Elbrus: hiking in the mountains for beginners

Mountain tourism in the Elbrus region

Elbrus region, Elbrus region, located in the Baksan valley, is one of the largest recreation centers in the south of Russia. It has a good view of the mountains, a National Wildlife Park with unique flora and fauna. But the main attraction is the Azau ski resort, where tourists or independent travelers from Russia and Europe can ski and relax.

About the tourist complex

The length of the complex is over 12 km. This well-equipped system ensures safe heights on the high slopes and snowy peaks of Cheget and Elbrus. The entire length of the ski slopes is over 35 km. The longest of them is Stary Krugozor - 2500 m. There are several rental points for equipment and skis. An instructor can be hired to train and restore skills.

There are several slopes in the Azau ski resort:

  • From Azau to Old Krugozor. Level drop - 650 m. Length of slopes –2500 m.
  • From "Stary Kryugozor" to "Mir". The maximum height is 500 m. The length of the route is 2000 m.
  • From the Mir station to the Gara Bashi. Descent height - 250 m. Ski track length - 2000 m.
  • Two slopes to the station "Ya". Height 650 m. The length of the international ski track is 1600 m. The second line is lower, its length is 1300 m.

At the second station "Cheget" there is a cafe "Ya". The cafe offers a magnificent view of Elbrus. Team "I" awaits guests with a home fireplace and traditional "Gleentwein" (hot wine).

All ski slopes are marked and serviced by snow tractors - special crawler tractors. This makes it possible to drive down the high slopes of Elbrus with a lift on a snow tractor. The ski slopes of Cheget and Elbrus are suitable for professionals and beginners. There are many thefts in the Elbrus region. It ensures an even distribution of snow cover for the entire ski season.

Ski resort equipment

The Elbrus region is improving every year, new slopes and services appear. Examples are a sports complex on the slopes of Mount Cheget, between Elbrus and Donguz-Orun. Cable cars, hotels, cafes and shops operate here. More than 23,000 people live in recreation centers and hotels in the Elbrus region annually, and cable cars can transport almost a million people per season. The cable cars operate all year round.

Features of accommodation and recreation:

  • There are cafes and bars in the station rooms. You can choose from several comfortable restaurants and kebabs serving a variety of Caucasian and international cuisine. The resorts are equipped with telephones, fax and e-mail.

Description of Azau - a ski resort in the Elbrus region


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There are two ski areas in the Elbrus region. Elbrus's marked tracks are wide, with a comfortable slope, ideal for training and quiet skiing. Cheget tracks are considered the most difficult in the world. The mounds in the second stage are famous all over the world and do not forgive mistakes and insufficient qualifications.

Mount Cheget (3,700 m) Height difference - 1,000 m.

  • 1st stage - two cable cars, one of which is single-chairlift, the second is double-chairlift. Vertical drop - 650 m. Track length - 1 600 m ...

The Cheget Ski Complex began its work in the middle of the 20th century. The country's first chairlift on Mount Cheget was put into operation in 1963. The long and relatively steep Cheget track has rightfully earned the title of one of the most difficult in the Soviet Union. In February 1963, the winter sports day was held on the slopes of Cheget. The construction of a chairlift at the Cheget ski resort has contributed to the development of skiing. Since then, the Cheget ski complex has won worldwide fame, and the Cheget track has established itself as one of the most difficult ski tracks in the world.

The Cheget tracks are recognized as one of the most difficult not only in Russia, but also in Europe. The Cheget ski complex attracts experienced riders from all over Russia and abroad thanks to its black slopes and endless opportunities for freeride and backcountry. The dreams of experienced freeriders come true precisely on Cheget: untouched virgin land, super-complex combined options, slope of the track from 20 ° to 45 °, tracks through a pine forest - all this is skiing on Cheget. There are no snow groomers and well-groomed trails - here you are alone with the silence of the mountains and wildlife.

The slopes of Cheget are steep, there are no easy tracks here at all. Mostly red and black. The famous Cheget Hills (in the second stage) are the best way to check if you really own alpine skiing.

Snowboarders can recommend slopes to the south (into the stream) - wide and steep fields, and descent along the "Dollar" (route to the north), of course, if the tracks are not closed by the KSS (control and rescue service) due to avalanche danger ...

A gondola cable car manufactured by the French company POMA was built on Elbrus - its first stages were built in 2007 and 2009, the third stage was opened in December 2015. The cable car on Elbrus has become the highest mountainous one, having no analogues in Russia and in Europe. Before the construction of this road, the lift at the top of the Aiguille du Midi in the western part of the Mont Blanc massif, which is connected with the French resort of Chamonix, was considered the highest cable car in Europe. The upper station of the cable car is located at an altitude of 3842 meters, while on Elbrus the upper point of the lift has an indicator of 3847 meters, which is a significant difference in conditions of construction in the mountains, taking into account the height difference. The lower lift station is located at 3455 meters above sea level. The lift is equipped with eight-seat gondolas; the carrying capacity is 1500 people per hour.

  • Shelter-11 (4100 m) . Gara-Bashi station (3780 m)
Trail: Mainly red and black, suitable for experienced riders.
  • Gara-Bashi station (Bochki shelter) (3780 m) . Mir station (3500 m)
... The track: mostly blue, up to the "Bochki" it is flat and wide, quite steep, and after the "Bochki" shelter keep to the left, i. on the right, the track is narrower and steeper.
  • Station "Mir" (3500 m) . Station "Stary Krugozor" (3000 m)
Cable cars: pendulum Elbrus-2 and gondola "PUMA-2". Track: at the beginning the track is black, rather steep, then the track gradually widens and turns into a wide blue.
  • Stary Krugozor station (3000 m) . Azau glade (2350 m)
Ropeways: pendulum Elbrus-1 and gondola PUMA-1. Track: at the beginning the track is red, rather narrow and steep, then the track gradually widens and turns into a gentle blue.

