Skiing Elbrouz's wild side

With its 5641m high, Elbrouz is the genuine 'Top of Europe'.

The normal path on the Southside of this legendary volcano is very busy and doesn't represent a major interest. However, the Northside isn't harder technically but is clearly much more preserved and wild. It is the ideal side for us as it allows us to immerse ourselves into the traditional Russian mountain spirit. 

After a flight to Mineralnya Vody via Moscow, we hit the road towards Piatigorsk. Then we take jeeps to Djilisu where we'll spend two nights and two days acclimating. We then climb up to the Uncle Nik refuge which becomes our base camp. Once up there, we finalize our acclimation in order to get started on our trek to the summit in a bright night. We'll make it to the top, standing stock still, open mouthed and agog, facing the incredible view. 
Once back at the refuge, after a good rest, we get back to the Djilisu camp, and then, on fantasy slopes in the middle of meadows, we'll join the town of Piatigorsk.


  • Day 1 Moscou - Piatigorsk

    Departure from Paris. When in Moscow, we continue our travel to Mineralnye Vody. From there, we'll be transferred to Piatigorsk (30km) where we'll spend the night in a hotel.

    Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 2 Piatigorsk - Djilisu (2300 m)

    Around 100km separates Piatigorsk from Djilisu : this will take us 3 to 4h to arrive. The road is long, starting on a tarred road (1h) and then on a track. We'll finally arrive and settle in the refuge at 2300m altitude for two nights.

    Positive difference in altitude : 1100m | Negative difference in altitude : 1100m | Altitude Max : 3650m | Accommodation : Refuge

  • Day 3 Acclimatization

    Acclimatization day in which we will climb up to the Uncle Nik refuge at 3760m. To have a good night sleep, we'll get back down to Djilisu to spend the night at the camp.

    Accommodation : refuge

  • Day 4 Djilisu - 'Uncle Nik' refuge

    Today is our departure day : we get to the 'Uncle Nik' refuge at 3750m, and it will be our base camp from now on, surrounded by ice.
    Our bags are loaded because we are carrying our personal belongings for 5 days.

    Positive difference in altitude : 1200m | Altitude Max : 3750m | Accommodation : Refuge

  • Days 5 to 6 Acclimatization in altitude

    We climb in high altitude today, in direction of the Eastside peak, at around 4800m.

    Positive difference in altitude : 1000m | Negative difference in altitude : 1000m | Altitude Max : 4800m | Accommodation : Refuge

  • Day 7 Elbrouz ascent (5641 m)

    Today is the big ascent day ! Thus, we wake up very early in the morning to start our trek towards the summit, walking on tilted slopes (30 to 35°) and firstly joining "Lens Rock" (stone camp). We then make it to Sedloy (5400m), between the East and West summits, where we encounter mountain climbers arriving from the normal path.
    We have to compose ourselves to glean the 200 and a few meters remaining before the top. And here we are, at the 'Top of Europe', enjoying our victory and breathing in the incredible breathtaking view.
    We will finally get back down to the refuge to rest our weary feet and have a well deserved relaxing night.

    Positive difference in altitude : 1900m | Negative difference in altitude : 1900m | Altitude Max : 5641m | Accommodation : Refuge

  • Day 8 Safety day

    If weather conditions aren't good, we'll ascend Elbrouz on this extra day. We can also use this day as a rest day. The skills and knowledge of our guide will allow us to ascend safely the summit, depending on the groups capacity and on weather conditions.

    Accommodation : Refuge

  • Day 9 'Uncle Nik' refuge - Djilisu - Piatigorsk

    We descend to get back to the Djilisu base camp from where 4X4 are waiting for us to get us back to Piatigorsk where we spend the night.

    Negative difference in altitude : 1200m | Altitude Max : 3780m | Accommodation : Hotel

  • Day 10 Piatigorsk - Paris

    In the middle of the day, we get to the airport to hop on our flight back to Moscow and finally to Paris. We'll say goodby after a wonderful trek together, our heads full of unforgettable memories.

The program can be modified by your guide due to weather conditions or participants physical conditions. For safety reasons and to ensure a uniform level corresponding to the one announced, the supervision and organisation boards have the right to interrupt your participation if your technical or physical level are lower than the one required. The interruption will not give you any right of refund or payment of compensation.

