the highest summit of Europe
Information about Caucasus
Caucasus is a vast mountain area consisting of many ranges. It stretches
for 1.500 kilometers from the Black to the Caspian sea. Among the
mountain ranges almost going parallel to one another, the principal
one is the Glavny Range whose highest peaks reach over 5.000 meters.
It is the axis of the whole Caucasus. Dykh-Tau, Koshtan-Tau, Skhara
and other giants, which attract many challenged climbers over the
world. In front of these peaks - unassailable Besengi Wall. In 30's
the first Soviet climbers traversed this remarkable 13 km long wall
stretching higher then 4.500 meters. To the north of the Glavny
Range at a distance of 10-15 km towers the two-headed volcano Elbrus.
Its western cone is 5.642 meters - the summit of the Caucasus. And
it was the Elbrus area to become one gigantic center of tourism,
mountaineering and skiing, which was called later Elbrusia.
Elbrusia is a conventional name. The borders of the area have
been suggested by nature. At a point beyond the village of Elbrus
the highway enters a forest where lots of tourist facilities stand
amid the trees. Here the first Soviet mountain camps were set
up in 1935 and the story of Soviet mountaineering began. The equipment
used then was almost completely home-made: iron pitons, heavy
geological boots and hammers, tarpaulin rucksacks. Unlike in the
west Soviet mountaineering was rather a team sport secured by
many stages of training. One who wished to go for mountain ascents
had to get a set of courses to prove his ability. None was allowed
to go for ascent alone. At the certain level of qualification
climbers had to attnd an official course of the national mountain
rescue which would take several weeks at Elbrusia. Finally successful
climbers were rewarded by a national mountain rescue team badge
where the red cross's shown in front of mt.Ushba, the most dangerous
summit in Elbrusia.
climbs, names, dates.
on the mt.Elbrus usually takes 10-12 hours from the Base Camp
at Priyut of 11, the high altitude Refuge. For the better
and proper acclimatization climbers go up to the Pastukhov
Rocks, which are in 4 hours from the Refuge and return back.
As experience shows it helps greatly for the successful ascent.
The western summit of Elbrus is about 50 meters higher then
the Eastern. However most of climbers prefer to climb the
Eastern head, because of the time limit and the superb panoramic
view from the top. It's believed that mt.Elbrus is not a difficult
one to climb (even a newcomer can do it), but rather a coward
one, which requires to be aware on the weather and on the
certain strategy of climbing it.
first Everest's conqueror Tentzing Norgey and famous Soviet
climber D.Kokhiani at the Priyut of 11th.
Russia / Neizvedanny Mir Company
Saint Petersburg, Fontanka embankment, 59