FAQ's Elbrus things

FAQ's Russian Visas

List of necessary things to take with:

  1. Trekking sneakers
  2. Solid trekking leather boots.
  3. We definitely recommend prior to climbing Elbrus to rent plastic boots in Terskol (200 Rb./day, 5 days is enough). The reason for this: we will train everyday and dry boots every night. All lodges and hotel have electricity and one can dry boots easily, but highest lodge "Priyut of 11" has no electricity supply, so boot will be wet. Usage web boots is dangerous because of risk of congregation.
  4. Gaiters. Not obligatory but in gaiters your feet will be warmer.
  5. Trekking socks, 2-3 pairs.
  6. Mountain socks - 1 pair.
  7. Thermal pants - 1 pair.
  8. Trekking pants - 1 pair.
  9. Polartec pants - 1 pair.
  10. Thermal shirt - 2.
  11. T-shirts - 3-4.
  12. Polartec jacket - 1.
  13. Rain jacket - 1.
  14. Down jacket. Not obligatory, but if you have it you'd better take it for summit.
  15. Cap.
  16. Warm cap for summit.
  17. Balaklava (face mask).
  18. Polartec mittens.
  19. Warm mittens for summit.
    Note: we do not recommend using any kind of gloves for summit.
  20. Good mountain sunglasses (should fit close to face).
  21. Forehead light.
  22. Crampons (can be rented in Terskol).
  23. Ice axe (Can be rented in Terskol).
  24. Trekking sticks.
  25. Trekking rucksack (volume 35 - 40 liters).
  26. Two 1-liter water bottles for summit. Those bottles must be inside thermo shell.
    Note! We do not recommend using plastic bag for water carried inside a rucksack having plastic tube for drinking. We know a lot of situations when those bags became frozen in 20 minutes and a person had to carry a piece of ice unable to drink.
  27. Sleeping bag having "comfort temperature" minus 7 degrees Celsius.
  28. Sleeping matt.


Russian visas

  • What's the difference between a visa and a visa invitation? 
    The visa and visa invitation are two different things, but both are necessary if you wish to travel to Russia. You need the invitation to apply for the visa itself.
    The visa is a document provided by a Russian embassy or consulate, permitting your stay in Russia for a specific period of time, listing entry/exit dates, vital information and passport details. Your Russian visa is an exit permit as well as an entry permit: if you stay longer than permitted by your visa, you will face problems when leaving the country. 
    However, Russian consulates and embassies require that you must first be 'invited' to visit Russia by a firm or travel agency. This invitation to visit comes as a document issued by a licensed travel agency and will be sent by email to you following receipt of your passport details. 
    The cost for providing this visa invitation letter is included in the cost of your expedition.
  • Do I need a visa?
    Yes, most foreign nationals are required to have entry visas to travel to the Russian Federation.
  • Do I need a separate invitation and visa for my children?
    If your child is travelling with you, is under 16 years old, and is listed on your passport, then your child may enter Russia with you sharing the same visa. There is no need to obtain a separate visa (and hence no need to obtain a separate visa invitation) for your child in this case. Simply inform us of all details if you are planning to bring your child with you who will be able to travel to Russia without the need for an additional visa.
  • What happens if there is a mistake in my visa invitation?
    If we make a mistake in your visa application, we will correct it free of charge. Please inform us immediately if there is a problem. Irish citizens note that the invitation letter should use exactly the lettering in Irish if necessary that is on your passport.
  • What is a migration card?
    This is a form that you will be given at the Russian border (or on the plane if arriving by air). The form should be filled in before passport control, and will be stamped along with your visa by the immigration officer. It is essential that you keep the migration card safe for the duration of your trip, as it must be handed in upon departure.
  • What if my passport or visa is lost or stolen in Russia?
    If you are unfortunate enough to lose your passport (and visa attached inside the passport), you will need a new exit visa. First of all you must contact a local police station and make a request for an official document confirming that your visa was stolen. Then you should contact whoever provided your invitation (or the local representatives). Only your visa sponsor can process an exit visa for you.
  • Will I need an HIV test to enter Russia? Or vaccinations ?
    When planning to stay in Russia for over 90 days make sure to obtain an HIV test certificate. You may be asked to display it to medical officer at a Russian border checkpoint. An HIV test is not necessary when staying for less than 3 months in Russia. No vaccinations are necessary to enter the Russian Federation.
  • Will I need medical insurance?
    It is advisable to have medical insurance coverage valid in Russia. Check your medical plan and request such coverage if you do not have it. Some Russian embassies may demand that you submit proof of valid travel insurance with your visa application.
  • How much money can I take with me?
    There is no limitation on the amount of foreign currency to be taken to Russia. Just mention in your customs declaration all your currency over $500 and other valuables, including objects of art, which you take into the country. Keep your customs declaration to present it upon departure.
  • Are traveller cheques accepted in Russia?
    It is better to take cash and credit cards rather than traveler's cheques. While cash machines (ATMs) are found throughout major Russian cities, traveler's cheques can be hard to cash, and are often subject to expensive fees.