Camping or using the Huts? That would greatly determine your choice of equipment.
Main implications being:
- Boots. Double boots are better for any arrangement, but if you are using the Huts you may be able to do with single boots (summer only). The trick is to get them dry, since slush is common at the lower parts of the mountain. While it is no problem in the Hut, you would not be able to dry single boots in the tent. On the summit bid single boots may feel too cold, but it depends on the weather and the wind. If investing in double boots is not an option – overboots may help. If possible – take simple trekking shoes for trek-in.
- A Sleeping Matt you do not need in the Hut.
- A Sleeping Bag. The Hut arrangement calls for +10C bag (50 F); while if you are camping, the temperature in the tent may be as low as – 10C (15 F) at elevation of 3800 m / 12500 ft but usually is 0C – +5 C / 30-40 F. The temperatures are given for the summer climbing season.
- Crampons, Ice Axe, Harness & ropes are the same. The mountain is not technical – there are no fixed lines and no need to establish them, also ascender is not necessary. Often commercial expeditions prefer not to rope up customers at all on the Southern side (which is a debatable practice). On the North Side the total time of a roped travel will be 2 – 3 hrs for the whole duration of the climb.
- A camping gear and utensils. Not an issue if you are using the Huts. Otherwise depends on whether you arranging all by yourself or using a local provider.
- A Compass and Map. On a good day the idea of having a compass seems ridiculous. The route is like a highway up, very clear and straightforward. BUT fog / clouds very often cover the mountain and visibility drops so that one cannot see the end of a ski pole. Majority of accidents on Elbrus are caused by such conditions. So, take a compass, it will not break your back.
Find out more about Elbrus:
Intro Route Equipment Training