object' – a long established botanical term that describes the shape of the volcano's summit. In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was chained to the mountain by Zeus as a punishment for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to mankind.

The lower of the two summits was first ascended on 10 July 1829 (Julian calendar) by Khillar Khachirov, a guide for an Imperial Russian army scientific expedition led by General Emmanuel, and the higher (by about 40 m; 130 ft) in 1874 by an English expedition led by F. Crauford Grove and including Frederick Gardner, Horace Walker, and the Swiss guide Peter Knubel of St. Niklaus in the canton Valais. During the early years of the Soviet Union, mountaineering became a popular sport of the populace, and there was tremendous traffic on the mountain. On 17 March 1936, a group of 33 inexperienced Komsomol members attempted the mountain, and ended up suffering four fatalities when they slipped on the ice and fell to their deaths.

During the Battle of the Caucasus in World War II, the Wehrmacht occupied the area surrounding the mountain from August 1942 to January 1943 with 10,000 Gebirgsjäger from the 1st Mountain Division. A possibly apocryphal story tells of a Soviet pilot being given a medal for bombing the main mountaineering hut, Priyut 11 (Приют одиннадцати, "Refuge of the 11"), while it was occupied. He was then later nominated for a medal for not hitting the hut, but instead the German fuel supply, leaving the hut standing for future generations. When news reached Adolf Hitler that a detachment of mountaineers was sent by the general officer commanding the German division to climb to the summit of Elbrus and plant the swastika flag at its top, he reportedly flew into a rage, called the achievement a "stunt" and threatened to court martial the general.

Mount Elbrus and its two peaks
Mount Elbrus

The Soviet Union encouraged ascents of Elbrus, and in 1956 it was climbed en masse by 400 mountaineers to mark the 400th anniversary of the incorporation of Kabardino-Balkaria, the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic where Elbrus was located.

From 1959 through 1976, a cable car system was built in stages that can take visitors as high as 3,800 metres (12,500 ft). There are a wide variety of routes up the mountain, but the normal route, which is free of crevasses, continues more or less straight up the slope from the end of the cable car system. During the summer, it is not uncommon for 100 people to be attempting the summit via this route each day. Winter ascents are rare, and are usually undertaken only by very experienced climbers. Elbrus is notorious for its brutal winter weather, and summit attempts are few and far between. The climb is not technically difficult, but it is physically arduous because of the elevations and the frequent strong winds. The average annual death toll on Elbrus is 15–30, primarily due to "many unorganized and poorly equipped" attempts to summit the mountain.

Since 1986, Elbrus has been incorporated into Prielbrusye National Park, one of the Protected areas of Russia.

Elbrus should not be confused with the Alborz (also called Elburz) mountains in Iran, which also derive their name from the legendary mountain Harā Bərəzaitī in Persian mythology.

In 1997 a team led by the Russian mountaineer Alexander Abramov took a Land Rover Defender to the summit of the East Peak, breaking into the Guinness Book of Records. The project took 45 days in total. They were able to drive the vehicle as high as the mountain huts at The Barrels (3,800 metres (12,500 ft)), but above this they used a pulley system to raise it most of the way. On the way down, a driver lost control of the vehicle and had to dive out. Although he survived the accident, the vehicle crashed into rocks and remains below the summit to this day.

In 2016, Russian climbers Artyom Kuimov and Sergey Baranov entered the Guinness Book of World Records by reaching the summit of Elbrus on ATVs.

Mount Elbrus: Infrastructure

Mount Elbrus: Refuges

In 1929, eleven scientists erected a small hut at 4,160 metres and called it Priyut 11 (Refuge of the 11). At the same site, a larger hut for 40 people was built in 1932.

A wilderness hut was built in 1933 in the saddle between the two summits but collapsed after only a few years. Its remains can still be seen.

In 1939, the Soviet Intourist travel agency built yet another structure a little above the "Priyut 11" site at 4,200 metres, covered in aluminium siding. It was meant to accommodate western tourists, who were encouraged to climb Mount Elbrus in commercial, guided tours at the time to bring in foreign currency.

Not much later, this hut was converted into a mountain barracks, serving as a base, first for Soviet and later German troops in the Battle of the Caucasus of World War II.

On 16 August 1998, this hut completely burned down after a cooking stove fell over. After that, the new "Diesel hut" was built in the summer of 2001 a few metres below its ruins, so called because it is located at the site of the former Diesel generator station.

