Responsible tourism: Mount Elbrus climbing holiday, Russia
All our staff brief guests on our environmental policies on the mountain and surrounding region. We minimise all our waste materials during the climb and ensure that any rubbish is taken back down to the base. We do not bring multiple plastic water bottles but rather take water purification tablets and use the natural water sources from on the mountain. We use small kerosene cooking stoves to avoid any camp fires and pollution or damage that can arise from fire use.
Trekking through the many different landscapes, we brief our guests on keeping to the footpaths and trails, in order to minimise erosion and damage to any plant life around the camps.
Our guides are trained to keep safe distances from the animals and brief guest about appropriate wildlife interactions. For human and animal safety, we do not feed animals, approach animals, and stay on the tail to avoid disrupting their habitats.
We also employ local guides and mountain rescue personnel and after so long, we are very well known in the region as a safe and reputable company. Despite the fact that it is not a very technical peak to climb, a lot of people get into trouble on this mountain largely due to carelessness, forgetting basic mountaineering principles of going to high altitude and making things cheap by cutting corners. A well paid guide who is not doing back-to-back trips all season will be motivated and aware, and we work hard to provide a good salary, equipment and training for our Russian mountain staff.
We adhere to carefully researched local customs in terms of business, tipping, host interactions, as well as appropriate dress and behaviours. Our guides are encouraged to share as much local knowledge and experience with our guests to ensure this a positive cultural interaction between visitors and hosts communities.