Dates & prices

International departures:

No departure for now

Trip code: SRRELN


A deposit of 30% of the trip’s price will be needed during the booking, the whole price must be paid at least 30 days before departure. 
  • The technical organization of the stay
  • Mountaineering with high-mountain guides
  • International and domestic flights, flight taxes
  • Planned transfers
  • Accommodation in hotels or refuges
  • Meals except in Piatigorsk and Moscow 
  • Licences 
  • Collective equipment
  • Services from a local team

Not included

  • The Russian visa
  • Individual technical equipment
  • Meals in town (Piatigorsk, Moscow)
  • Tips
  • Drinks and personal expenses
  • Sightseeing and activities non included in the program
  • Luggage supplement (ski cover)
  • Insurance / assistance : research fees and helicopter rescue, hospitalisation and repatriation mandatory
  • Registration fees : 18€/person

International flights

If you wish, we can take care of booking your international flights to the closest airport of your destination. 

Terms and conditions


Subscribe to one of our activities or travels means accepting general sales conditions. Each client must fill a subscription form, which will be accepted only after the payment of a deposit accounting for 30% of the travel’s price and according to the availability. If you subscribe less than 30 days before the trip, you must pay the whole price during the subscription. You can pay by bank transfer (SWIFT/IBAN) or with your credit card directly through our website (available soon). A booking confirmation will be sent to you be e-mail very soon. 

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is registered, we will send you an email containing the invoice. Full payment is required at least 30 days before your arrival. If the customer does not settle the payment of the travel price within the period agreed upon, Altaï Alpes has the right to cancel the booking free of charge. 

Cancellation policy

If for any reason, you decide to withdraw from a journey, the amount already paid will be refunded subject to the following exceptions:
  • More than 30 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of 50€
  • From 30 to 21 days before departure, you will be charged for the amount of the deposit (30% of the trip’s price)
  • From 20 to 14 days before departure,  you will be charged for 50% of the trip’s price
  • From 13 to 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for 75% of the trip’s priceLess than 7 days before departure,  you will be charged for the whole trip’s price 

Particular case :

Whatever the cancellation or contract change date, the following fees will be added to the charges above:
  • Airline fixed costs: plane tickets are bought in advance to avoid too high airline prices, however they are non refundable in case of cancellation or plan changes. In that case, the charges above apply to the price of your trip without the plane ticket’s price
  • Ground fixed costs: you will be charged for the fees that were paid early
  • Insurance fees: Insurance fees will not be refunded if you have subscribed to a multi-risk or cancellation insurance. The specific conditions will be written on your subscription confirmationIf you have no choice but to cancel your trip before departure, you must inform Montagne Expeditions and your insurance provider with a written statement as soon as possible, you will get a receipt. 

The receipt date will be taken as the cancellation date to charge cancellation fees.  

If Montagne Expeditions has no choice but to cancel a group travel due to an insufficient number of participants, the decision will be taken and the clients informed at least 31 days before departure. Altaï Alpes can also cancel a departure due to exceptional events threatening participants safety (social events, strikes, weather conditions). In that case, the trip’s price will be fully refunded but the participants will not get any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If any change in travel contract is made at the customer’s request, the customer shall pay any fee that might arise from this change. In any case, every request for changes shall be notified in writing. In case of external events that could not be foreseen, Altaï Alpes might change some aspects of the travel contract. We will inform you of any changes as quickly as possible.


All group travel prices on our website have been calculated for the indicated number of participants for each trip. The price list is confirmed after the booking. If the number of participants is lower than expected, an additional payment charge might be applied. For each travel and program, we mention the price per person – valid for the minimum number of participants – and we provide you with detailed explanations about the services included or not. Any change in the exchange rates or in the price of travel services in particular regarding the cost of the fuel, might entail price revision.

Contract transfer

In case of contract transfer by the customer to an assignee, modification and cancellation conditions apply. 


We recommend you to get your personal insurance before your departure to cover the activities undertaken by Montagne Expedition. If you have not purchased any of our insurances, we ask you to email us your insurance contract information (company, contract name, contract number, phone number) and bring those information with you on your trip. 

Practical info


The tour is supervised by a mountain guide who has been chosen for his field experience, his specific knowledge of one geographical area and the culture attached, as well as his passion for the region.


  • Very good quality and tasty local food, meals are prepared by chefs : they are excellent !
  • Take some snacks according to your own tastes (cereals bars, chocolate bars, dry fruits,…).

  • We advise you to bring some water purification tablets (Aquatabs or Micropur) in order to drink tap water. 
  • Personal drinks are not included in the trip's price
  • Bring cash for coffees, fruit juices, coke or beers during breaks…


  • We advise you to bring protection against noise (ear plugs).
  • A few electrical plugs are available in refuges, but plan to bring an external battery to charge your camera and switch off your phone during the day. 