Elbrus cableway

In addition, there is a collection of accommodations for six people each at the end of the short chairlift upwards of the second cableway section. Painted red and white, these horizontal steel cylinders (called Barrels, Russian bochki), are used as a base and for acclimatization by many mountaineers on their way to the summit. Beside the "Barrels", there are several container accommodations between about 3,800 and 4,200 metres.

Mount Elbrus: Observatory

The Terskol Observatory, an astronomical observatory with the IAU code B18, is located 2.5 km north-west of Terskol village at an altitude of 3,090 metres (10,140 ft).

Mount Elbrus: Climbing routes

The path of the first conquerors. Emmanuel Glade and Lenz rocks

The Normal Route is the easiest, safest and fastest on account of the cable car and chairlift system which operates from about 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. Starting for the summit at about 2 a.m. from the Diesel Hut or Leaprus mountain hut should allow just enough time to get back down to the chairlift if movement is efficient. A longer ascent Kiukurtliu Route starts from below the cable-way Mir station and heads west over glacier slopes towards the Khotiutau pass.

The ascent of Elbrus from the south takes about 6–9 hours, with a total height difference of 1,700–2,000 m (5,600–6,600 ft) between the Barrels Huts and the west summit of Elbrus. From Terskol village one can walk 5 km (3.1 mi) to the first elevation, Azau (2,350 m; 7,710 ft). A cable car service is available from Azau to the normal starting location for the Elbrus climb, known as Barrels Hut or Garabashi Station (3,720 m; 12,200 ft). The next destination – the Diesel Hut at 4,050 m (13,290 ft) – is located south from the Barrels Huts and up the slopes of Elbrus. From the Diesel Hut the route heads straight up towards the east summit of Elbrus, continuing south up the slopes. The slopes surrounding the classical route to Elbrus from the South contain large crevasses. Heading towards Pashtuhova Rocks (at 4,550–4,700 m (14,930–15,420 ft) elevation), the classical route up Elbrus becomes steeper after passing between two linear rock bands. After leaving this section, the Elbrus route heads on – first to the south, to the east summit of Elbrus, or rather the saddle between the east and west summits of Elbrus (5,416 m; 17,769 ft), but soon turns left to the west summit (5,642 m; 18,510 ft). Before reaching this saddle, the route passes through a gently sloped basin filled with snow. At the saddle there is a shelter, from which the route heads west, then – left, in the direction of rocks forming the shoulder of the west summit, in the form of a narrow, exposed snow path that allows for a straight dash to the summit ridge.

The descent of Elbrus takes about 3–6 hours. While returning from the Elbrus summit, the most common mistake that climbers make and that often turns out fatal is heading low and down too early after their half-traverse below the saddle, especially under conditions of low visibility in stormy weather. On descent after the saddle, instead of going down the slope too early, one could stay high up on the slopes of the east peak, otherwise the route will become very steep and feature dangerous crevasses and falls.

The north climbing route requires more commitment and is more remote than the south route. Also contributing to this is the fact that on the lower altitudes of the mountain this route can offer less in the way of infrastructure. However, this also means less human intrusion onto the landscape. With mechanical support brought to minimum, the tour to Elbrus from the north is mainly camping, with the summit route being longer and harder, and requiring good teamwork and/or winter camping skills since, if the weather is favorable, it involves an interim camp at 4,800 m (15,700 ft) or gaining 2000 vertical meters/6561 vertical ft up and down. Elbrus ascent by the north route offers rich ice and snow experience under unpredictable weather conditions.

Mount Elbrus: Elbrus Race

First gear on Elbrus took place in 1990. The Soviet climbers competed with Americans. Won by Anatoli Boukreev. Route Priut 11 (4050 m) – East (lower) summit of Elbrus (5621 m asl) beat for 1 hour and 47 minutes. The second was Kevin Cooney, and the third Patrick Healy.

Regular competitions began to take place since 2005 is a choice of two routes: the classic and extreme. In 2006, on the route of extreme glade Azau (2400 m) – the western summit of Elbrus (5642 m asl) Denis Urubko set a record by winning the tour time 3 hours 55 minutes 59 seconds.

On 24 September 2010, under the Artur Hajzer programm "Polish Winter Himalayism 2010–2015", the Polish Mountaineering Association sent a 13-person team for training purposes. The Pole Andrzej Bargiel won on the route of extreme and set a new course record of 3 hours 23 minutes 37 seconds. The Pole Aleksandra Dzik won the female competition on this route, becoming both the first woman graduated from extreme gear.