Ski resort Azau in Elbrus region: description of slopes, roads, how to get there. Weather conditions, independent travel, cafes, restaurants, ski rental.

View of the Ullutau mountain range. Photo: Vladimir Kamenev

Hike to the mountains of the Central Caucasus, to the famous Elbrus region - through pine forests and alpine meadows to lakes and glaciers. Great for beginners:

  • backpacks will be relatively light thanks to a short return to civilization in the middle of the route;
  • quite serious physical activity during the transitions with backpacks will be combined with numerous walks without backpacks and rest.

More about the route of the hike:

Day Moving to the mountains

Drive 175 km, 3.5 hours, travel with backpacks 1 km.

The road in the pine forests of the Elbrus region. Photo: Tatiana Borovtsova

Meeting at the airport of Mineralnye Vody. A long drive on the asphalt, after which we find ourselves in the mountains and soon turn off the road - to the Adylsu valley. A river flows nearby, pine forests around, glaciers breathe cool ahead. The road ends. We walk 1-2 km and set up tents by the spring stream. Campfire evening with mulled wine.

Day Along Adylsu Valley

Trekking with backpacks 7 km, climb 900 m.

On this day, we will rise from a summer pine forest to alpine meadows, snowfields and talus - all mountain contrasts in one day! In two hours along the mountain path we will go to the Green Hotel, which is a large picturesque grassy meadow with houses of glaciologists. We go to the ridge of the moraine of the Bashkarinsky glacier - to look at the glacier flowing down from transcendental heights by icefalls, and at two large lakes at its end. Also in the distance we will see the bulk of Elbrus (5642 m). Let's continue our way along the placers of stones. The pyramidal mountain Dzhan-Tugan with a height of more than 4000 m will open on the right, from which glaciers slide and avalanches go. The forest ended long ago, and there are fewer and fewer herbs and flowers. We are entering a harsh glacial zone. Overnight in tents on talus among snowfields at an altitude of about 3200 m.

Day Koyavganaush Pass

Since the middle of the 20th century, interest in skiing has been noticeably increasing. And if initially it was a classic descent from the mountains on special skis, then later freeride, speed-skiing, newsool, freestyle were added to it. Since the beginning of the XXI century, it begins to rapidly gain popularity in Russia, which gives impetus to the development of ski resorts, including those located at the foot of Elbrus.

Description of Elbrus

Elbrus is one of the highest peaks in Europe and the Caucasus Mountains and Russia, in particular. True, geographers have not yet decided whether this is the territory of Europe or already Asia. It is one of the seven highest mountains in the world.

Brief description

Elbrus, located at a distance of 10 km from the established Greater Caucasus Range, is of volcanic origin. It is characterized by the presence of two peaks: the Western and Eastern peaks, respectively 5642 and 5621 m. The base of the extinct volcano covers an area of ​​15 square meters. m.

The peaks, starting at an altitude of 3800 m, are covered with snow and glaciers. The total area of ​​the glaciers is 134 sq. m.

Mountain Features

Climbers have long begun to explore the slopes of Elbrus. It was thanks to them that the so-called shelters appeared on the slopes. One of which is located in the saddle between the peaks at an altitude of 5416 m. It is from this point that climbers begin to conquer one of the peaks. Not so long ago, athletes also paid attention to the mountain.

Due to the features of the relief and mild climate, it is the best suited for skiing.

Ski resorts of Elbrus have been actively developing lately. They are not empty even in summer. In addition to climbers, fans of extreme cycling and trekking come here. And also those who seek solitude among alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks.

Prielbrusye Ski Resort

Cheget received its first tourists in the middle of the 20th century, and a little later gained worldwide fame thanks to its steep tracks. Even today, this place is not for amateur skiing, only one section with a length of a little over 300 meters is suitable for beginners.

Mount Cheget in the Elbrus region attracts thrill-seekers from skiing on "red" and "black" slopes. The latter are considered one of the most difficult in the world (!) And are popular only among daredevils, including those who come here from abroad.

The difference in altitude when skiing on Cheget exceeds 1 km (from 2100 to 3050 meters), and the total length of the tracks is more than 20 km. It is better to run some routes with an instructor (even if you are confident on your skis). Freeride fans will find extreme sections on Cheget: some narrow tracks pass through a pine forest. And the southern slope, where there are not so many bumps and trees, is suitable for snowboarding.

Mount Cheget rises in a picturesque place in the Elbrus region. There are Blue Lakes in the Cherek Gorge, Chegem Waterfalls with a 30-meter Adai-Su waterfall, the Narzan Valley with 17 mineral springs, the Seven Glacier and the Elbrus National Reserve.

Highest point: Donguz-Orunbashi peak, 3769 m

Coordinates: 43.41145, 42.82938

Where is located on the map of Russia

Mount Cheget is located in Kabardino-Balkaria and is part of the Main Caucasian Range. Cheget rises to the south of Elbrus at a distance of 5 km.

Highest points

History of the Conquest

Tourists choose Cheget for a test of strength, jumping on a barn made of granite and shale. The conquest of its heights cannot be compared with a hike along the inaccessible Elbrus. Often Cheget is chosen for acclimatization before climbing the two-headed giant - the highest in Europe.

Climbing Cheget is also organized in the warm season, when the slopes breathe mountain grasses. Tourists are attracted by nature: bright sun, exotic flowers, amazing stones. The Baksan Valley lies at a glance, and other mountains peep out through the gaps in the clouds. They do not go above 3400 meters, because a sharp ridge begins.

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