Gear List - Summiting Mt Elbrus

by Alyssa & Glenn Azar – Mountain Designs Adventure Ambassadors

Gear List - Summiting Mt Elbrus

Mountain Designs Adventure Ambassadors Alyssa and Glenn Azar recently lead a team of adventurers to the summit of Mount Elbrus in Russia. Here they offer an insight into what you'll need to pack, providing a gear list based directly on their experience and expert advice, with personal gear recommendations to help you reach the top of Europe's highest peak.

The Mountain

Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Russia and is located in the Caucasus mountain range just a few kilometres from the border of Georgia. A dormant volcano, it is the highest peak in Europe and one of the Seven Summits. Though Elbrus is the highest summit in Europe sitting at 5,642m, from a climbing technique perspective, it is one of the easiest of the higher peaks on the continent. The biggest danger is the weather, which can be particularly nasty on this mountain.

Summiting Mt Elbrus

Mt Elbrus is located on the Russia-Georgia border and rises some 5,642m above sea level.

The Route

The standard route up Mount Elbrus is via the south side. It is long and strenuous but not technically difficult. Typically, the summit day will take around 12 hours. Besides this standard route and the northern route, there are many other much more difficult routes on the mountain, though they are very seldom climbed.

Summiting Mt Elbrus

The standard route is via the south side of the mountain.

Summiting Mt Elbrus

Mountain Designs brand ambassadors Alyssa and Glenn Azar lead their team to the summit last month.

The Gear

Having the correct gear for this climb – as with any summit attempt – is vital. The way to pack for Elbrus is done in two parts. The first is hiking gear suitable for sunshine and trails, as the expedition to climb Mount Elbrus starts around the local village of Terskol. The second part involves cold weather gear and being ready for the summit bid, beginning at 3am and climbing through until the morning. 

The most important thing about your gear is that it needs to be able to handle the demands of, and protect you from, the cold and wind. It also needs to be versatile to deal with the changing conditions of the mountains. The bulk of it will be transported up to Base Camp by ski lifts and you will only need to carry a daypack, which will contain your water supply, waterproofs, fleece, gloves, camera equipment and other smaller items. This will typically weigh between 5-8 kilograms.

Personal Gear Checklist

Check out our Mountaineering gear list below for expert advice from Alyssa and Glenn on what Mountain Designs gear will best equip you for your Elbrus adventure:

Technical Clothing

  • GORE-TEX® shell jacket
  • GORE-TEX® shell pants
  • Expedition down jacket or down suit (optional)


Handwear & Headwear

  • Heavyweight softshell gloves
  • GORE-TEX® shell gloves
  • Down mitts
  • Hand & toe warmers
  • Headlamp & spare batteries
  • 100% UV glacier glasses or ski goggles
  • Sun hat
  • Balaclava or beanie
  • Neck gaiter or scarf



  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Sandals or shoes for travel
  • Expedition socks
  • Trekking socks
  • Liner socks
  • Fleece booties or down booties (optional) - Alyssa recommends this optional extra for some ‘home comfort’ during down time at base camp:
    Shop Bearfoot Fleece Booties
  • Gaiters
  • Spare laces


Personal Items

  • Toiletry bag
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Sunscreen with maximum SPF
  • Basic first-aid kit
  • Medication/s
  • Travel towel
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Pee bottle
  • Go Girl funnel (women)
  • Sunglasses

Mountaineering Essentials

  • Tent & repair kit
  • Down sleeping bag - Alyssa recommends a down sleeping bag with an extreme rating of -25°C or lower for this trip, depending on the month of year you’re travelling:
    Shop Travelite 700 Down Sleeping Bag
  • Self-inflating sleeping mat
  • Self-inflating pillow
  • Closed-cell foam pad
  • GPS device
  • Altimeter watch


Packs & Bags

  • Compression stuff sacks
  • Bag locks


Other Gear

  • Water bottles
  • Water purifier
  • Thermos & mug
  • Stove & fuel
  • Waterproof matches or lighter
  • Cooking set
  • Cups & utensils
  • Plastic bags for rubbish
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Camera, case & charger/batteries
  • International adaptors
  • Multi-tool or pocket knife
  • Map & compass
  • Pen & paper
  • Whistle & signalling mirror
  • Mobile phone
  • Nylon cord
  • Duct tape
  • Mallet

Download/Print Gear List

Note: Download/print off this gear list and check it off as you pack. However, this gear list should be used as a guide only and is not exhaustive. It is important you do your own research based on your chosen destination, planned activities, weather conditions, time of year and experience.





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