The double-headed Elbrus is the highest peak of the Caucasus mountain range. Mount Elbrus is located on the Side Ridge of the Caucasus mountains, which goes 10 km north of the Greater Caucasus range. Since the border between Europe and Asia in the Caucasus runs along the Great Caucasus Range, mount Elbrus belongs to the European part of Russia.
Elbrus is the highest peak in Europe (5642m). The height of Mont Blanc, the second highest in Europe, reaches 4810 m. This volcano is one of the centers of tourism in Transcaucasia. Many people come here in winter for skiing, and trekking enthusiasts come here in summer to admire the beauty of the Caucasus mountains.
The ski resorts of the Elbrus region are located on the slopes of Elbrus itself, as well as on the neighboring Cheget mountain (3700 m). The ski areas of these two mountains are located 6 kilometers from each other. The season in the Elbrus region is very long, from December to April, and in high-altitude areas even longer, because Elbrus is one of the centers of intensive glacial activity. At least 17 glaciers flow along its slopes.
The southern slope of Elbrus can be climbed by cable car from the station Polyana Azau (2350m) of the Baksan gorge. There are 3 stations on the slope: Krugozor (3000m), Mir (3500m), Gara-Bashi (3847m). If desired, you can use the ratrak to get to the Shelter-11 station (4100 m). The next segment is to the Pastukhov Rocks (4600 m), and then to the top.
The nearby Cheget slope attracts mountain skiing aces. However, it should be borne in mind that the Cheget routes are among the most difficult in Russia. There are no ratraks. Their steepness is on average 45 degrees, although in some places there are gentle stretches.
In summer, Elbrus always attracts a large number of people who want to see the highest peak in the Caucasus and Europe. The mountain itself and the area around are part of the Elbrus national reserve. There are a lot of opportunities for multi-day Hiking, but it will also be very interesting for untrained people.
For regular walks, tourists come to the village of Terskol. Terskol is 110 km from the city of Baksan, where the entrance to the Baksan gorge is located. The Baksan gorge itself is very picturesque. In some places, small gorges branch off on the sides. You can use them to go to tracking routes. The most popular of them passes through the Adyr-Su gorge (12 km, from the village of Upper Baksan to the Ullu Tau Alpine camp).
Cable cars to Elbrus and Cheget work all year round. It is necessary to climb both peaks, since both places offer exceptionally picturesque views of the great Caucasus range and the surrounding area.
On Elbrus, you can make an attempt to climb to the top. From the upper station of the Gara Bashi lift (3847m), the top looks not so far away. But even in summer it is very cold and windy here. Due to lack of oxygen at an altitude of more than 4000 meters, most people are dizzy. Each step is difficult, although some reach Shelter 11 (4050 m). The height difference will be only 200 meters, but they will be very heavy for an untrained person.
As for serious intentions to climb Elbrus, hundreds of people come here every year, who climb to the top from the southern or northern slopes. Especially difficult is the ascent of the Northern slope of Elbrus. You can also visit the Gily-Su nature sight there.
From the top of Cheget, you can walk along the mountainside to the Donguz-Orun Kel lake. It is located at an altitude of 2515 m. Above the lake rises the slope of the mountain Donguz-Orun Bashi (4450m), covered with the tongues of the glacier "Seven". The lake is emerald in summer and grey in autumn.