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Elbrus Advice!!!!!

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Elbrus Advice!!!!!

Postby Ozclimb » Thu Feb 19, 2009 3:51 pm

Hello everyone,

I recently had planned to climb Elbrus using a tour guide (which I wont name) the trip has been cancelled due to safety concerns with political unrest in the area. The Australian, U.S and English travel advisories state that citizens should not travel to this area due to a high risk to your safety.

I am just letting everyone know so they can make an informed decision and/or research the matter a little more before they fork out their hard earned cash only for the trip to be cancelled!!!! or more importantly...something were to happen to you whilst over there.

I am seriously pissed about it all, but safety first I say!!!!!!!

Cheers everyone,
Andrew
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Postby andreeacorodeanu » Thu Feb 19, 2009 5:22 pm

Hi! Can everyone to say more about this, cuz i want to climb it in august????????? I ask cuz in this area all the time was problems and never was safety so now its more dangerous or what??? Cheers, Andreea
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Postby kevin trieu » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:42 pm

Which tour group? Pilgrim Tour? If they cancel, shouldn't you get your money back? The warnings were the same last year and I went anyway. It was fine. Not sure if the conflict with Georgia changed that. Just have all your paperwork so that the military police don't try to bribe you.
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Postby Corax » Thu Feb 19, 2009 7:55 pm

kevin trieu wrote:The warnings were the same last year and I went anyway. It was fine.


Same as every time I've been in the area.
Both in terms of warnings and safety.
Some nation's travel advisories have different standards than others. Don't believe everything they say.
Contact the local agencies instead and let them evaluate the situation. The serious ones will give you the true picture. One of the times I went there the media was full of "scary stories" about the Caucacus, but a local guy I talked to just laughed and said:
"Well, yes. There was a shoot out some days ago and two people were killed, but that's about x-hundred (can't remember the exact distance) kilometers away, very close to the border of Chechnya. It's always like that. If something happens anywhere in the Caucasus, it's all of a sudden all dangerous".
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Postby andreeacorodeanu » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:26 pm

Thanks Corax :D ! I will talk with Pilgrim agency and i hope to be ok cuz i really want to go. With Iran i had same problems: all people told me to dont go cuz its bad there and i will have problems and maybe will start a war with americans but was nothing and i felt so good and nobody ask me nothing and doing me nothing bad :) .
Cheers, Andreea
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Postby soderkisen » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:03 pm

As Corax says: Most western countries has a "ministry of foreign affairs" who year after year warn their citizens of travelling to Caucasus in general.

I know that the Swedish foreign ministry the last years removed their warnings and now only have dagestan and chechenya on the list. Anyhow, no worries. Elbrus area is always calm, and I dont think the russian local PilgrimTours would cancel a trip for some shot outs in a nearby region...it must be a western tour company who cancelled the trip?
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Postby andre hangaard » Fri Feb 20, 2009 8:03 am

Agree with above... I climbed Elbrus all alone end of July last year and the area around Azau and Terskol was as pieceful as any mountainvalley in the Alps. During my week I didn't see any military postings, people were nice and friendly and Pilgrim Tours, which I used, were very well organized. Pickups to/from Min Vody worked excellent. Dasvidanja! André
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Postby Ozclimb » Fri Feb 20, 2009 3:03 pm

Hey Andreea, as i told you the other night, it was an Australian company who are very reputable but they chose to cancel it just to be safe. My deposit will be refunded but i have to pay a cencellation fee on my flights so i will be out of pocket a few hundred bucks!

As i said....It was just something to keep in mind, I would still love to go but i think i will do Aconcagua this year and maybe Elbrus next August.

Cheers all!
Andrew
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Postby bukh » Mon Mar 30, 2009 8:51 am

Hi everybody,
yes, the distance between the Elbrus area to the North Ossetia (Russian region), where on the border with Georgia was the armed conflict in the August 2008, is about 250 km... And there weren't any problems in that period, local people and tourists both were watching TV and getting news only from it.

Even in the period of war in Chechnya, Elbrus area was a really quite and calm region of Caucasus, because for local people it is possible to earn money only in tourism. Locals are financial interested in tourists, because they have no other work here, and so they are quite freindly.

The one thing I really hate here is police. Russian policemen are really love bribes. So the main advice is to prepare all documents very well.
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advice

Postby Ozclimb » Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:20 am

Hey thanks for the advice....I am still going now. going to go with a Russian company who are quite good. see you all there! hahahahhaa

cheers
Andy
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