About us

We have our own tour license so no problem with preparing visa vouchers. All payments and administration are handled by the UK office of Adventure Alternative, our parent company, so all client money is secure and you have 24/7 access to our offices. 

We offer a particular programme that is more than just climbing Mount Elbrus. We pride ourselves on having the best people and using the best facilities in the region. We spend time exploring the region and offer a better acclimatisation programme than other companies. We also offer an excellent cultural experience of the Kabardino-Balkyrie region.

We offer accommodation in both the Barrels (Bochki) Hut and the Priut-11 (Diesel) Hut and our programme allows for 3 possible summit days. Incorporating the extra days gives us additional safety on the mountain and a better chance of summitting.

We teach people on the use of crampons and ice axes, the principles of mountaineering and how to climb safely. It is our belief that just standing on top of a mountain is not enough, we like people to return with an enhanced knowledge of the mountains. We understand that mountain guiding is not about volume of customers or number of trips. It is about individuals receiving proper service and care.


This is no new venture. Gavin, Sasha and Andrey have been working together for some years taking groups onto Elbrus and into such remote areas like the Lagonaki Plateau in southern Russia. Years of working together has built up a trust and friendship that is surely reflected in the standard of service on our trips and the ultimate added enjoyment for clients.

We wanted to create something that was not just about climbing mountains or hills; Russia has so much more to offer than that. A wonderfully rich culture and history spread over such a vast and fascinating land means that it would be shame to go there without having someone to make it alive. Sasha has huge knowledge of the country and her people, while Andrey can show you the sights of Moscow.

Gavin Bate
+ 44 2870 831258

Everest mountaineer and high altitude climber, Gavin has been leading expeditions around the world for eighteen years, including the record-breaking Seven Summits Expedition in 2000. Writer, photographer and adventurer, Gavin lives in Ireland and is the founder of Adventure Alternative UK which has subsidiary companies now in Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal and Russia and is one of the most reputable adventure tour operators in the UK.

Sasha Lebedev
+7 (916) 118-84-73

Sasha is a Rafting Champion of Russia and our guide for all expeditions. Uniquely he is also an expert on the cultures of Russian different regions, a recognised academic on such areas as the Altai about which he has written books, as well as representative of all that is strong and loyal and decent about the Russian character. With Gavin he has led many expeditions on Elbrus with a perfect safety track record because of their joint teamwork and high professionalism. Sasha lives in Moscow with his wife Alena and family of six children.

Andrey Panin
+7 (985) 764-56-45

Andrey was a renowned scientist during Soviet times and now manages the business administration of foreign visitors with an unparalleled knowledge of Russian bureaucracy. Andrey takes care of all visa invitation letters and paperwork, and assists with hotel bookings, Moscow tours and excursions. His excellent English and a unique sense of humour ensures a memorable introduction to Russia.



Adventure Alternative (UK office)

PO Box 14, Portstewart, N. Ireland  BT55 7BP

+ 44 2870 831258

Russian Adventures (Moscow office)

+7 495 760-7111