Elbrus area

Mt. Ushba, C.Caucasus.
Photo "RISK online" 
The most popular summits belong to the Elbrus area - Ushba, Shkhelda Towers, Chatyn-Tau, Donguzorun, Nakra, Dzhantugan, peak Shchurovskogo, Adil-Su and Adyr-Su valley peaks) 
Mt.Elbrus is of particular interest for two reasons: first, because the Western summit (5642m) is officially recognised as Europe's highest mountain (Russian now being a part of Europe) and, second, because it ranks as one of the seven highest points of the Seven Continents. 

Mt.Elbrus (5,643m)

The huge two-headed massive of Elbrus dominates the countryside of the Central Caucasus. It is a massive of very old non active volcano. It is covered by the sick film of ice with a small islands of rocks.
One of the most important is the weather during the ascent. It could changes instantly. If you find yourself in the fog on the Elbrus slopes, it could be difficult to find the right way. One can fall in crevasses and have a frostbite because of the speed fall of temperature till - 30 degree and the stormy wind.

The first winter ascent up to East summit was done by A.Gusev and V.Korzun in January 17th, 1934. And 27th January of 1935 N.Gusak with the German climber assented to West summit.

Lateral parts of Elbrus are hard destroyed and simple to climb. It does not concern the West part of massive with the summit Kuikuirtlyu ("Sulphur mountain or mountain under the sulphur valley") - 4620 m, which has the steep monolithic walls on the South and West. Near the West slope of Elbrus there is the West branch of it - 4952 m.

The ascent up to Elbrus by classical route and some additional advises concerning the trip to Elbrus region.


Mt.Donguz-Orun, C.Caucasus region 
From West to East the General Caucasian Gorge situated between Donguzorun pass and Yusengi pass. This is the Donguzorun massive ("The mountain under the pork lake") with an immense ice cover. In the west part the Nakra mount is situated.

Ascents to the massive by south ridges and slopes as by from passes are simple. Most difficult is the northern face crossed by the unique glacier in the shape of upside-down "7" the icefalls of which spill over the Baksanskoe gorge.

The longest part of this glacier is called the "Italian couloir".

Mt.Shkhelda (4,300m)(4,300 ì.)

Yuri Koshelenko. Alp-extrem. Ascent up to Mt.Shkhelda.

The beautiful view opens from the road from bace camp "Shkhelda" on severe North Wall of Shkhelda massive.

There are five summits in the massive. Far on the West - peak Profsoyuzov (4110 m) with steep icy-snow North and West slopes. A bit Eastern under a peak there rises West and The Second West summits of Shkhelda. From the last there are long and very cut up ridge. On North side massive ended by steep monolithic walls steep ice slopes and buttresses. South faces of the massive are vertical in upper part but very hard destroyed. Often rock falls limits the possibilities of ascents. The starting point for climbing up the peaks is "Shkhelda" alpine camp at the beginning of the valley.

 Several known routes: Shkhelda West (4229 m) - by snow couloir (Garf's route, 5A), Shkhelda Central (4295 m) - by the North face (Subortovich's route, 6A), by the "Snow shovel" (Martynov's route, 5B).

Ushba plateau

Shchurovskogo Peak, C.Caucasus region 
Photo "RISK online". 
In the East part of Shkhelda gorge the highest plateau of Caucasus is situated. It is at the height 4 000 m, covered by the powerful glacier and it is inside of great summits - of Mt.Shkhelda (4 320 m), Mt.Shchurovskogo (4 259 m), Mt.Chatin (4 368 m) Mt.Ushba (4 710 m), Ushba Small (4320 m).

There are more than 50 routes up to Ushba. 10 of them are 6A and 13 rated as 5B.

From South-west the plateau limited by long and very cut up East ridge of East summit of Shkhelda massive.

Between Ushba plateau and Ushba the wide Ushba glacier fall down to the South-west to the Dolra river valley. It has the ice fall in upper part.

On North-east from Chalaatski pass there rises the summit of Ushba Small. Behind the small Col the gorge rises to West summit of massive Chatyn. Not far - the peak Shchurovskogo situated with one ridge to the Ushba glacier. It is situated in the middle of three greatest mounts: Shkhelda, Ushba, Chatyn.

In June and first part of July Ushba ice fall is covered by snow and easy to climb. The better time is June July.

The most prestige route of the Caucasus is situated in the South Ushba peak, so called "Pillar of Ushba" - SW face - Kustovski's route. Last time the winter ascents up to Pillar became popular.

 Results of championship in winter class ascents.

See also
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