Which mountain is the most important

Elbrus: The highest mountain in Europe

Does the Elbrus belong to Europe?

The question of whether Mont Blanc or Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe depends on the definition of the inner Eurasian border. Since there is no clear marine border between Asia and Europe, there is no definition of this border line under international law. We share the opinion that the Elbrus belongs to Europe and thus to the Seven Summits. However, it would not be unequivocally wrong to claim that Mont Blanc is one of the seven highest.

Elbrus profile

  • Continent: Europe

  • Country: Russia

  • Region: North Caucasus

  • Mountain group: Greater Caucasus

  • Height: 5642 m

  • First ascent: East Summit, July 22, 1829 - Kilar Khachirov; West Summit, July 26, 1874 - Horace Walker, Frederick Gardiner, Florence Crauford Grove (all England) and Peter Knubel (Switzerland)

  • Base camp: Elbrus Base Camp (2500 m)

  • Best time to climb: May to September

The most famous route

Normal route from the south

The first ascent to the Garabashi huts (3750 m) can be done on foot or by cable car. The route continues over a ski slope to the Diesel Hut. Without any technical difficulties, the path then runs over a slight glacier ascent to the Pastukhov Rocks (4690 m). The terrain becomes steeper and you have to overcome bare ice.

This is followed by a long flank crossing over the Sedlowina saddle (5376 m). The ascent to the summit takes place from the saddle through the eastern flank, which is partly secured with ropes. A steep climb (30 to 35 degrees) leads to the summit plateau or crater rim. From there the path leads flat for about 30 minutes west to the summit of Europe.

Ascent (as of May 2019)

First ascent

The first ascent of the 5621 meter high eastern summit was made by Kilar Khachirov on July 22, 1829. He climbed to the summit via the north side. However, this successful ascent was doubted. The first ascent of the top of Europe, the western summit at 5642 meters, was achieved by the Englishmen Frederick Gardiner, Florence Crauford Grove and Horace Walker together with the Swiss leader of the expedition, Peter Knubel.

Speed ​​record

On May 11, 2017, the Ecuadorian mountain guide Karl Egloff reached the summit of Elbrus in 3 hours and 24 minutes, setting the speed record on Europe's highest mountain. With four hours and 20 minutes, he also set the current world record for the fastest ascent and descent on Mount Elbrus.

Age record

The youngest to climb Elbrus in June 2008 was Matthew Moniz, then 10 years old.

Origin of name

The name "Elbrus" probably comes from the Georgian word for "conical mountain". Name variants were Elboros, Elborus and Elburus until the 20th century. For a long time the mountain was considered sacred and was not allowed to be climbed.

Facts and figures about the highest mountains in the world

SchlauBERGer: Seven Summits

North America - The coldest

Denali / formerly Mount McKinley, 6168 m:The mountain in Alaska is known for its extreme weather conditions: winds well over 120 kilometers per hour and temperatures around minus 40 degrees are not uncommon. The distance from the foot of the mountain to the summit is almost 6000 meters - one of the largest differences in altitude in the world.


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You can find more about the Seven Summits in our topic archive "Seven Summits".

Text by Marietta Ernst

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