Winter Caucasus

Winter Caucasus

"The mountain beauty, richness of glaciers, luxury of forests and vegetation, Dombay and Teberda surpass everything that can be seen in the Alps" - this is how many Swiss climbers and tourists describe our native land. No backpacks - maximum impressions. spending the night in a tent camp.

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Detailed program

day Pyatigorsk - Dombay

Meeting in Pyatigorsk, transfer to Dombay.

On the way we will stop at Sentin and Shoanin temples - monuments of ancient Alanian Christian culture - Byzantine temples of the 10th century. A stone mausoleum is located near the Sentin temple - a unique building for the Caucasus, and the temple itself is the largest fresco complex in Alanya.

Alans are tribes of the Sarmatian people living on the territory of the modern republics of Karachay-Cherkessia, North and South Ossetia, Ingushetia and part of the Stavropol Territory. It is believed that the Byzantine Empire spread Christianity here in the 8th century, but it was more firmly established here only in the 10th century.

We are settling in a tent city, which will become our home in the coming days.

day Alibek gorge, Turye lake

We begin our acquaintance with the Caucasus mountains - we will go trekking along the Alibek gorge - we will look at the 25-meter Alibek waterfall and the Turie lake - glacial with bright turquoise water. And along the way there will be an alpine camp and a graveyard of climbers - along it you can trace almost the entire history of Soviet mountaineering, this is one of the places where mountain tourism and mountaineering originated in the Caucasus. There is a famous bardic song Yuri Vizbor "Dombai Waltz" - just about these places. In the evening, return to the village and a delicious dinner of national dishes at a local cafe.

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Main impressions

Let's go to the most impressive locations of the winter Caucasus!

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Route

We meet you at the airport of Mineralnye Vody and go to Kislovodsk.

We check in there in a cozy boutique hotel in the very center (accommodation for 2 people in a room).

After check-in and lunch we will walk through the center of Kislovodsk, Kislovodsk Park (one of the largest in Europe), try the healing narzan in the Narzan Gallery.

Real Caucasian cuisine awaits us for dinner! Lamb, khinkali, khachapuri, homemade wine - no one will be left hungry!

Then we go to the hotel to sleep well before a busy weekend.

We leave early in the morning and go to stunning natural places.

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Trails and lifts

The ski area of ​​the Dombay resort is located at an altitude of 1630-3168 meters.

The resort has 12 ski slopes (5 of them are main) with a total length of 25 kilometers. These areas are located on the southwestern slope of Mount Mussa-Achitara and are suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

Trails of all difficulty levels are declared: green, blue, red, black. Although there is no real black track as such: the red one turns into it when it is not spent.

The so-called “paddling pool”, where beginners are just learning to ride, is located on the Dombai glade itself. But the main trails for full-fledged skiing are concentrated on a wide plateau at an altitude of 2500-3000 meters. There are amateur blue-green plots here. Blue-red track - for the more advanced, laid under them. Extreme skiers prefer the lower wooded part of the resort, where they can hone their skills.

At the moment, the capacity of the resort's tracks is up to 200,000 people a year.

The ski area of ​​the Dombay resort is located at an altitude of 1630-3168 meters.

The resort has 12 ski slopes (5 of them are main) with a total length of 25 kilometers. These areas are located on the southwestern slope of Mount Mussa-Achitara and are suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.

Trails of all difficulty levels are declared: green, blue, red, black. Although there is no real black track as such: the red one turns into it when it is not spent.

The so-called “paddling pool”, where beginners are just learning to ride, is located on the Dombai glade itself. But the main trails for full-fledged skiing are concentrated on a wide plateau at an altitude of 2500-3000 meters. There are amateur blue-green plots here. Blue-red track - for the more advanced, laid under them. Extreme skiers prefer the lower wooded part of the resort, where they can hone their skills.

If in summer connoisseurs of hiking and long walks strive to Dombai, then in winter there is just a skiing kingdom. Almost all excursion routes at this time of the year are closed until warming and snowmelt. But the slopes and lifts are full of people who want to ride and ride for days on end.

Rest in Dombai in winter is about mastering skis and snowboards, conquering new trails and learning tricks, in the 2020-2021 season there are options for everyone. Even for those who, for various reasons, are not ready to get up on skis. The peculiarities of the climate and the "shelter" of the village from the bad weather by the Main Caucasian ridge allow you to spend a significant part of your time outdoors. The average winter temperature here is -5 degrees, the sun is shining brightly and there is almost no wind.

