Best PERIOD to climb Elbrus is May - September.
But in normal weather conditions for strong climbers it could be climbed within all year long.
Winter. During the winter time strong wind blows away snow cover from the Elbrus.
Normally hard winter ice is covering south slope of Elbrus, where normal route is coming, from altitude of about 4200 m (former place of Refuge of 11) till the sadddle - 5200 m.
As usial during the climbing no rope belay and any ice-screw are used,
so for climbers are necessary to be strong enough
and be very stable with long time crampons climbing.
In case of using ropes and ice-srew all route - it takes too much time
(for winter short day) and usially it's not enough to get to the summit and return back.
Spring. During spring time the snow cover is rising up
from the level of 4000 m in March, till about 4800 m in April and finally
covering all slope of Elbrus in the end of May.
It's rather much snow in April and May, that it's very convenient to make ski-tour climbing at that time at the least till the Pastukhov rock (4800 m)
with a nice descent in fresh snow with 100 km panorama view around.
Summer. Normally in summer time all Elbrus is covered with soft snow, that is splanded for ski-tour climbing
even till the summit and fantastic descent till 3900 m level. Also it's the best
opportunity to climb up with snowboard and make snowboard descent.
Using snow-cat drive you can easily get till the altitude of Pastukhov rocks (4800 m) (about 10 persons) or even till 5000 m (it takes about 20 minutes from
Karabashi refuge (3900 m)).
During the day time it's rather hot and climbing could be in only light Gore-tex suit or even without. Some times t-short
is enough. But in early morning time it could be very very cold with strong wind, so fingers could be easyly frozen.
Autumn. Usially in September and first part of
October climbing could be rather good, normally upon snow slopes with ski-tour till the summit.
Fresh snow-falls give special charming for ski or snowboard descent at this time.
Begining from the middle of October till December the weather is not stable and climbing is
rather difficult from this point of view.
Climbing Mt. Elbrus & Caucasus ski-tour.