Do you know any interesting facts about Mount Elbrus? Elbrus is one of the Seven Summits, one of the Volcanic Seven Summits, the highest mountain in Europe, the highest mountain in Russia, and the highest mountain in the Caucasus Mountains. As you can imagine, Mount Elbrus is definitely a popular peak in mountaineering circles.
Mount Elbrus is often the subject of debate as to whether the mountain is officially located in in Asia or in Europe. Elbrus is situated on the northern side of the Caucasus watershed in the Caucasus Mountains in the Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay-Cherkessia regions of southwestern Russia near the Russia/Georgia border. The peak is certainly near the typical continental dividing line, but most mountaineers feel that it is officially in Europe.
Regardless of what continent you think Elbrus lies in, this mountain will always be a popular destination for climbers, skiers, and mountaineers. Are you ready to learn more about Mount Elbrus?
Mount Elbrus Quick Facts:
- Elevation: 18,510 ft | 5642 m
- Prominence: 15,554 ft | 4741 m – 10th most prominent peak in the world.
- Isolation: 1,536 mi | 2,473 km
- Lat/Long: 43°21′18″N 42°26′21″E
- Weather Forecast: Mount Elbrus
Let’s look at some interesting facts about Mount Elbrus:
- Elbrus formed about 2.5 million years ago.
- The mountain sits about 11 kilometers north of the main Caucasus Mountain Chain and is connected via the Khotiutau Ridge.
- Elbrus has two main summits: East and West.
- The East summit is 18,442 feet | 5,621 meters.
- The West summit is 18,510 feet | 5642 meters. The West summit has a volcanic crater that is 250 meters in diameter.
- Mount Elbrus is a dormant volcano.
- It is believed Elbrus last erupted around 50 AD.
- There are roughly 260 square kilometers of volcanic debris on the mountain.
- The summit is a permanent icecap consisting of 22 glaciers that feed into the Baksan, Kuban, and Malta rivers.
- Those glaciers make up 10% of all glaciers in the Northern Caucasus Mountains.
- Ancients called Elbrus “Strombilus,” which is Latin for ‘pine cone.’
- The local Balkars call Elbrus “Mengi Tau,” which means “mountain of a thousand mountains.”
- Elbrus is also called Yalbuz, or “ice Mane” by the local Turkic people, and Oshkhamakhua, or “mountain of Happiness,” by the Circassians.
- In Greek mythology, Zeus chained Prometheus to Mount Elbrus as punishment for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans.
- Elbrus’s name may be derived from Alborz – a legendary mountain in Persian mythology that was formerly called Harā Bərəzaitī, and means “high sentinel or guard.”
- From 1942 to 1943, German soldiers took over the Priut 11 mountain hut at 4157 meters during the Battle of the Caucasus in World War II. The Soviets retook the hut in 1943.
- The Adidas Elbrus World Race is a trail running race that goes around Elbrus.
- A cable car goes to 12,500′ feet. A snowcat can take climbers to 15,750′.
Here is a quick look at the climbing history of Mount Elbrus:
- 1829 – On July 10, Khillar Khachirov made the first ascent of the East summit while working as guide for an Imperial Russian army scientific expedition.
- 1874 – In July, F. Crauford Grove, Frederick Gardner, Horace Walker, Peter Knubel, and guide Ahiya Sottaiev reached the West Summit.
- 1929 – The 1st hut was built on Elbrus.
- 1933 – A wilderness hut between the two summits was built, but eventually collapsed.
- 1939 – An aluminum sided hut was built at 4200 meters. It was used as a barracks for troops during WWII. It eventually burned down in 1998. In 2001, the Diesel Hut was built near the ruins.
- 1956 – To celebrate the 400th anniversary of incorporation of Kabardino-Balkaria, 400 mountaineers climbed Elbrus.
- 1959-1976 – A cable car was built in stages that takes visitors to 3800 meters, which is the typical starting point for the standard climbing route on the south side. The cable car runs 9am to 3pm. People often ride up, stay in the Diesel Hut, do an alpine start, summit, and ride the last cable car back down.
- 1986 – Mount Elbrus was incorporporated into the Prielbrusye National Park.
- 1991 – Outside Magazine named the Priutt Hutt at 13,800′ home to the “World’s Nastiest Outhouse.”
- 1997 – Russian Mountaineer Alexander Abramov and his team took a Land Rover Defender to the East summit. The project took 45 days. They drove the Defender to the Barrels at 3800 meters then used a pulley system to raise it from there. At the summit they drove the vehicle around. The Defender crashed upon descent and the wreckage still remains to this day.
- 2016 – Russian climbers Artyom Kuimov and Sergey Baranov recached the summit of Elbrus on ATVs.
- The average annual death toll on Elbrus is 15-30. In 2004, 48 people died on the mountain.
- Learn about different huts on Mount Elbrus at AdventureAlternative.com.
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Feel free to contact us if any of the above information is incorrect or if you know of additional interesting facts about Mount Elbrus.