Mt. Elbrus Off Limits to Americans

This season is about to look quite different for Europe’s highest peak and its mountain guides. Mt. Elbrus (5,642m) belongs to the western Caucasus Mountains of Southern Russia, near the Georgian border.

As one of the Seven Summits — as well as one of the Volcanic Seven Summits, Elbrus attracts many visitors to the Caucasus each year and helps keep several guiding companies in business.

This week, the U.S. Embassy in Russia issued a Level 4 – Do Not Travel advisory for the mountain, citing extreme geopolitical tension created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Do not attempt to climb Mount Elbrus, as travelers must pass close to volatile and insecure areas of the North Caucasus region. The U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens traveling in the North Caucasus region, including Mount Elbrus, as U.S. government employees are prohibited from traveling to the region.

Accordingly, guiding companies have called off all Mt. Elbrus expeditions for 2022.

Alpinist and guide Adrian Ballinger announced the cancellation of his company’s expeditions on Instagram.


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A post shared by Adrian Ballinger (@adrianballinger)

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing. In 2020, Jilli left her corporate position to pursue an outdoor-oriented life. She now works as a contributor, an editor, and a gear tester for ExplorersWeb and various other outlets within the AllGear network. She is based out of Austin, Texas where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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