Mount Elbrus: Environmental issues

Mount Elbrus is said to be home to the 'world's nastiest' outhouse which is close to being the highest privy in Europe. The title was conferred by Outside magazine following a 1993 search and article. The "outhouse" is surrounded by and covered in ice, perched off the end of a rock.

Mount Elbrus: See also

  • List of volcanoes in Russia
  • Seven Summits
  • Volcanic Seven Summits
  • List of elevation extremes by country

Mount Elbrus: References

  1. The World Book Encyclopedia-Page 317 by World Book, Inc
  2. Mt. Elbrus : Image of the Day. Earthobservatory.nasa.gov. Retrieved on 15 May 2014.
  3. Mount Elbrus Map Sample. Ewpnet.com. Retrieved on 15 May 2014.
  4. Mount Elbrus and Upper Baksan Valley Map and Guide (Map) (2nd ed.). 1:50,000 with mountaineering information. EWP Map Guides. Cartography by EWP. EWP. 2007. ISBN 978-0-906227-95-4.
  5. "Elbrus: Summary". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 25 February 2010.
  6. "CIA World Factbook – Russia, Geography". US CIA. US Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  7. ''mountain.ru. Восхождение на Эльбрус в 1829 году. Архивные материалы.
  8. ''poxod.ru. Эльбрусская летопись - Кудинов В.Ф.
  9. ''Радде Г. И. Кавказский хребет // Живописная Россия. Т. 9. Кавказ, СПб., 1883. С. Mountain.ru. Retrieved on 15 May 2014.
  10. Miziev, I. M. "ФАКТЫ И СУЖДЕНИЯ", in Следы на Эльбрусе (из истории горного туризма и отечественного альпинизма)
  11. История восхождений. elbrus-top.ru
  12. "Alborz" in Encyclopædia Iranica
  13. Caucasus from Elbrus to Kazbek (Map) (1st ed.). 1:200,000 with general information. Map Guides. Cartography by EWP. Robin Collomb and Andrew Wielochowski. 1993. ISBN 0-906227-54-2.
  14. "Observations of crustal tide strains in the Elbrus area". Izvestiya Physics of the Solid Earth. MAIK Nauka. 43 (11): 922–930. November 2007. Bibcode:2007IzPSE..43..922M. doi:10.1134/S106935130711002X.
  15. Kudinov V.F. Трагедия на Эльбрусе. poxod.ru
  16. Mount Elbrus History. Ewpnet.com (10 January 1943). Retrieved on 15 May 2014.
  17. Kershaw, Ian. Hitler: Nemesis 1936–1945.
  18. Speer, Albert (1995). Inside the Third Reich. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 332. ISBN 9781842127353.
  19. SummitPost-Interview with Boris Tilov-the Chef of the rescue service of Elbrus region-Trip Reports. Summitpost.org. Retrieved on 15 May 2014.
  20. Land Rover Defender climbs Mount Elbrus, ExplorersWeb (18 January 2004)
  21. Horrell, Mark (9 August 2013). "Chapter 7: The wild side of Elbrus". Elbrus By Any Means. Smashwords. ISBN 9781301665822.
  22. "New World Record: Summiting Elbrus with a Quad".
  23. "Terskol Observatory". wikimapia.org.
  24. "International Center for Astronomical, Medical and Ecological Research". terskol.com.
  25. Polacy najszybsi na Elbrusie. polskihimalaizmzimowy.pl
  26. Flinn, John (9 April 2006). "The pinnacle of success-and-disgust-for climbers". San Francisco Chronicle.
  27. Getting to the Top In the Caucasus, New York Times (27 August 1989)

Mount Elbrus: Further reading

  • Anthony Huxley, Standard Encyclopedia of the World's Mountains (New York: Putnam, 1962)
  • Mount Elbrus on SummitPost
  • "Elbrus, Mount." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 14 November 2006 <http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9032240>.
  • Computer generated summit panoramas North South. There are a few discontinuities due to incomplete data.
  • NASA Earth Observatory pages on Mount Elbrus: Mt. Elbrus (July 2003), Mt. Elbrus, Caucasus Range (November 2002)
  • Mt. Elbrus Expedition Cybercast Archives
  • Geographic Bureau. "Elbrus Region". Retrieved 5 January 2010.
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