Ice skating rinks are available for guests within walking distance, where children and adults have fun. They like to arrange sledding and ice sledding, they rent snowmobiles and ATVs.

Connoisseurs of extreme recreation even book hang-gliding flights.

In the evening, regardless of how you spent the day, you can relieve fatigue in the sauna, pool, bowling alley or at the disco.

See the winter waterfall and open the ski season in December

December is the most unstable month in terms of ski holidays. Often at this time there is an unstable snow cover, and thaws up to +18 degrees occur in the Dombai glade.

But in any case, it's already possible to ride. Even if there is not enough snow along the entire length of the trails, the slopes on the upper lines of the cable car are treated with a snowcat and are ready to receive riders.

At the beginning of winter, you can take several easy excursion routes. The main attractions of Dombai are its natural beauty: rivers, mountains, forests, waterfalls. And although they are most popular during warmer months, some are also available in winter. Not far from the village is the beautiful Gonachkhir gorge, nearby is the Russian Polyana (got its name thanks to Russian geologists who mastered this place in the 19th century), from where you can see beautiful panoramas of the mountains.

The most interesting winter route is to the Devil's Mill Canyon. Under a small observation deck on a rocky ledge, a mountain river is still bubbling in December, albeit not as powerfully as in summer.

If you don't want to walk, the cable car will take you to the observation platforms of Mount Mussa-Achitara, from where you can just admire the views. In addition, local guides organize excursions to the Teberda Nature Reserve.

Dombai glade, as the main valley of Dombai is called, is located at an altitude of over 1600 meters. This is a territory located in the Caucasus, with mountain gorges and picturesque mountain ranges, near the Teberda River - one of the spurs of the Kuban River (on the territory of the Teberda Nature Reserve). In the south, it is the Main Caucasian ridge.

The Dombay ski resort is located right between the highest point in Europe - Mount Elbrus and the Black Sea. Its highest point is Dombay-Ulgen, height 4046 m. ​​Dombay is located in the Karachay-Cherkess Republic.

Weather and climate in Dombai

The ski season runs from approximately December to April. The so-called "high season" - from January to March: at this time, snow lies along the entire height of Dombai, and the weather is mild and not very cold at the same time. In Dombayskaya glade, the average temperature in winter is about 2-5 degrees below zero, but sometimes it can rise sharply up to + 18⁰С. At high altitudes, above 3000 meters, the temperature in winter can drop to 15-20 degrees below zero. During the outflow of cold air from the peaks down, the temperature at the altitude can be higher for some time than below, in the valley.

In spring and summer, conditions are favorable for relaxation: no stuffiness, a warm breeze, very sunny. Snow at altitudes below 2900-3000 meters melts and exposes lush vegetation, alpine meadows. It is most beautiful here in the spring after the snow melts. The air is very clean.

Historical Dombay

The first steps in the development of the local peaks and gorges were made back in tsarist Russia by members of the Russian Mining Society. The Soviet government actively developed sports throughout the country. Sports tourism and mountaineering received a huge boost in development. So, in 1921, the first tourist base appeared in Dombai. There is no doubt that this happened due to the beautiful landscapes of these places. By the 1930s, Dombay had become the center of alpine skiing in the USSR. By the 1950s, after the war, Dombay continued to develop - drag lifts appeared. Over the years, it gradually turns into a resort: sanatoriums, boarding houses, recreation centers are being built. Alpine skiing tracks are being developed, up to 6 kilometers long and with a vertical drop of up to 1 km, the resort becomes a Mecca for USSR skiers.

Modern ski Dombay

Today it is the main ski resort in Russia. The popularity of the resort is growing even among lovers of "exotic" foreigners. These are mainly skiers who are more interested in skiing off the prepared tracks and snowboarders. Excellent climate and mesmerizing landscapes allow you to close your eyes to some of the disadvantages of the service.

At the moment, about 20 km of slopes have been adapted for alpine skiing. There are no cross-country trails, although there are gentle places where beginners and children train and learn to stand on skis. "Paddling pools". Here you can also hire a trainer-instructor. Be careful when choosing an instructor - there are no quality standards for such people.

Ski slopes of Dombai

The main slopes of Dombai are represented by slopes of varying difficulty: green (the simplest), blue (more difficult) and red (difficult). There are many quiet trails - with a slight incline and uncomplicated relief. The lower part of the slopes, overgrown with trees, will be interesting for those who like difficult and extreme descents. There are steep drops, high hillocks, stones. There are also peaks that cannot be reached by a lift, and without it only climbers will crawl: here you can descend from a helicopter (for heli-skiing lovers).

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