About place: Elbrus

The double-headed Elbrus is the tallest peak of the Caucasus Mountain Range. It is believed that the border between Europe and Asia goes just over this range, so the Elbrus may be considered the tallest mountain in Europe. Its height's 5642 m. Some people still believe that the Elbrus belongs to Asia, and the Mont Blanc (the Alps) is the tallest mountain in Europe (4810 m).

This young volcano is one of the tourist centers in the Transcaucasia. In winter there come a lot of people for skiing, and in summer thrill-seekers come there for climbing.

Ski resorts of the vicinity of Mt. Elbrus are on the slopes of Mt. Elbrus itself, as well as those of the adjacent Mt. Cheget (3700 m). Skiing zones of these two mountains are 6 kilometers from each other. Skiing season is very long in the vicinity of Mt. Elbrus, from December through April, and in high-altitude areas it can last for most part of the year, as the Elbrus is one of the glacier centers. There are at least 17 glaciers going down its slopes.

If you decided to spend your holidays at a ski resort of the vicinity of Mt. Elbrus, you should be aware that the level of service isn't high enough there. Alas, it must be admitted that the skiing infrastructure is very outdated there. And it is especially true about the lifts for which you have to sometimes wait for 1-2 hours.

Mount Elbrus has the elevation of 2000 m. At the foot of the mountain there are tablet lifts for inexperienced skiers. You can go up the slope by one- and two-chair lifts, as well as new cabin lifts. There are several ski stations at the slopes: Azau, Old Lookout, Elbrus-1, Elbrus-2, Mir (Peace) (3500 m), Gara-Bashi (3780 m). However, from the Mir, where you can get in a lift, to the tallest Gara-Bashi you can get only by ratrack, but it is just there that you can enjoy the most magnificent landscapes of the Caucasus Mountains and will have an opportunity to ski on the virgin slopes of the Elbrus. If you want, you can climb as far as the Priyut-11 (Shelter) (4050 m) in ratrak, and some go even higher to the Pastukhov's Rocks (4600 m). At the Elbrus you can get in ratrack wherever you want for your money.

The slopes of the adjacent Cheget lure the experienced skiers. It has no new lifts (only old one- and two-chair ones) and minimum infrastructure. And there are no conditions for training the newbies. But the runs of Cheget are one of the most difficult in Europe and most interesting for thrill-seekers. The ski runs aren’t ratracked there, so if you aren’t sure whether you can manage the Cheget hills, you'd better not risk. Also, most of the ski runs of the Cheget, and incidentally those of the Elbrus, aren’t marked, have no guarding, and may have stones at places.

In spite of the steepness of the slopes of Cheget (in average 45 degrees) at different places, they have various difficulty levels. On the south side there are areas with relatively flat slopes. On the north side only the thrill-seekers dare to ski. The central run is going along the cableway, and it is just there that the famous Cheget hills are.

In summer the resort settlement at the Elbrus is open for everyone who wants to have a rest at the mountains, enjoy wonderful landscapes, and wander on mountain tourist paths. Every year hundreds of people from all over the world come there to climb the Elbrus.
It is possible to climb the Elbrus only by the south and north slopes. From the south side (where the cableway is) you can climb the mountain even if you have minimum physical training. If you have no special desire to climb on foot, you can get to the Pastukhov's Rocks (4600 m) in a lift, from where it remains only 1000 meters to the top. However, everyone who decided to conquer the peak of Elbrus in earnest won't use any cableways.

The northern slope of the Elbrus is more difficult for ascending. There you will be required to have a good training and special equipment, but at the same time this way is more beautiful.

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