Elbrus is a massive twin-summited volcano lying just north of the main
crest of the Caucasus Mountains. The West Peak is the highest, and the East
Peak (5621m) is only a little bit lower. While most Caucasian peaks are
jagged, rocky uplifted mountains, Elbrus is a gentle cone and therefore the
easiest major summit in the range to climb, in addition to being the highest. Although glaciated, the slopes of the peak are constant and relatively gentle, and the greatest diffiuclties lie in the peak's very high elevation and numerous crevasses.
Traditionally, Elbrus is considered the highest mountain in Europe, since
the Asia-Europe boundary follows the crest of the Caucasus, south of the peak. It is a long way from areas generally considered "European", but as a continent Europe does not make much geographical sense anyway. On this web site, all of the Caucasus is considered part of Europe.
Elbrus is one of the famous Seven Summits continental high points. And, now that the Central Asian Republics are no longer part of the Soviet Union, it is the highest peak in Russia, the largest country on earth.