On Day 3, 5, 6, 7 & 8, we will have a light back with out belongings for the day. On Day 2 & 4 and on Day 9 when descending, we'll carry all of our personal belongings. 


Clients usually pay for the guides’ drinks : you might find it practical to make a group kitty at the beginning of your stay (no obligation). 

Supplied equipment

Ropes and technical equipment 

Vital equipment

  • 1 pair of hiking shoes with skis, poles and knifes
  • 1 harness + 2 carabiners + 1 swivel carabiner + 2 cords
  • 1 pair of gaiters
  • 1 ice axe
  • 1 ice anchor
  • 1 pair of crampons
  • 1 avalanche transceiver + 1 shovel + 1 probe
  • 1 duvet sleeping bag (double thickness / -15°C)
  • 1 foam mattress with closed air cell
  • 1 safety blanket
  • 1 headlamp + long lasting batteries + extra bulb
  • 1 pair of glacier sunglasses with nose protector + 1 extra pair
  • 1 thermos (1.5L)
  • Sunscreen (total protection) + after sun cream
  • Total protection lip balm + after sun lip balm
  • 2 100L bin bags
  • 1 waterproof pouch in which you will put your identity papers, your phone, your money and your insurance/assistance contract with all of your emergency phone numbers

Helpful equipment

  • 1 wool bonnet
  • 1 silk balaklava + 1 shawl 
  • 1 pair of wool or thermolactyl underwear (tee-shirt and pants) 
  • 1 polar jumper
  • 1 pair of mountain rousers
  • 1 duvet jacket
  • 1 Goretex jacket
  • 1 pair of Goretex trousers (or equivalent)
  • 2 pair of thick wool gloves + 1 pair of silk gloves
  • 3 pairs of thick wool socks
  • 2 pair of thin socks
  • Sports clothes for small walks
  • 1 pair of light trekking shoes
  • 1 pair of swimming trunks 
  • 1 sowing kit 


This equipment has to be split into 2 or 3 bags :
  • 1 heavy and compact bag (50-60L backpack)
  • 1 check-in bagage (under 20kg)
  • 1 cover for the skis


Your guide has a pharmacy of first urgency.
Plan with your doctor your personal pharmacy:
  • Personal medicine
  • Pain reliever (preferably paracetamol)
  • Double skin
  • Elastoplast
  • Local disinfectant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Anti-diarrheal
  • Anti-vomiting
  • Intestinal antiseptic
  • Eyewash
  • Light sleeping pills
  • Earplugs
  • Broad spectrum antibiotic
  • Vitamins C 
Non-exhaustive list.


Please make sure your passport and travel documents are valid. We advise you to travel with a copy of your travel documents in case of theft or loss.

Sustainable tourism

We do our best to offer trips subscribed to the principles of responsible and sustainable tourism. Our aim is to allow visitors to discover the many facets of the mountains by taking you off the beaten path and getting you in touch with its nature and residents, while ensuring that your visits do not have a negative effect on its natural environment and people.

  • Most of our accommodations are run by locals, thus ensuring that the largest part of the revenue generated through your trip will stay within the region.
  • France is known for its exquisite cuisine. The art of cooking and the joy of eating are part of everyday life. Each region has its particular foods and flavors which we would like you to explore and appreciate.
  • Water is a precious and rare good. Our team and those travelling with us are thus advised to use it with consideration and avoid excessive water use where possible.
  • Please try to recycle your waste whenever possible, even though recycling may not be a well-known concept in all areas.
  • Be cautious and respectful when hiking. Make sure to wear suitable footwear and avoid picking flowers, moving stones or lighting fires.  
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My local agent

  • Technical adviser on all trips.
  • Passionate about mountains and particularly with backcountry skiing.
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Great ascent
Ski Ski trip
10 days
5 to 8 people
From €2,995


  •  Ascent towards the 'Russian side" and historical side of the first ascent of the East summit
  • Wild and charming landscapes, far away from the crowds of the normal path

Guide's advice

« It is the ski-touring paradise, with an abondant amount of snow! »

Required level

A first ski-touring experience is mandatory, with a control of the basic technics, especially the upstream and downstream conversion. You have to know how to use the safety equipment : avalanche transceiver, probe and shovel. 

Physical difficulties

You have to be in excellent physical form to do those 8 days in the mountain and in altitude. The ascent doesn't require important technical skills but demands an intense and long effort in sometimes tedious conditions. 


Do not forget the length of the trip, its latitude and the distance. Participants have to know the risks of altitude. 
For each of our "Trek peak" trips with ascents and altitude, we ask to every participant to do a medical check and to have a certificate of competence to the practice of alpinism. 
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