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Lake Donguz-Orun Kel in Elbrus reserve

The high-altitude glacial lake Donguz-Orun Kel (2515 m) is located between the rocky slopes of the mountains Donguz-Orun Bashi (4450m) and Nakra-Tau (4228 m). The tongues of glacier “Seven” descend along the slopes of these mountains.

The path to the Donguz-Orun Kel lake goes from the first cable car station on Cheget mountain (2750 m). The trail follows the Cheget slope with a slight drop in height down. The lake itself is located at an altitude of 2515 m, and the trail passes 100 meters above the lake. You can go down to it on a steep slope, but this does not make much sense, since the shores of the lake are swampy and rock screes of glaciers descend to them. In spring and early summer, many flowers grow on the slope of Cheget mountain. This is an area of Alpine meadows. In June, fields of rhododendrons bloom here, and you can even see black tulips.

The lake itself is fed by two streams Donguzorun and Medvezhy, but other streams of water with various minerals get there from the glaciers. Different parts of the lake have different colors due to these minerals. In summer, the waters of the lake look bright azure, and by autumn they turn a steely color.

Lake Donguz-Orun Kel is located in the border zone. Previously, you could only go to it after registering a pass. Now the border post has been moved behind the lake. Thus, you can go to the lake without hindrance, and then the passage is closed. This is the state border with Georgia.

From the Donguz-Orun Kel lake, the trail leads to the former North Shelter Alpine camp, and then to the Donguz-Orun pass (3202 m). The pass is not only accessible to climbers. Earlier, the local inhabitants even drove cattle from Balkaria in Svaneti.